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OBJECTIVES: To compare the effect of sera from women with reproductive disorders on the in vitro growth of mouse and human embryos up to the blastocyst stage and to determine the influence on human pregnancy outcome. DESIGN: The growth of mouse embryos and in vitro fertilized human embryos up to the blastocyst stage was compared in sera from women with unexplained infertility, and these results were correlated with pregnancy outcome. Also the growth of mouse embryos in sera from women with a history of recurrent abortions was correlated with their pregnancy outcome. PATIENTS, SETTING: Women with unexplained infertility were attending the IVF Unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, United Kingdom. Women with a history of recurrent abortions were attending the high risk pregnancy unit at the same hospital. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Human embryo growth was monitored by daily morphological assessment and mouse embryo growth by both morphological assessment and tritiated thymidine uptake. RESULTS: In 15 women with unexplained infertility, poor mouse embryo development correlated with poor human embryo quality and impaired blastocyst formation when cultured in the same serum, as well as failure to achieve a pregnancy. In 11 women with a history of recurrent abortion, inhibition of mouse embryo growth correlated with unsuccessful pregnancy outcome. DISCUSSION: Assessment of both morphological development and cell proliferation in mouse embryos may be a useful test to determine the suitability of maternal sera for human IVF embryo culture, predicting pregnancy outcome and for categorizing women with reproductive disorders for future clinical management.


Journal article


Fertil Steril

Publication Date





285 - 292


Abortion, Habitual, Adult, Animals, Embryonic and Fetal Development, Female, Humans, In Vitro Techniques, Infertility, Female, Mice, Pregnancy, Time Factors