Image: Oocytes stained with markers of metabolism.
Original Published Date: 
Thursday, December 10, 2015

Research by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) into fat levels in oocytes (immature ova or eggs) has the potential to transform IVF practice, benefiting the dairy industry and also women seeking assisted reproductive treatment. The CNBP study established that high levels of fat in the oocytes of high milk-yield dairy cows impacted both egg and embryo development negatively, reducing overall success rates of fertility. Treating these fatty oocytes with the drug Salubrinal reversed these negative outcomes. Lead researcher, Dr Mel McDowall, believes that the findings have the potential to revolutionize the IVF industry. “What we’ve shown is that fatty eggs affect the fertility process negatively. These eggs behave differently when they contain higher levels of fat—that they exhibit a particular stress, reduce the health of the eggs and subsequent embryo development. We’ve been able to block that stress mechanism, in this instance with Salubrinal, to improve egg quality and to get the embryo back to within normal quality parameters.”

Media issued by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics.

Photo credit: 

Image courtesy: ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics.