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Epigenetics and Assisted Reproductive Technology

  • Nicole Banks
  • James H. SegarsEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

With increasing use of assisted reproductive technology (ART), ­concern has arisen over possible risks and long-term health implications of ART. Studies in animals have revealed epigenetic alterations associated with ART, including altered DNA methylation after embryo manipulation, ovarian stimulation, and in vitro embryo culture. Of concern, studies in humans have suggested an increased prevalence of imprinting disorders in children born after ART, particularly Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) and Angelman syndrome (AS). Moreover, children conceived using ART and affected by BWS or AS are more likely to have ­methylation abnormalities as the underlying molecular cause of the syndrome compared with affected offspring born after natural conception. Fortunately, both BWS and AS are very uncommon and the absolute risk remains low. Large prospective cohort studies of children conceived using ART are needed to better delineate long-term effects of potential epigenetic alterations possibly associated with ART.

Keywords

Assisted Reproductive Technology Imprint Gene Ovarian Stimulation Angelman Syndrome Maternal Allele 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations

AS

Angelman Syndrome

ART

Assisted reproductive technology

BWS

Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome

CpG

Cytosine-phosphate-guanine

DMD

Differentially methylated domain

DMRs

Differentially methylated regions

ICR

Imprinting control region

IVF

In vitro fertilization

ICSI

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection

IUI

Intrauterine insemination

LOS

Large offspring syndrome

PWS

Prader-Willi syndrome

PP

Proximal promoter

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Program in Reproductive and Adult EndocrinologyNICHD, NIHBethesdaUSA

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