Presented at this year’s ESHRE conference, scientists from the Max Planck Institute, Germany, shared their findings on the role of zona pellucida (ZP) proteins and embryo viability.
The extracellular role of the zona pellucida is known to protect embryos and eggs and prevent polyspermy, however, this study revealed mouse oocytes depleted of some ZP proteins were non-viable.
Fertilised oocytes depleted of the ZP3 protein, did not develop past the 1-cell stage, while those depleted of the ZP2 protein arrested at the 2 and 4-cell stage. Negative controls had blastocyst development rates of over 50%.
These results suggest an intracellular role for ZP proteins in embryo development in mouse, although it is noted that human oocytes contain an additional ZP protein; ZP4.
References: M Boiani, H Drexler, S Israel, O-238 Critical requirement of intracellular zona pellucida proteins for mouse embryo survival, Human Reproduction, Volume 37, Issue Supplement_1, July 2022, deac106.020, https://doi.org/10.1093/humrep/deac106.020