The effect of GM-CSF on development and aneuploidy in murine blastocysts

Aisha Elaimi, Katayoon Gardner, Kedarraja Kistnareddy, Joyce Harper

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Growth factors and cytokines are present in small quantities in the oviduct and uterus and some are synthesized by the growing embryo. Granulocytesmacrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is known as an important regulator, which enhances cell proliferation and reduces apoptosis in developing blastocysts, during normal fetal and placental development. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether adding GM-CSF to the culture media affects blastulation or the chromosomal status of mouse embryos. Methods Murine embryos were cultured in vitro from the 2-cell stage until the blastocyst stage in the presence of different concentrations of GM-CSF of 0 ng/ml (control), 1, 2, 5 and 10 ng/ml. The development of each embryo was noted and the embryos were then spread for fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using locus-specific probes (LSI) for chromosomes 2, 11 and 16 in all embryos. Results No difference in the blastulation potential was noted with the addition of 1 and 2 ng/ml of GM-CSF compared with the controls, but there was a significant decrease (P < 0.001) in the blastulation rate in the 5 and 10 ng/ml concentrations. The rate of mosaicism/aneuploidy noted in all GM-CSF groups (1, 2, 5 and 10 ng/ml) was slightly higher than in the control group (0 ng/ml GM-CSF) but the differences were not significant. In the mosaic embryos from the GM-CSF cultured groups, the percentage of aneuploid cells was statistically higher than in the control group. Conclusions GM-CSF exerted a negative impact on blastocyst development at higher concentrations. GM-CSF did not affect the rates of mosaicism/aneuploidy, but did increase the percentage of aneuploid cells within the mosaic embryos. Adding GM-CSF to the culture media for clinical use requires further studies either on human or animal models to evaluate its long-term effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1590-1595
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Aneuploidy
  • Embryo development
  • FISH
  • GM-CSF
  • Growth factors


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