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Genomic imprinting and assisted reproductive technology: connections and potential risks.

Authors
  • Thompson, Jennifer R
  • Williams, Carmen J
Type
Published Article
Journal
Seminars in reproductive medicine
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2005
Volume
23
Issue
3
Pages
285–295
Identifiers
PMID: 16059835
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) has become the standard of care for the treatment of many types of infertility. As a result, the numbers of children born after ART worldwide has escalated dramatically, and attention has turned to the potential risks of these procedures to the health and development of the children. In addition to the well-established risks of multiple gestations, recent reports have suggested a link between ART and rare disorders of imprinting including Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome and Angelman syndrome. Here we review molecular mechanisms of genomic imprinting, consider how ART procedures could influence imprinting of gametes and embryos, and review the reports connecting imprinting disorders to ART. We highlight the importance of long-term follow-up of children born after ART, and emphasize the need for an improved understanding of the mechanisms of imprinting at the molecular level so that methods to prevent disruption of this critical epigenetic process can be developed.

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