Previous highlights 2015

Highlights September/October 2015

Van der Jeught et al., The post-inner cell mass intermediate: implications for stem cell biology and assisted reproductive technology, in Hum. Reprod. Update (September/October 2015) 21 (5): 616-626. doi: 10.1093/humupd/dmv028

The post inner cell mass intermediate (PICMI) represents a great advance in the field of stem cell biology, with possible implications in the world of ART. The article by Margot van der Jeught et al. in the current issue of Human Reproduction Update is an outstanding review updating the world of experts in Reproductive Medicine. The complex mechanisms allowing the state of pluripotency are precisely described and the open opportunities for the use of stem cells are made available both in ART and for regenerative medicine.

Highlights July/August 2015

Marcia C. Inhorn and Pasquale Patrizio, Infertility around the globe: new thinking on gender, reproductive technologies and global movements in the 21st century in Hum. Reprod. Update (July/August 2015) 21 (4): 411-426. doi: 10.1093/humupd/dmv016

In the current issue of Human Reproduction Update, Marcia Inhorn and Pasquale Patrizio take a fascinating journey through global infertility, combining anthropology and reproductive medicine. Infertility affects 186 million people worldwide and remains a major social burden for women. Inhorn and Patrizio discuss the, possibly preventable, causes of infertility, describe the global distribution of infertility clinics and explore the development of the low cost IVF movement in resource-poor countries. This timely and original review comprehensively documents the global scenario of reproductive medicine.

Highlights May/June 2015

Victoria L. Yarbrough, Sean Winkle and Melissa M. Herbst-Kralovetz, Antimicrobial peptides in the female reproductive tract: a critical component of the mucosal immune barrier with physiological and clinical implications in Hum. Reprod. Update (May/June 2015) 21 (3): 353-377. doi: 10.1093/humupd/dmu065

The comprehensive article by Victoria Yarbrough and colleagues reviews the functional presence of antimicrobial peptides in the female reproduction tract. The “first line defense” of the female reproductive mucosal interface provides protection from pathogenic invasion from the external environment, similarly to that provided by dermal and gastrointestinal tract mucosal surfaces. Limiting microbial invasion and modulation of local immune responses may be crucial in many physiological and pathophysiological reproductive processes; including embryo implantation, infertility, and associated assisted reproductive technologies, maintenance of pregnancy and pregnancy complications, together with inflammatory diseases of the reproductive tract. This emerging field will be of great interest to the reproductive medicine arena. 

Highlights March/April 2015

Ana B. Crujeiras and Felipe F. Casanueva, Obesity and the reproductive system disorders: epigenetics as a potential bridge

Yanchang Wei, Heide Schatten and Qing-Yuan Sun, Environmental epigenetic inheritance through gametes and implications for human reproduction Julia Kopeika, Alan Thornhill and Yacoub Khalaf, The effect of cryopreservation on the genome of gametes and embryos: principles of cryobiology and critical appraisal of the evidence

in Hum. Reprod. Update (March/April 2015) 21 (2)

Epigenetics, literally translated as “above genetics”, is the term in biology referring to phenotypic changes induced by external or structural modification of DNA, without altering the DNA sequence itself. The current issue of Human Reproduction Update features three articles reviewing the importance of epigenetics in reproductive medicine and biology. Crujeiras and Casaneuva discuss the impact of epigenetically-induced obesity on reproductive function, while Wei et al., describe that environmental epigenetic changes in the gamete may be inheritable, resulting in diseases later in life, such as diabetes. Finally, Kopeika et al., highlight that the process of cryopreservation may create such an environment capable of inducing epigenetic changes in gametes. This series of papers highlights the importance of fully understanding the impact of epigenetics in reproduction.

Highlights January/February 2015

ART and uterine pathology: how relevant is the maternal side for implantation? in Hum. Reprod. Update (January/February 2015) 21 (1): 13-38. doi: 10.1093/humupd/dmu047

Daniela Galliano, José Bellver, César Díaz-García,  Carlos Simón and Antonio Pellicer

The article by Daniela Galliano et al. represents one of the largest reviews and is, by far, the most pertinent update on the fundamental question: how relevant is the maternal side for embryo implantation in ART? This outstanding search of the global literature assessed the current knowledge of endometrial receptivity in ART. Conclusions highlight the necessity for future studies to elucidate the real clinical impact of uterine and endometrial pathologies on ART.