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The Robert H. Smith Faculty
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The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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Stress-induced alterations in oocyte transcripts are further expressed in the developing blastocyst


Roth, Z. Stress-induced alterations in oocyte transcripts are further expressed in the developing blastocyst. Molecular Reproduction and Development 2018, 85, 821 - 835.

Date Published:



The oocyte achieves its developmental competence through the lengthy process of folliculogenesis. It can therefore potentially be exposed to various stressors while enclosed in the follicle. Oocyte maturation relies mainly on maternal sources. These include nuclear, cytoplasmic, and molecular maturation, which involve DNA and RNA organization. Maternal transcripts are dominant through the first embryonic cleavages, up until embryonic genome activation. Thus, it is suggested that any perturbations during oocyte storage, in particular of the maternal transcripts, might lead to genetic and/or epigenetic changes, which might be further expressed in the developing embryo. The review discusses the effects of three representative stressors?environmental heat stress, endocrine-disrupting compounds (phthalates), and inflammatory stress (mastitis)?shown to be involved in reduced fertility. The review highlights the carryover response from the oocyte to the developing embryo; it includes intracellular and molecular disruptive mechanisms with an emphasis on maternal transcripts. The review provides insights into the oocyte?s cellular and molecular responses with an emphasis on the effects of various stressors on the maternal (nuclear and mitochondrial) transcripts and the association with embryonic development. A comparison between stressors might clarify, at least in part, a few open questions. For instance, (a) whether stress-induced alterations share the same mechanism and if so (b) whether this mechanism involves alterations of maternal transcripts; (c) whether stress-induced alterations in the maternal transcript are further expressed at the developing blastocyst stage, that is, after embryonic genome activation.


doi: 10.1002/mrd.23045

Publisher's Version

Last updated on 07/11/2019