Influence of conception and delivery mode on stress response marker Oct4B1 and imprinted gene expression related to embryo development: A cohort study


Background: Recent scientific data support that the mode of conception and delivery may influence epigenetic regulation and therefore embryo development. Octamer-binding transcription factor 4-B1 (OCT4B1), a novel variant of OCT4 with yet unknown biological function, is suggested to have a potential role in mediating cellular stress response. Furthermore, Insulinlike Growth Factor 2 (IGF2), Mesoderm-specific Transcript (MEST) and paternally expressed gene 10 (PEG10) are genes known as imprinted and are regulated via means of epigenetic regulation. The influence of delivery mode and conception on epigenetic regulation is an active research field.

Objective: Our aim was to correlate the expression level of Oct4B1 and the expression and methylation level of IGF2, MEST, and PEG10 imprinted genes with the mode of delivery and conception in the umbilical cord blood of newborns.

Materials and Methods: Samples of umbilical cord blood from infants born after vaginal delivery, caesarean section (CS) with the infant in cephalic position and CS due to breech position were examined. Furthermore, the investigation included infants conceived through means of assisted reproductive technology.

Results: No statistically significant differences were found in mRNA expression levels between different modes of conception and delivery (p = 0.96). Oct4B1, IGF2, MEST, and PEG10 expression levels do not seem to be significantly affected by different modes of conception and delivery.

Conclusion: These results indicate that the expression and methylation patterns of Oct4B1, IGF2, MEST and PEG10 in umbilical cord blood are not affected by the conception and delivery mode.

Key words: Conception, Fertilization in vitro, Genomic imprinting, Fetal blood.

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