V. Otasevic, L. Surlan, M. Vucetic, I. Tulic, B. Buzadzic, A. Stancic, A. Jankovic, K. Velickovic, I. Golic, M. Markelic, A. Korac and B. Korac
Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 28 (2014), 319-327.

Abstract. Developmental dysfunction in embryos, such as a lethal level of fragmentation, is assumed to be mitochondrial in origin. This study investigated the molecular basis of mitochondrial impairment in embryo fragmentation. Transcription patterns of factors that determine mitochondrial functionality: (i) components of the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) – complex I, cytochrome b, complex IV and ATP synthase; (ii) mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP); (iii) mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) content and (iv) proteins involved in mitochondrial dynamics, mitofusin 1 (Mfn1) and dynamin related protein 1 (Drp1) were examined in six-cells Day 3 non-fragmented (control), low-fragmented (LF) and high-fragmented (HF) human embryos. Gene expression of mitochondria-encoded components of complex I and IV, cytochrome b and mtDNA were increased in HF embryos compared with control and LF embryos. In LF embryos, expression of these molecules was decreased compared with control and HF embryos. Both classes of fragmented embryos had decreased MMP compared with control. LF embryos had increased gene expression of Mfn1 accompanied by decreased expression of Drp1, while HF embryos had decreased Mfn1 expression but increased Drp1 expression. The study revealed that each improper transcriptional (in)activation of mitochondria-encoded components of the OXPHOS during early in vitro embryo development is associated with a decrease in MMP and with embryo fragmentation. The results also showed the importance of mitochondrial dynamics in fragmentation, at least in the extent of this process.

Keywords: in vitro fertilisation, mitochondrial DNA, membrane potential

IF: 2.400
IF5: 2.615
MNTR classification: M22