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Type: Book chapter
Title: Growth factors and cytokines in embryo development
Author: Robertson, S.
Thompson, J.
Citation: Culture Media, Solutions, and Systems in Human ART, 2014, 2014 / Quinn, P. (ed./s), Ch.9, pp.112-131
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publisher Place: United Kingdom
Issue Date: 2014
ISBN: 9781107619531
Editor: Quinn, P.
Organisation: Robinson Institute
Statement of
Sarah A. Robertson and Jeremy G. Thompson
Abstract: Introduction Embryos developing naturally in the mother's reproductive tract experience a substantially different environment to those developing in a culture dish after in vitro fertilization (IVF). A key distinction between the two is the presence of an array of growth factors and cytokines produced naturally by the maternal tissues in vivo. The majority of modern embryo culture media does not contain these agents. The biological function of growth factors and cytokines in vivo is to mediate communication between the maternal tissues and the embryo. Although embryos clearly can develop in simple culture media in vitro in the absence of exogenous growth factors, there is compelling evidence that in the physiological situation, these growth factors and cytokines have paracrine cell-cell signaling actions that contribute to yielding healthier embryos than those produced in a culture dish [1, 2]. Their actions in the embryo include modulation of cell gene expression and metabolic function that in turn influence cell survival and differentiation, ultimately impacting embryo implantation competence and post-implantation development [2, 3]. Despite growing information on how cytokines influence embryos, there is a lack of consensus opinion regarding whether any maternally derived factors are truly essential for “normal” development of human embryos in vitro, when high quality embryo culture medium is utilized. The benefits and possibility of any risks of their use in IVF is an important ongoing research question in reproductive medicine [4].
Rights: Copyright status unknown
DOI: 10.1017/CBO9781139059053.010
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Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest
Obstetrics and Gynaecology publications

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