Melatonin levels and microRNA (miRNA) relative expression profile in the follicular ambient microenvironment in patients undergoing in vitro fertilization process

Khan H. L. , Bhatti S., Abbas S., KALOĞLU C. , Qurat-ul-Ain Zahra S., Khan Y. L. , ...More

Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10815-020-02010-2
  • Title of Journal : Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics


© 2020, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.Purpose: Intrafollicular fluid (IFF) melatonin plays a decisive role in maintaining granulosa cells’ DNA integrity and protects them against apoptosis. It reduces oxidative stress and improves the oocyte quality with a higher fertilization rate. Method: This prospective study investigated the antioxidant property of IFF melatonin and its impact on IVF outcome parameters. We also explored the relative expression of five microRNAs (miR-663b, miR-320a, miR-766-3p, miR-132-3p, miR-16-5p) and levels of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) by real-time PCR in unexplained infertile patients. We collected 425 follicular fluid (FF) samples containing mature oocytes from 295 patients undergoing IVF. Results: Patients were subgrouped based on IFF melatonin concentration (group A ≤ 30 pg/mL, group B > 70 to ≤ 110 pg/mL, group C > 111 to ≤ 385 pg/mL). Our results showed that patients with ≤ 30 pg/mL IFF melatonin levels have significantly higher oxidative stress markers, cfDNA levels, and lower relative expression of miR-663b, miR-320a, miR-766-3p, miR-132-3p, and miR-16-5p compared to other subgroups (p < 0.001). Similarly, they have a low fertilization rate and a reduced number of high-quality day 3 embryos. Conclusion: Findings suggest that the therapeutic use of melatonin produces a considerable rise in the number of mature oocytes retrieved, fertilization rate, and good-quality embryo selection. Furthermore, miRNA signature enhances the quality of embryo selection, thus, may allow us to classify them as non-invasive biomarkers to identify good-quality embryos.