Transfer of mouse blastocysts exposed to ambient oxygen levels can lead to impaired lung development and redox balance

Karagenc N., Dogan G., ESMEN K., Kul B. C. , Yesilkaya H., ORMAN M. N. , ...More

MOLECULAR HUMAN REPRODUCTION, vol.25, no.11, pp.745-754, 2019 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 25 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1093/molehr/gaz052
  • Page Numbers: pp.745-754


In vitro culture under atmospheric oxygen puts embryos under oxidative stress and impairs preimplantation development. However, to what extent this process alters the redox balance in the perinatal period remains largely unknown. The aim of the present study was to examine if the redox balance is altered in the lung tissue of fetuses generated through transfer of mouse embryos exposed to atmospheric oxygen at different stages of development and to determine if this has any effect on lung morphogenesis and gene expression. Two experimental groups (EGs) were generated by transferring in vitro- and in vivo-derived blastocysts to pseudo-pregnant females. In vivo-developed fetuses served as control. Enzymatic/nonenzymatic antioxidants, malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, total antioxidant capacity, stage of lung development and gene expression were evaluated on day 18 of pregnancy. Weight of fetuses was significantly less in both experimental cohorts (ANOVA, P < 0.001 versus control), associated with delayed lung development, higher amounts of MDA (ANOVA, P < 0.001 versus control) and altered expression of several genes in oxidative stress/damage pathways. Evidence gathered in the present study indicates that pre-implantation stress caused by culture under atmospheric oxygen, even for a short period of time, leads to fetal growth restriction, impaired lung development and redox balance along with dysregulation of several genes in oxidative stress response. Absence of an EG in which in vitro embryo culture was performed at 5% oxygen and the use of genetically heterogeneous F2 fetuses are the limitations of the study. In any case, the long-term impact of such dramatic changes in the developmental programming of resulting fetuses warrants further investigations.