Implications of Assisted Reproductive Technologies for Pregnancy Outcomes in Mammals

Hansen, P.J.

Annual Review of Animal Biosciences 8: 395-413


ISSN/ISBN: 2165-8110
PMID: 32069434
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-animal-021419-084010
Accession: 069825380

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Development of assisted reproductive technologies has been driven by the goals of reducing the incidence of infertility, increasing the number of offspring from genetically elite animals, facilitating genetic manipulation, aiding preservation and long-distance movement of germplasm, and generating research material. Superovulation is associated with reduced fertilization rate and alterations in endometrial function. In vitro production of embryos can have a variety of consequences. Most embryos produced in vitro are capable of establishing pregnancy and developing into healthy neonatal animals. However, in vitro production is associated with reduced ability to develop to the blastocyst stage, increased incidence of failure to establish pregnancy, placental dysfunction, and altered fetal development. Changes in the developmental program mean that some consequences of being produced in vitro can extend into adult life. Reduced competence of the embryo produced in vitro to develop to the blastocyst stage is caused largely by disruption of events during oocyte maturation and fertilization. Conditions during embryo culture can affect embryo freezability and competence to establish pregnancy after transfer. Culture conditions, including actions of embryokines, can also affect the postnatal phenotype of the resultant progeny.