Sun, May 06, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Hospitals reveal reproduction find

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Veterans General Hospital (TVGH) and National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) yesterday announced a collaborative research finding involving cytokines secreted from mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which improves the rate of success of embryo implantations.

The finding is expected to increase the chances that women undergoing assisted reproductive procedures will conceive.

The need for this research is highlighted by the case of a 40-year-old woman who tried in vitro fertilization procedures 10 times and underwent a preimplantation genetic diagnosis, but still failed to conceive, the researchers said.

The woman later visited TVGH for a uterine dilation and curettage procedure — a surgical procedure in which the cervix is dilated and a special instrument is used to scrape the endometrium — and gave birth to twin boys.

A research team at TVGH in 2013 discovered that uterine dilation and curettage procedures can increase the success rate of assisted reproductive technology by about 1.6 times, because MSCs from the bone marrow move toward the wound on the uterine lining after the curettage, and the secretion from the MSCs can activate the embryo and improve an implantation’s success rate.

TVGH Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility director Lee Hsin-yang (李新揚) and NTUH Department of Internal Medicine professor Jou Tzuu-shuh (周祖述) investigated the secretion to identify the cytokines and how they improve implantation.

Embryo implantation is a complicated process, as the blastula — an embryo at the early stage of development, when it is a hollow ball of cells — will only activate when it nears the uterine lining and becomes implanted in it, and the regulation mechanism needed to be further explored, Lee sid.

The team took two years to discover that cytokines secreted from MSCs function similarly to the cytokines that are secreted from the endometrial stromal cells about seven days after ovulation, which increases the mobility of the trophoblast cells that form the outer layer of a blastocyst, he said.

Lee said they hope that the cytokines secreted from MSCs or endometrial stromal cells can be used to produce medicine.

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