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Baoheng Gui, Zhongyuan Yao, Yanping Li, Donge Liu, Nenghui Liu, Yan Xia, Yanru Huang, Libin Mei, Ruiyu Ma, Sijia Lu, Desheng Liang and Lingqian Wu

Balanced chromosomal rearrangements (CRs) are among the most common genetic abnormalities in humans. In the present study, we have investigated the degree of consistency between the chromosomal composition of the blastocyst inner cell mass (ICM) and trophectoderm (TE) in carriers with balanced CR, which has not been previously addressed. As a secondary aim, we have also evaluated the validity of cleavage-stage preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) based on fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) of blastocysts from CR carriers. Blastocyst ICM and TE were screened for chromosomal aneuploidy and imbalance of CR-associated chromosomes based on whole-genome copy number variation analysis by low-coverage next-generation sequencing (NGS) following single-cell whole-genome amplification by multiple annealing and looping-based amplification cycling. The NGS results were analyzed without knowledge of cleavage-stage FISH results. NGS results for blastocyst ICM and TE from CR carriers were 86.49% (32/37) consistent. Of the 1702 (37×46) chromosomes examined, 99.47% (1693/1702) showed consistency. However, only 40.0% (18/45) of all embryos had consistent results for chromosomes involved in CR, as determined by blastocyst NGS and cleavage-stage FISH. Of the 85 CR-affected chromosomes analyzed by FISH, 37.65% (32/85) were incongruous with NGS results, with 87.5% (28/32) showing imbalanced composition by FISH but balanced composition by NGS. These results indicate that chromosomal composition of blastocyst ICM and TE in balanced CR carriers is highly consistent, and that PGD based on cleavage-stage FISH is inaccurate; therefore, using blastocyst TE biopsies for NGS-based PGD is recommended for identifying chromosomal imbalance in embryos from balanced CR carriers.

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Lan Xiao, Qiong Zhang, Xi Huang, Aihua He, Shi Xie and Yanping Li

Uterine peristalsis plays a vital role in fertility and female reproductive health. Although uterine peristalsis is thought to be correlated with some hormones and uterine pathologies, the physiological mechanisms underlying uterine peristalsis remain not quite clear. This study aimed to identify changes in miRNA in the endometrium of patients with abnormally high-frequency (hyper-) and low-frequency (hypo-) peristalsis to clarify whether miRNAs regulate uterine peristalsis. We used a miRNA microarray and RT-qPCR to identify changes in miRNA in endometrial tissue, a collagen gel contraction assay on co-cultured human endometrial stromal cells (ESCs) to analyze how the altered regulation of miRNAs influences uterine smooth muscle (USM) contraction, Western blots and other assays to elucidate the potential mechanisms involved. We found that among several differentially regulated miRNAs, miR-29c-3p was overexpressed in endometrial samples from patients with hypoperistalsis; oxytocin receptor (OXTR) expression was low in endometrial samples from patients with hypoperistalsis. Bioinformatic analysis and luciferase assays indicated that OXTR is a target of miR-29c-3p, which attenuates its expression. Additionally, downregulation of miR-29c-3p in ESC cultures increased the expression of aldo-keto reductase family 1, member C3 (AKR1C3) and increased the release of prostaglandin F2 alpha (PGF2α). Co-cultured ESCs overexpressing miR-29c-3p reduced USM cell contractions; the opposite tendency was found when ESCs were transfected with a miR-29c-3p inhibitor. To conclude, miR-29c-3p in endometrial cells regulates uterine contractility by attenuating the expression of OXTR and reducing PGF2α release.