Vitrification alters rabbit foetal placenta at transcriptomic and proteomic level

Autores UPV


Although numerous studies have demonstrated that cryopreservation alters gene expression of early embryos and questions the neutrality of the technique in adulthood, less is known about those embryos that implanted successfully and continued in gestation. To raise the question of the neutrality of this technique, we examine the effects of vitrification through the rabbit gestation before and after the implantation. We monitored the distribution of losses of 569 vitrified morulae, observing that embryos which reach the last pre-implantatory stage are able to implant. However, we found that not all implanted embryos had the ability to continue with their gestation. The results reveal that vitrification decreased foetus and maternal placenta weights at mid-gestation, but led to a higher offspring birth weight. A novel finding is that while no differences in gene expression were detected in pre-implantatory embryos at day 6, vitrification affects a gene and protein expression in the placenta at day 14. Our results reveal for first time strong evidence of modifications in implanted embryos subjected to vitrification, suggesting that the crucial step that vitrified embryos must overcome is the placenta formation. Based on these findings, our work leaves the question open as to whether the effects we observed that cause vitrification during foetal development could give rise to some type of physiological or metabolic alteration in adulthood.