Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)

The embryo culture media in the era of epigenetics: is it time to go back to nature?

Pilar Coy; Raquel Romar; Jon Romero-Aguirregomezcorta

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Abstract: This review is intended to draw attention to the importance of the culture media composition on the health of the embryos, fetuses, newborns, and adults derived from assisted reproductive technologies (ART). Although current research and industry trends are to use chemically defined media because of their suitability for manufacturing, commercialization, and regulatory purposes, compelling evidence indicates that those media fail to adequately account for the biological demands of early embryogenesis. Here, we list the main undesirable consequences of the ART described in the literature and results we and others have obtained over the past decade exploring an alternative and more natural way to support embryo growth in vitro: inclusion of endogenous reproductive fluids as additives in the ART culture media for pigs, cows, and humans. This review systematically assesses the pros and cons of using reproductive fluid additives, as well as the requirements to implement this approach in the future.


uterine fluid, oviductal fluid, assisted reproduction, beckwith-wiedemann syndrome, large offspring syndrome


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