Circulating maternal prorenin and oocyte and preimplantation embryo development: the Rotterdam Periconception Cohort

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Abstract

STUDY QUESTION: Could circulating maternal prorenin serve as a proxy for oocyte and preimplantation embryo development, assessed by time-lapse parameters and clinical treatment outcomes? SUMMARY ANSWER: High circulating maternal prorenin concentrations after ovarian stimulation associate with a larger oocyte area, faster cleavage divisions from the five-cell stage onwards and increased chance of successful implantation. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: After ovarian stimulation, circulating prorenin (renin's precursor), is largely ovary-derived. Prorenin may contribute to ovarian angiotensin synthesis, which is relevant in reproduction given its role in follicular development and oocyte maturation. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: Prospective observational cohort study including couples requiring fertility treatment from May 2017 as a subcohort of the ongoing Rotterdam Periconception Cohort conducted in a tertiary referral hospital. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: Between May 2017 and July 2020, 309 couples with an indication for IVF treatment or ICSI were included. Resulting embryos (n = 1024) were submitted to time-lapse embryo culture. Time of fertilization (t0), pronuclear appearance (tPNa), and fading (tPNf) as well as the exact timing of reaching the two- to eight-cell stage (t2-t8), the start of blastulation (tSB), reaching the full (tB), and expanded blastocyst (tEB) were retrospectively recorded. Oocyte area was measured at t0, tPNa, and tPNf. Prorenin was determined at the day of embryo transfer. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: After adjustment for patient- and treatment-related factors, linear mixed modeling showed that higher prorenin concentrations associate with a larger oocyte area at tPNa (β 64.45 µm2, 95% CI 3.26; 125.64, P = 0.04), and faster progression from five-cell stage onwards (e.g. β8-cell -1.37 h, 95% CI -2.48; -0.26, P = 0.02). Prorenin associated positively with pre-transfer outcomes (e.g. βfertilized oocytes 2.09, 95% CI 1.43; 2.75, P < 0.001) and implantation (odds ratio+β-hCG-test: 1.79, 95% CI 1.06; 3.08, P = 0.03), but not with live birth. LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: This prospective observational study provides associations and therefore residual confounding cannot be excluded and causality has to be shown in intervention studies. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: Theca cell-derived factors, such as prorenin, may help to clarify the underlying endocrine mechanism of oocyte maturation and embryo development, with a special focus on the (patho)physiological reproductive role of prorenin and the identification of factors influencing its secretion and activity, which is of great added value for improving embryo selection and predicting implantation and pregnancy outcomes. This will bring us to investigate which determinants of oocyte quality and embryo development should take center stage in developing preconception care strategies. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S): This research was funded by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and the Erasmus MC Medical Research Advisor Committee's 'Health Care Efficiency Research' program (OZBS72.16080). The authors have no competing interests to disclose.N/A.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582-595
Number of pages14
JournalHuman reproduction (Oxford, England)
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding:
This research was funded by the Department of Obstetrics and
Gynecology of the Erasmus MC, University Medical Center,
Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and the Erasmus MC Medical Research
Advisor Committee’s ‘Health Care Efficiency Research’ program
(OZBS72.16080)

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

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