Molecular signatures associated with successful implantation of the human blastocyst
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Molecular signatures associated with successful implantation of the human blastocyst


Abstract: Embryo implantation in humans is remarkably inefficient for reasons that remain largely unexplained, and high rates of implantation failure remain one of the greatest obstacles in treating infertility. The volume of gene expression data available from human embryos has rapidly accumulated in recent years. However, prioritization of these data to identify the subset of genes that determine successful implantation remains a challenge, in part, because comprehensive analyses cannot be performed on the same embryos that are transferred. Here, we leverage clinical morphologic grading—known for decades to correlate with implantation potential—and transcriptome analyses of matched embryonic and abembryonic samples to identify genes and cell-cell interactions enriched and depleted in human blastocysts of good and poor morphology, genome-wide. Unexpectedly, we discovered that the greatest molecular difference was in the state of the extraembryonic primitive endoderm (PrE), with relative deficiencies in PrE development in embryos of poor morphology at the time of embryo transfer. Together, our results support a model in which implantation success is most strongly reflected by factors and signals from the embryonic compartment and suggest that deficiencies in PrE development, in particular, are common among embryos with reduced implantation potential. Our study provides a valuable resource for those investigating the markers and mechanisms of human embryo implantation.

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