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Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Their Influence on Epigenetic Regulation and Embryonic Development

Opfer, Sydney (2024) Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Their Influence on Epigenetic Regulation and Embryonic Development. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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While assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) are now widely used and considered to be generally safe, concerns have been raised about their potential effects on epigenetic regulation in gametes/embryos and their potential impact on offspring health. The use of ARTs has been associated with various epigenetic effects and potential impact on embryonic development. While this is mostly supported by animal studies, the results are relatively less consistent across human studies. The external environment of ART can cause disruptions in DNA methylation or other epigenetic regulation mechanisms, which can result in altered gene expression. ART processes such as ovarian stimulation, cryopreservation, and culture media/conditions are a few of the many that can interfere with epigenetic regulation mechanisms. Epigenetics is an emerging field and various aspects of epigenetic regulation, beyond DNA methylation, remain understudied as related to ART. However, since the number of women using ART is only increasing, it is extremely important for researchers to comprehensively study various aspects of epigenetic regulation that can be influenced by ARTs in future and larger studies given the vulnerability of early embryos to such influences due to epigenetic reprogramming. There is a significant public health relevance to these effects because they can lead to future disease risk later in the child’s life. Because ART is a relatively new development in the field of reproductive health, researchers have not yet been able to follow ART-conceived children into later adulthood to monitor long-term health outcomes compared to the naturally conceived population. Therefore, it is of significant public health importance to determine the long-term consequences of ARTs and identify ways to render the related techniques safer and as close to the natural conception and in-utero environment as possible for the most advantageous health results.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Opfer, SydneySJO30@pitt.eduSJO30
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDemirci, F. Yesimfyd1@pitt.edufyd1UNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberSekikawa, Akiraakira@pitt.eduakiraUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberRunnels, Lauralaura@laurarunnels.comUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 21 May 2024
Date Type: Completion
Submission Date: 23 April 2024
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 43
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Human Genetics
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Epigenetics, Assisted Reproductive Technologies
Date Deposited: 21 May 2024 15:03
Last Modified: 21 May 2024 15:03


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