Gene related to infertility identified

Updated: Nov 28, 2010, 00:00 AM IST

Tokyo: The gene that creates the right uterine environment following implantation of a fertilized egg has been identified, a group of researchers said.

The gene, detected through experiments on mice, is believed to play an important role in maintaining pregnancy at early stages as a fertilized egg does not grow if this gene does not function, according to Toru Miyazaki, professor at the University of Tokyo, who leads the group.

Given that human beings have similar genes and their pregnancy mechanism is close to that of mice, the group plans to collect blood samples to examine if there is a problem in
the gene among women receiving fertility treatment, after gaining approval from the ethics committee of the University of Tokyo`s medical school, Miyazaki said.

"While current sterility treatment focuses mainly on sperm, egg and ovulation, it is important to look at the uterine environment following the implantation," Miyazaki
said.

He indicated the newly identified gene may provide clues to clarification of infertility mechanisms and development of treatments.

Details of the process from implantation of a fertilized egg to placental formation still remain unclear, according to experts.

Kazuhiko Imakawa, associate professor at the University of Tokyo, said it is quite significant that the research has shown a part of these unexplained mechanisms.

While the latest research will not directly lead to fertility treatment, further study should boost the success rate of treatment, he said.

PTI