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  • The epidermal growth factor network: role in oocyte growth, maturation and developmental competence
    Hum. Reprod. Update (IF 11.748) Pub Date : 2017-09-20
    Dulama Richani, Robert B Gilchrist

    The LH surge induces great physiological changes within the preovulatory follicle, which culminate in the ovulation of a mature oocyte that is capable of supporting embryo and foetal development. However, unlike mural granulosa cells, the oocyte and its surrounding cumulus cells are not directly responsive to LH, indicating that the LH signal is mediated by secondary factors produced by the granulosa cells. The mechanisms by which the oocyte senses the ovulatory LH signal and hence prepares for ovulation has been a subject of considerable controversy for the past four decades. Within the last 15 years several significant insights have been made into the molecular mechanisms orchestrating oocyte development, maturation and ovulation. These findings centre on the epidermal growth factor (EGF) pathway and the role it plays in the complex signalling network that finely regulates oocyte maturation and ovulation.

  • How effective are weight-loss interventions for improving fertility in women and men who are overweight or obese? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the evidence
    Hum. Reprod. Update (IF 11.748) Pub Date : 2017-09-13
    Damian Best, Alison Avenell, Siladitya Bhattacharya

    The prevalence of obesity is increasing worldwide, with a corresponding increase in overweight and obese patients referred with infertility. This systematic review aimed to determine whether non-surgical weight reduction strategies result in an improvement in reproductive parameters affected by obesity, e.g. delayed time to pregnancy, oligozoospermia and azoospermia. No prior reviews have examined this within the general fertility population, or in both sexes.

  • Human female meiosis revised: new insights into the mechanisms of chromosome segregation and aneuploidies from advanced genomics and time-lapse imaging
    Hum. Reprod. Update (IF 11.748) Pub Date : 2017-08-30
    Antonio Capalbo, Eva R. Hoffmann, Danilo Cimadomo, Filippo Maria Ubaldi, Laura Rienzi

    The unbalanced transmission of chromosomes in human gametes and early preimplantation embryos causes aneuploidy, which is a major cause of infertility and pregnancy failure. A baseline of 20% of human oocytes are estimated to be aneuploid and this increases exponentially from 30 to 35 years, reaching on average 80% by 42 years. As a result, reproductive senescence in human females is predominantly determined by the accelerated decline in genetic quality of oocytes from 30 years of age.

  • Disentangling puberty: novel neuroendocrine pathways and mechanisms for the control of mammalian puberty
    Hum. Reprod. Update (IF 11.748) Pub Date : 2017-08-30
    M.S. Avendaño, M.J. Vazquez, M. Tena-Sempere

    Puberty is a complex developmental event, controlled by sophisticated regulatory networks that integrate peripheral and internal cues and impinge at the brain centers driving the reproductive axis. The tempo of puberty is genetically determined but is also sensitive to numerous modifiers, from metabolic and sex steroid signals to environmental factors. Recent epidemiological evidence suggests that the onset of puberty is advancing in humans, through as yet unknown mechanisms. In fact, while much knowledge has been gleaned recently on the mechanisms responsible for the control of mammalian puberty, fundamental questions regarding the intimate molecular and neuroendocrine pathways responsible for the precise timing of puberty and its deviations remain unsolved.

  • Zika virus and reproduction: facts, questions and current management
    Hum. Reprod. Update (IF 11.748) Pub Date : 2017-08-09
    Sylvie Epelboin, Emmanuel Dulioust, Loïc Epelboin, Alexandra Benachi, Françoise Merlet, Catherine Patrat

    Zika virus (ZIKV) is an arthropod-borne virus of the family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus. ZIKV is currently the focus of an ongoing pandemic and worldwide public health emergency. Although originally isolated in 1947, its pathogenesis was poorly known and very few documented infections were published until recently. Its route of transmission and its impact on reproduction and pregnancy have only recently begun to be disclosed.

