Northwestern researchers have discovered and developed a novel way to improve the outcome of assisted reproductive technology (ART). They found that zinc plays a critical and previously unrecognized role in the control of meiotic progression in the mammalian oocyte. By manipulating zinc availability, primarily through chelation, they show that an arrested egg can be activated and resume the cell cycle. This invention involves the use of zinc chelation, via intracellular, extracellular or substrate-attached chelators, to limit zinc availability and promote progression through specific meiotic arrest points. The utilization of these zinc-based tools could potentially lead to the production of fertilizable gametes in cases where oocytes collected are arrested and would currently be considered unusable with existing technologies.
|State||Published - Jan 17 2013|