Marc-André SIRARD (Canada)
After graduated studies at University Laval on in vitro fertilization to generate the first clinical method to produce test-tubes calves in 1985, he went for a post-doctoral training in Wisconsin to study in vitro maturation of oocytes. He came back to Québec in 1987 and became a industrial chair professor in 1990.He founded the Centre de Recherche en Biologie de la Reproduction in 1995 which has grown to include more than 100 people today. He obtained a senior Canadian Research Chair in 2000 on genomics applied to reproduction and has led The EmbryoGENE strategic network on mammalian embryos. He has published over 281 scientific papers and has been invited to give over 75 invited lectures in international meetings. His current research activities are focus on the influence of the ovarian environment on oocyte quality in human and large animals.
The 3 Main Reasons for Sub-optimal Ovarian Response and Poor Oocyte Qualities: Genomic Analysis of Failed Cycles
The success rate of IVF in humans remains remarkably low (<40%) for a medical procedure performed since 4 decades. Our laboratory is interested in the genomic analysis of follicular cells from IVF cycles that failed to generate a pregnancy compared to positive outcome. The granulosa cells recovered at oocyte collection even as a pool of all follicle should inform on how the ovary responded to the stimulation treatment. Using granulosa cells from a given cycle, we generated data allowing the categorization of failures in 3 main sub- groups amenable for correctives measures. A total of 165 genes were differently expressed (P <0.05, fold change >1.5) in the negative group compared to the pregnancy group, including many pro-inflammatory cytokines or other factors related to inflammation. Several factors, some of which act upstream from vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), were also overexpressed in the non-pregnant group. The functional analysis highlighted the importance of the immune system and inflammatory reactions and showed an imbalance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory mediators which may account for the failure to conceive following ovarian stimulation. In addition, other differentially expressed genes appear related to abnormal differentiation and increased apoptosis. Using specific markers associated with the maturity status of the follicle that were generated in a previous study with individual aspiration of oocytes, we were able to associate the failure signature with either immature or over mature follicles resulting in incompetent oocyte and negative outcome. This new evaluation procedure in response to ovarian stimulation can be used to personalise treatments according to individual responses.