  • Metabolomics as a tool to identify biomarkers to predict and improve outcomes in reproductive medicine: a systematic review
    Hum. Reprod. Update (IF 11.748) Pub Date : 2017-08-08
    Timothy Bracewell-Milnes, Srdjan Saso, Hossam Abdalla, Dimitrios Nikolau, Julian Norman-Taylor, Mark Johnson, Elaine Holmes, Meen-Yau Thum

    Infertility is a complex disorder with significant medical, psychological and financial consequences for patients. With live-birth rates per cycle below 30% and a drive from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to encourage single embryo transfer, there is significant research in different areas aiming to improve success rates of fertility treatments. One such area is investigating the causes of infertility at a molecular level, and metabolomics techniques provide a platform for studying relevant biofluids in the reproductive tract.

  • Temporal trends in sperm count: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis
    Hum. Reprod. Update (IF 11.748) Pub Date : 2017-07-25
    Hagai Levine, Niels Jørgensen, Anderson Martino-Andrade, Jaime Mendiola, Dan Weksler-Derri, Irina Mindlis, Rachel Pinotti, Shanna H. Swan

    Reported declines in sperm counts remain controversial today and recent trends are unknown. A definitive meta-analysis is critical given the predictive value of sperm count for fertility, morbidity and mortality.

  • The diagnosis of male infertility: an analysis of the evidence to support the development of global WHO guidance—challenges and future research opportunities
    Hum. Reprod. Update (IF 11.748) Pub Date : 2017-07-19
    Christopher L.R. Barratt, Lars Björndahl, Christopher J. De Jonge, Dolores J. Lamb, Francisco Osorio Martini, Robert McLachlan, Robert D. Oates, Sheryl van der Poel, Bianca St John, Mark Sigman, Rebecca Sokol, Herman Tournaye

    Herein, we describe the consensus guideline methodology, summarize the evidence-based recommendations we provided to the World Health Organization (WHO) for their consideration in the development of global guidance and present a narrative review of the diagnosis of male infertility as related to the eight prioritized (problem or population (P), intervention (I), comparison (C) and outcome(s) (O) (PICO)) questions. Additionally, we discuss the challenges and research gaps identified during the synthesis of this evidence.

  • Novel reproductive technologies to prevent mitochondrial disease
    Hum. Reprod. Update (IF 11.748) Pub Date : 2017-06-23
    Lyndsey Craven, Mao-Xing Tang, Gráinne S. Gorman, Petra De Sutter, Björn Heindryckx

    The use of nuclear transfer (NT) has been proposed as a novel reproductive treatment to overcome the transmission of maternally-inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations. Pathogenic mutations in mtDNA can cause a wide-spectrum of life-limiting disorders, collectively known as mtDNA disease, for which there are currently few effective treatments and no known cures. The many unique features of mtDNA make genetic counselling challenging for women harbouring pathogenic mtDNA mutations but reproductive options that involve medical intervention are available that will minimize the risk of mtDNA disease in their offspring. This includes PGD, which is currently offered as a clinical treatment but will not be suitable for all. The potential for NT to reduce transmission of mtDNA mutations has been demonstrated in both animal and human models, and has recently been clinically applied not only to prevent mtDNA disease but also for some infertility cases. In this review, we will interrogate the different NT techniques, including a discussion on the available safety and efficacy data of these technologies for mtDNA disease prevention. In addition, we appraise the evidence for the translational use of NT technologies in infertility.

  • X chromosome inactivation in human pluripotent stem cells as a model for human development: back to the drawing board?
    Hum. Reprod. Update (IF 11.748) Pub Date : 2017-06-05
    Mieke Geens, Susana M. Chuva De Sousa Lopes

    Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC), both embryonic and induced (hESC and hiPSC), are regarded as a valuable in vitro model for early human development. In order to fulfil this promise, it is important that these cells mimic as closely as possible the in vivo molecular events, both at the genetic and epigenetic level. One of the most important epigenetic events during early human development is X chromosome inactivation (XCI), the transcriptional silencing of one of the two X chromosomes in female cells. XCI is important for proper development and aberrant XCI has been linked to several pathologies. Recently, novel data obtained using high throughput single-cell technology during human preimplantation development have suggested that the XCI mechanism is substantially different from XCI in mouse. It has also been suggested that hPSC show higher complexity in XCI than the mouse. Here we compare the available recent data to understand whether XCI during human preimplantation can be properly recapitulated using hPSC.

