To date, a wide range of assisted reproductive technologies is available for patients with impaired fertility. In general, the current methods of reproductive medicine are considered safe and do not significantly increase the frequency of birth of children with diseases or congenital malformations. However, the evidence has been accumulating in literature on higher risk of genomic imprinting diseases (Beckwith-Wiedemann and Angelman syndromes) as a result of using assisted reproductive technologies. In most cases examined, the appearance of these syndromes was explained by defective methylation status of imprinted genes. It has been suggested that manipulations with gametes and embryos during the period of total epigenetic modification of their genomes may act as potential risk factors of assisted reproductive technologies. Moreover, overcoming many natural reproductive barriers may contribute to the development of some pathological phenotypes. The review summarizes current views on epigenetic risk factors associated with assisted reproductive technologies.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 27, 2007
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