Small noncoding RNAs (sncRNAs) are key regulators of the majority of human reproduction events. Understanding their function in the context of gametogenesis and embryogenesis will allow insight into the possible causes of in vitro fertilization (IVF) implantation failure. The aim of this study was to analyze the sncRNA expression profile of the spent culture media on day 4 after fertilization and to reveal a relationship with the morphofunctional characteristics of gametes and resultant embryos, in particular, with the embryo development and implantation potential. Thereto, cell-free, embryo-specific sncRNAs were identified by next generation sequencing (NGS) and quantified by reverse transcription coupled with polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in real-time. Significant differences in the expression level of let-7b-5p, let-7i-5p, piR020401, piR16735, piR19675, piR20326, and piR17716 were revealed between embryo groups of various morphological gradings. Statistically significant correlations were found between the expression profiles of piR16735 and piR020401 with the oocyte-cumulus complex number, let-7b-5p and piR020401 with metaphase II oocyte and two pronuclei embryo numbers, let-7i-5p and piR20497 with the spermatozoid count per milliliter of ejaculate, piR19675 with the percentage of linearly motile spermatozoids, let-7b-5p with the embryo development grade, and let-7i-5p with embryo implantation. According to partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA), the expression levels of let-7i-5p (Variable Importance in Projection score (VIP) = 1.6262), piR020401 (VIP = 1.45281), and piR20497 (VIP = 1.42765) have the strongest influences on the implantation outcome.
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