Author(s): Young LE, Sinclair KD, Wilmut I
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Abstract Bovine and ovine embryos exposed to a variety of unusual environments prior to the blastocyst stage have resulted in the development of unusually large offspring which can also exhibit a number of organ defects. In these animals, the increased incidence of difficult parturition and of fetal and neonatal losses has limited the large-scale use of in vitro embryo production technologies commonly used in humans and other species. Four different situations have been identified that result in the syndrome: in vitro embryo culture, asynchronous embryo transfer into an advanced uterine environment, nuclear transfer and maternal exposure to excessively high urea diets. However, programming of the syndrome by all of these situations is unpredictable and not all of the symptoms described have been observed universally. Neither the environmental factors inducing the large offspring syndrome nor the mechanisms of perturbation occurring in the early embryo and manifesting themselves in the fetus have been identified.
This article was published in Rev Reprod
and referenced in Journal of Tissue Science & Engineering