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Review

The Role of Mitochondria in Human Fertility and Early Embryo Development: What Can We Learn for Clinical Application of Assessing and Improving Mitochondrial DNA?

1
Invicta Research and Development Center, 81-740 Sopot, Poland
2
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecological Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University of Gdansk, 80-210 Gdansk, Poland
3
Department of Gamete and Embryo Biology, Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, 10-748 Olsztyn, Poland
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Lon J. van Winkle
Cells 2022, 11(5), 797; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells11050797
Received: 25 January 2022 / Revised: 22 February 2022 / Accepted: 23 February 2022 / Published: 24 February 2022
Mitochondria are well known as ‘the powerhouses of the cell’. Indeed, their major role is cellular energy production driven by both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA. Such a feature makes these organelles essential for successful fertilisation and proper embryo implantation and development. Generally, mitochondrial DNA is exclusively maternally inherited; oocyte’s mitochondrial DNA level is crucial to provide sufficient ATP content for the developing embryo until the blastocyst stage of development. Additionally, human fertility and early embryogenesis may be affected by either point mutations or deletions in mitochondrial DNA. It was suggested that their accumulation may be associated with ovarian ageing. If so, is mitochondrial dysfunction the cause or consequence of ovarian ageing? Moreover, such an obvious relationship of mitochondria and mitochondrial genome with human fertility and early embryo development gives the field of mitochondrial research a great potential to be of use in clinical application. However, even now, the area of assessing and improving DNA quantity and function in reproductive medicine drives many questions and uncertainties. This review summarises the role of mitochondria and mitochondrial DNA in human reproduction and gives an insight into the utility of their clinical use. View Full-Text
Keywords: embryo; embryogenesis; oocyte; oogenesis; fertility; mitochondria; mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA); mitochondrial score; mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT); autologous mitochondrial transfer embryo; embryogenesis; oocyte; oogenesis; fertility; mitochondria; mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA); mitochondrial score; mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT); autologous mitochondrial transfer
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MDPI and ACS Style

Podolak, A.; Woclawek-Potocka, I.; Lukaszuk, K. The Role of Mitochondria in Human Fertility and Early Embryo Development: What Can We Learn for Clinical Application of Assessing and Improving Mitochondrial DNA? Cells 2022, 11, 797. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells11050797

AMA Style

Podolak A, Woclawek-Potocka I, Lukaszuk K. The Role of Mitochondria in Human Fertility and Early Embryo Development: What Can We Learn for Clinical Application of Assessing and Improving Mitochondrial DNA? Cells. 2022; 11(5):797. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells11050797

Chicago/Turabian Style

Podolak, Amira, Izabela Woclawek-Potocka, and Krzysztof Lukaszuk. 2022. "The Role of Mitochondria in Human Fertility and Early Embryo Development: What Can We Learn for Clinical Application of Assessing and Improving Mitochondrial DNA?" Cells 11, no. 5: 797. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells11050797

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