Embryologist of the month of May 2016

11 Ιάν 2017 Uncategorised
Dr. Karl Illmensee received his PhD at the University of Munich, Germany in 1970. From 1971-1978 he was appointed Research Associate at various University and Medical Institutes in the USA. In 1978 he was appointed Professor of Embryology and Developmental Genetics at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. In 1988 he was nominated Professor of Molecular Embryology at the University of Salzburg, Austria.
Dr. Illmensee together with his american colleagues reported the first successful cloning in mammals in 1981.

In 1996 Dr. Illmensee was appointed Professor of Reproductive Medicine at the University Hospital of Innsbruck, Austria until his Emeritus retirement in 2005. From 2002-2006 he served as a Director of Research and Development of Reprogen Ltd., Limassol, Cyprus and the American Andrology Institute at Lexington,USA.

In 2007 Dr. Illmensee was appointed Laboratory Director at the Genesis Fertility Center, Patras, Greece. Since then, his research activities have been focused on embryo twinning and growth factors associated with embryo culture in human IVF. During his scientific and clinical career spanning over five decades, Dr. Illmensee has published many scientific articles and served as member of the advisory board for several international institutions and scientific journals. He has been invited as speaker and chairman of numerous international conferences.
Dr. Illmensee was elected a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) and was voted as Austrian representative for the advisory committee of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE). He holds an honorary membership at the Medical Society of the World Health Organisation (WHO). During his long-standing and renowned career Prof.Illmensee has been honoured with several international awards.

Genesis Fertility at ASRM 2016

11 Ιάν 2017 Uncategorised

ASRM 2016
72nd ASRM Scientific Congress & Expo
Salt Lake City, UT, USA
P-678 Wednesday, October 19, 2016
A. Vithoulkas,a M. J. Levanduski,b V. Goudas,c,a K. Illmensee.a aGen- esis Fertility Center, Patras, Greece; bEmbryology, Westchester Fertility and Reproductive Endocrinology, White Plains, NY; cAdvanced Fertility Center of Texas, Houston, TX.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate and compare the presence of IGF-I and IGF- II in human embryo culture with and without autologous granulosa cell supplementation.
DESIGN: Randomized prospective comparative study.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: 19 IVF couples agreed to participate in this study. For autologous comparison, half of the MII-oocytes from the same patient were assigned randomly either to co-culture (group I) or to regular culture (group II), treated for ICSI and cultured in microdrops of Irvine Continuous Single Culture Medium with 15% SSS. As control, autologous granulosa cell clusters were cultured alone (group C). On day 3, 50ml of su- pernatants from group I, II and control group C were collected and stored frozen. Supernatants were analyzed for IGF-I and IGF-II with growth factor-specific magnetic bead panels by Lab Supplies Inc., Athens, Greece.
RESULTS: IGF-I was not detectable in group II, although it was detected in considerable levels in group I and in the control group C. The difference in concentration of IGF-I between groups I and C was not statistically significant (table 1). IGF-II was detected in all groups (see Table 1). However, IGF-II concentration in group II was at significantly higher levels when compared to group I and group C (p < 0.05 and < 0.04 respectively, two- tailed unpaired t-tests).
CONCLUSIONS: We identified IGF-I both in co-culture and control supernatants but not in regular IVF culture, confirming that IGF-I is secreted from granulosa cells. We now propose that IGF-I is another essential growth factor for embryo culture. Investigators have in the past shown an anti- apoptotic effect of IGF-I on cell growth and morphology when added separately in embryo culture media without co-culture. Separately, we noted that IGF-II is present in samples from all groups, but excessively higher in samples from regular IVF culture, thus suggesting that granulosa cells regulate the level of IGF-II in the co-culture. We have previously documented that granulosa-cell supplementation to human embryo culture improves embryo development, due to beneficial contribution of growth factors (Ref. 1). Sup- plementation of embryo culture with granulosa cell clusters is therefore recommended for IVF.
1. A. Vithoulkas, M. Levanduski, V.T. Goudas, K. Illmensee Growth factors associated with embryo co-culture and autologous granulosa cell clusters compared to regular embryo culture in IVF. Fertil Steril, 102, 3S, e218, 2014