The expression of pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) in human blastocoel fluid–conditioned media: a proof of concept study

Shahryar K. Kavoussi, Shu Hung Chen, John David Wininger, Arnav Lal, William E. Roudebush, Hayes C. Lanford, Amy S. Esqueda, Maya Barsky, Dan I. Lebovic, Parviz K. Kavoussi, Melissa S. Gilkey, Justin Chen, Graham L. Machen, Renee J. Chosed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine if pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A), typically measured in maternal serum and a potential predictor of adverse maternal and fetal outcomes such as spontaneous miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, and stillbirth, is expressed in blastocoel fluid–conditioned media (BFCM) at the embryonic blastocyst stage. Design: This is an in vitro study. Methods: BFCM samples from trophectoderm-tested euploid blastocysts (n = 80) from in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF/ICSI) patients were analyzed for PAPP-A mRNA. BFCM was obtained from blastocyst stage embryos in 20 uL drops. Blastocysts underwent trophectoderm biopsy for preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy prior to blastocyst vitrification and BFCM collection for snap freezing. cfDNA was synthesized using BFCM collected from 80 individual euploid blastocysts. Next, real-time qPCR was performed to detect expression of PAPP-A with GAPDH for normalization of expression in each sample. Results: PAPP-A mRNA was detected in 45 of 80 BFCM samples (56.3%), with varying levels of expression across samples. Conclusion: Our study demonstrates the expression of PAPP-A in BFCM. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report detection of PAPP-A mRNA in BFCM. Further studies are required and underway to investigate a greater number of BFCM samples as well as the possible correlation of PAPP-A expression with pregnancy outcomes of transferred euploid blastocysts. If found to predict IVF and obstetric outcomes, PAPP-A may provide additional information along with embryonic euploidy for the selection of the optimal blastocyst for embryo transfer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-394
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Blastocoel fluid
  • Blastocyst
  • IVF
  • PAPP-A
  • Pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A


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