Long-Term Phenotypic and Proteomic Changes Following Vitrified Embryo Transfer in the Rabbit Model

Ximo Garcia-Dominguez, Francisco Marco-Jiménez, David S. Peñaranda, José Salvador Vicente
2020 Animals  
Nowadays, assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) are considered valuable contributors to our past, but a future without their use is inconceivable. However, in recent years, several studies have evidenced a potential impact of ART on long-term development in mammal species. To date, the long-term follow-up data are still limited. So far, studies have mainly focused on in vitro fertilization or in vitro culture, with information from gametes/embryos cryopreservation field being practically
more » ... sing. Herein, we report an approach to determine whether a vitrified embryo transfer procedure would have long-term consequences on the offspring. Using the rabbit as a model, we compared animals derived from vitrified-transferred embryos versus those naturally conceived, studying the growth performance, plus the weight throughout life, and the internal organs/tissues phenotype. The healthy status was assessed over the hematological and biochemical parameters in peripheral blood. Additionally, a comparative proteomic analysis was conducted in the liver tissue to investigate molecular cues related to vitrified embryo transfer in an adult tissue. After vitrified embryo transfer, birth weight was increased, and the growth performance was diminished in a sex-specific manner. In addition, vitrified-transferred animals showed significantly lower body, liver and heart weights in adulthood. Molecular analyses revealed that vitrified embryo transfer triggers reprogramming of the liver proteome. Functional analysis of the differentially expressed proteins showed changes in relation to oxidative phosphorylation and dysregulations in the zinc and lipid metabolism, which has been reported as possible causes of a disturbed growth pattern. Therefore, we conclude that vitrified embryo transfer is not a neutral procedure, and it incurs long-term effects in the offspring both at phenotypic and molecular levels. These results described a striking example of the developmental plasticity exhibited by the mammalian embryo.
doi:10.3390/ani10061043 pmid:32560425 fatcat:uz5bxkzqzzhhplmbmrhmardy2m