The Histidine-rich Glycoprotein in Reproduction

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: Infertility affects 15% of reproductive-aged couples. The milieu surrounding the growing embryo is of outmost importance, and should be optimised during in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Many biological processes, such as angiogenesis, coagulation, and immune processes need to be well regulated for a pregnancy to occur and progress normally. Histidine-rich glycoprotein (HRG) is a plasma protein that regulates components of these systems by building complexes with various ligands. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in HRG, denoted HRG C633T, seem to be of importance for IVF treatment outcomes. The aim of this thesis was to further investigate the proposed human fertility effects of the HRG C633T SNP.According to the findings of this thesis, the HRG C633T genotype is associated with primary recurrent miscarriage. Male HRG C633T genotype is associated with semen characteristics in infertile men, and pregnancy rates following IVF. However, the distribution of the HRG C633T SNP does not differ between infertile and fertile couples.We further examined the role of the region surrounding the HRG C633T SNP for regulation of endometrial angiogenesis and human embryo development. The region affects primary endometrial endothelial cell migration, proliferation and tube-formation in vitro but does not appear to affect human embryo development. No effect of the HRG peptide was noted on the secretome of human embryos. However, early embryos secrete proteins into the surrounding culture media and the level of secretion of VEGF-A, IL-6, EMMPRIN and PlGF is greater in embryos of higher developmental stages.In conclusion, the HRG C633T genotype appears to play a role only if infertility is established. The region surrounding HRG C633T SNP is of relevance in vitro for regulation of human endometrial endothelial cell angiogenesis. To predict which embryos to transfer in IVF, we have highlighted a number of proteins of interest for further investigation.