Automated microinjection of recombinant BCL-X into mouse zygotes enhances embryo development

Xinyu Liu, Roxanne Fernandes, Marina Gertsenstein, Alagammal Perumalsamy, Ingrid Lai, Maggie Chi, Kelle H. Moley, Ellen Greenblatt, Igor Jurisica, Robert F. Casper, Yu Sun, Andrea Jurisicova

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37 Scopus citations


Progression of fertilized mammalian oocytes through cleavage, blastocyst formation and implantation depends on successful implementation of the developmental program, which becomes established during oogenesis. The identification of ooplasmic factors, which are responsible for successful embryo development, is thus crucial in designing possible molecular therapies for infertility intervention. However, systematic evaluation of molecular targets has been hampered by the lack of techniques for efficient delivery of molecules into embryos. We have developed an automated robotic microinjection system for delivering cell impermeable compounds into preimplantation embryos with a high post-injection survival rate. In this paper, we report the performance of the system on microinjection of mouse embryos. Furthermore, using this system we provide the first evidence that recombinant BCL-XL (recBCL-XL) protein is effective in preventing early embryo arrest imposed by suboptimal culture environment. We demonstrate that microinjection of recBCL-XL protein into early-stage embryos repairs mitochondrial bioenergetics, prevents reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation, and enhances preimplantation embryo development. This approach may lead to a possible treatment option for patients with repeated in vitro fertilization (IVF) failure due to poor embryo quality.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere21687
JournalPloS one
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2011


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