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Edwin A Mellisho, Mario A Briones, Alejandra E Velásquez, Joel Cabezas, Fidel O Castro, and Lleretny Rodríguez-Álvarez

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) secreted by blastocysts may be clinically relevant, as indicator of embryo viability on in vitro fertilization. We tested if the characteristics of EVs secreted during blastulation are related to embryo viability. Morulae were individually cultured in SOF media depleted of EVs until day 7.5 post IVF. Viable embryos were determined by a system of extended in vitro culture of bovine embryos until day 11 (post-hatching development). Afterward, a retrospective classification of blastocyst and culture media was performed based on blastulation time (early blastulation (EB) or late blastulation (LB)) and post-hatching development at day 11 (viable (V) or non-viable embryo (NV)). A total of 254 blastocysts and their culture media were classified in four groups (V-EB, NV-EB, V-LB, NV-LB). Group V-EB had a larger blastocyst diameter (170.8 μm), higher proportion of good-quality blastocysts (77%) and larger mean size of population of EVs (122.9 nm), although the highest concentration of EVs (5.75 × 109 particles/mL) were in group NV-EB. Furthermore, small RNA sequencing detected two biotypes, miRNA (86–91%) and snoRNA (9–14%), with a total of 182 and 32 respectively. In differential expression analysis of miRNAs between V versus NV blastocysts, there were 12 miRNAs upregulated and 15 miRNAs downregulated. Binary logistic regression was used to construct a non-invasive novel model to select viable embryos, based on a combination of variables of blastocyst morphokinetics and EVs characteristics, the ROC-AUC was 0.853. We concluded that characteristics of EVs secreted during blastulation vary depending on embryo quality.