  • Baseline anatomical assessment of the uterus and ovaries in infertile women: a systematic review of the evidence on which assessment methods are the safest and most effective in terms of improving fertility outcomes
    Hum. Reprod. Update (IF 11.748) Pub Date : 2017-07-18
    Sarah C. Armstrong, Marian Showell, Elizabeth A. Stewart, Robert W. Rebar, Sheryl Vanderpoel, Cynthia M. Farquhar

    This review focuses on the initial presentation of women who suspect that they are infertile, and how best to assess the anatomy of their uterus and ovaries in order to investigate the cause of their infertility, and potentially improve desired fertility outcomes. This review was undertaken as part of a World Health Organization initiative to assess the evidence available to address guidance for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility within a global context. Providing access to care for infertile women will help to ease the psycho-social burdens, such as ostracization, intimate partner violence and other negative consequences of being involuntarily childless or unable to become pregnant despite desiring a biological child or children.

  • The role of TGF-β in the pathophysiology of peritoneal endometriosis
    Hum. Reprod. Update (IF 11.748) Pub Date : 2017-07-06
    Vicky J. Young, S.F. Ahmad, W. Colin Duncan, Andrew W. Horne

    Endometriosis is estimated to affect 6–10% of women of reproductive age and it is associated with chronic pelvic pain, dysmenorrhoea and subfertility. It is currently managed surgically or medically but symptoms recur in up to 75% of cases and available medical treatments have undesirable side effects. Endometriosis is defined as the presence of endometrial tissue outside the uterus with lesions typically found on the peritoneum. The aetiology of endometriosis is uncertain but there is increasing evidence that transforming growth factor (TGF)-β plays a major role.

  • GnRH antagonist versus long agonist protocols in IVF: a systematic review and meta-analysis accounting for patient type
    Hum. Reprod. Update (IF 11.748) Pub Date : 2017-07-14
    C.B. Lambalk, F.R. Banga, J.A. Huirne, M. Toftager, A. Pinborg, R. Homburg, F. van der Veen, M. van Wely

    Most reviews of IVF ovarian stimulation protocols have insufficiently accounted for various patient populations, such as ovulatory women, women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or women with poor ovarian response, and have included studies in which the agonist or antagonist was not the only variable between the compared study arms.

  • Non-classic congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency revisited: an update with a special focus on adolescent and adult women
    Hum. Reprod. Update (IF 11.748) Pub Date : 2017-06-05
    Enrico Carmina, Didier Dewailly, Héctor F. Escobar-Morreale, Fahrettin Kelestimur, Carlos Moran, Sharon Oberfield, Selma F. Witchel, Ricardo Azziz

    Non-classic congenital hyperplasia (NCAH) due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency is a common autosomal recessive disorder characterized by androgen excess.

  • Nitric oxide-heat shock protein axis in menopausal hot flushes: neglected metabolic issues of chronic inflammatory diseases associated with deranged heat shock response
    Hum. Reprod. Update (IF 11.748) Pub Date : 2017-07-18
    Antônio Azambuja Miragem, Paulo Ivo Homem de Bittencourt

    Although some unequivocal underlying mechanisms of menopausal hot flushes have been demonstrated in animal models, the paucity of similar approaches in humans impedes further mechanistic outcomes. Human studies might show some as yet unexpected physiological mechanisms of metabolic adaptation that permeate the phase of decreased oestrogen levels in both symptomatic and asymptomatic women. This is particularly relevant because both the severity and time span of hot flushes are associated with increased risk of chronic inflammatory disease. On the other hand, oestrogen induces the expression of heat shock proteins of the 70 kDa family (HSP70), which are anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective protein chaperones, whose expression is modulated by different types of physiologically stressful situations, including heat stress and exercise. Therefore, lower HSP70 expression secondary to oestrogen deficiency increases cardiovascular risk and predisposes the patient to senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) that culminates in chronic inflammatory diseases, such as obesities, type 2 diabetes, neuromuscular and neurodegenerative diseases.

Some contents have been Reproduced with permission of the American Chemical Society.
Some contents have been Reproduced by permission of The Royal Society of Chemistry.