blastocyst and implantationFertility experts know relatively little about the role blastocysts play in implantation. Researchers from Prince Henry’s Institute of Medical Research in Australia recently published an in-vitro study that could hold the key to increasing implantation success rates. The study was published in the journal Human Reproduction.

According to the study, which involved blastocyst-conditioned medium (BCM) from 28 blastocysts that implanted and 28 blastocysts that did not, gene expression and adhesion was facilitated by the 28 successfully implanted blastocysts. Researchers found evidence of factors that changed mRNA levels in six different genes. SPARC, Jagged1, SNAI2 and TGF-B1 were among the genes affected. Some genes were up-regulated (SPARC and Jagged1) and others were down-regulated (SNAI2 and TGF-B1).

Conclusion: The in-vitro study takes fertility experts one step further in fertility research and advancement, but the study did not include animal or human models. Further research, possibly using mice, could advance the study beyond the in-vitro stages.

Source: Cuman C, Menkhorst EM, Rombauts LJ, Holden S, Webster D, Bilandzic M, Osianlis T, Dimitriadis E. Preimplantation human blastocysts release factors that differentially alter human endometrial epithelial cell adhesion and gene expression relative to IVF success. Hum Reprod. 2013 Mar 10.