Autologues Endrometrial Coculture-Advantageous?
3 Replies
DianaEvans2 - March 19

Dear Dr. Smith: I read some debate about this technique and not a whole lot of meaningful statistics...what is your opinion on the value of this techique? Thank you in advance. Diana


Dr Smith - March 20

If you think about it, it doesn't make much sense. In nature, pre-implantation embryos do not grow in the presence of endometrial cells until Day 5. Embryos grow in the Fallopian tubes for the first 4 days. The Fallopian tube epithelium (lining) secretes very different factors compared to the endometrium, so the two environments (uterus and tubes) are very different. The use of endometrial cells instead of tubal cells arose because it is impossible to get tubal cells without removing the tubes. Predictably, the endometrial cells don't work as well as tubal cells in terms of promoting the growth of embryos. Furthermore, as soon as you take endometrial cells out of the body and try to grow them in the lab, they loose many of their specific properties and become generic fibroblast-like cells.

In recent years, there have been significant improvements in the design of culture medium that supports human embryo growth. Multi-phasic systems that sequentially use 3 or more formulations of culture media are now used in the vast majority of IVF labs wordwide. Defined culture media, manufactured under strict, FDA-approved regulations, as opposed to the use of endometrial cell co-culture (which is poorly defined in terms of what the endometrial cells bring to the party), has resulted in a doubling of the pregnancy rate over the last 8 years. 'nuf said.


DianaEvans2 - March 20

THANK YOU very much, Dr. Smith.

You are very right! Now that I have read your lucid and clear explanation, it doesn't make much sense as techinque. Thank you for taking the time to share it, so linearly and lucidly.

Not sure if my college biology would have covered these type of topics in any event. Chemistry certainly didn't. I wonder if there is a good Frequently Asked Questions book out there that you recommend? Or maybe this forum results in such FAQ book. ...But that's a static resource whereas the forum here is a living, dynamic resource-thanks again!


Dr Smith - March 22

I'm not aware of any [i]current[/i] FAQ resource other than the web. The technology in this field evolves at break-neck speed, so any hardcopy FAQ is hopelessly out of date by the time its published. I think the web is your best resource, although a word of caution - there is no shortage of misinformation out there. Make sure of the credibility of the source when gathering information.

Best of luck.



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