Glutamine improves human preimplantation development in vitro

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Objective: To study the effect of glutamine on human preimplantation embryo development in vitro. Design: A randomized, controlled, prospective study of 138 normally fertilized and nontransferred human embryos. On day 2 after fertilization, the embryos were allocated randomly to glucose-free medium with or without 1 mM of glutamine. Setting: A university hospital- based IVF-ET program. Patient(s): Couples undergoing IVF treatment. Intervention(s): Embryo culture. Main Outcome Measure(s): Blastocyst formation, trophectoderm and inner cell mass cell numbers, and pyruvate uptake and lactate production by individual embryos. Result(s): A higher proportion of embryos reached the morula (89% versus 68%, respectively) and blastocyst (71% versus 54%, respectively) stages when cultured with glutamine compared with embryos cultured without glutamine. Blastocyst cell numbers were not statistically significantly different for embryos grown in the presence or absence of glutamine. Pyruvate uptake and lactate production were higher in the presence of glutamine throughout development; these increases were statistically significant at the blastocyst stage. Conclusion(s): This study demonstrates, that supplementation of the culture medium with glutamine is beneficial for human preimplantation embryo development in vitro, increasing the proportion of embryos that develop to the morula and blastocyst stages.

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Devreker, F., Winston, R. M. L., & Hardy, K. (1998). Glutamine improves human preimplantation development in vitro. Fertility and Sterility, 69(2), 293–299.

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