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Embryo implantation: an in vitro tridimensional model to study unexplained infertility

Grant number: 13/09195-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2013
Effective date (End): July 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Morphology - Embryology
Principal Investigator:Estela Maris Andrade Forell Bevilacqua
Grantee:Alexandre Urban Borbely
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The embryo implantation occurs during the endometrial receptivity period termed "implantation window", and involves multiple interactions between the embryo and the maternal endometrium. Implantation failures are frequent and, sometimes, have unknown causes. These cases are so-called unexplained infertility and their frequency are around 20 % of the total amount of infertility cases. Many factors have been described as responsible for these unexplained implantation failures, such as some immunological molecules and metabolical deficiencies, although the majority of them have still unknown functions in the unexplained infertility. The unexplained infertility is a medical/social problem of great proportions and high costs, which proceeds to the recommendation of assisted reproduction techniques to help in the oocyte fertilization, in vitro embryo generation and manipulation of women's metabolism through hormonal treatments, which also can be ineffective in many cases. Moreover, studies using animal models are of great value for the understanding of implantation physiology, although the knowledge transfer to humans are not so easy, mainly due to the complexity of the species-specific characteristics. In this study, we intend to re-create in vitro the endometrial environment in a tridimensional (3D) manner and analyze trophoblast adhesion, differentiation and motility, as well as metabolical, functional, cellular and molecular aspects of the maternal-fetal interaction. Furthermore, once established the 3D model, we aim to compare molecular and immunological aspects of this interaction between healthy and with unexplained infertility women. (AU)