From lessons on the long-term effects of the preimplantation environment on later health to a "modified ART-DOHaD" animal model

Reprod Med Biol. 2022 Jun 29;21(1):e12469. doi: 10.1002/rmb2.12469. eCollection 2022 Jan-Dec.


Background: At its earliest stages, mammalian embryonic development is apparently simple but vulnerable. The environment during the preimplantation period, which only lasts a couple of days, has been implicated in adult health, extending to such early stages the concept of the developmental origin of health and disease (DOHaD).

Methods: In this review, we first provide a brief history of assisted reproductive technology (ART) focusing on in vitro culture and its outcomes during subsequent development mainly in mice and humans. Further, we introduce the "MEM mouse," a novel type 2 diabetes mouse model generated by in vitro culture of preimplantation embryos in alpha minimum essential medium (αMEM).

Main findings: The association between ART and its long-term effects has been carefully examined for its application in human infertility treatment. The "MEM mouse" develops steatohepatitis and kidney disease with diabetes into adulthood.

Conclusion: The close association between the environment of preimplantation and health in postnatal life is being clarified. The approach by which severe mouse phenotypes are successfully induced by manipulating the environment of preimplantation embryos could provide new chronic disease animal models, which we call "modified ART-DOHaD" animal models. This will also offer insights into the mechanisms underlying their long-term effects.

Keywords: ART; DOHaD; MEM mouse. preimplantation; type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Review