Differential expression of tsRNAs and miRNAs in embryo culture medium: potential impact on embryo implantation
Purpose: Can small RNA derived from embryos in conditioned embryo culture medium (ECM) influence embryo implantation?
Methods: We employed small RNA sequencing to investigate the expression profiles of transfer RNA-derived small RNA (tsRNA) and microRNA (miRNA) in ECM from high-quality and low-quality embryos. Quantitative real-time PCR was employed to validate the findings of small RNA sequencing. Additionally, we conducted bioinformatics analysis to predict the potential functions of these small RNAs in embryo implantation. To establish the role of tiRNA-1:35-Leu-TAG-2 in embryonic trophoblast cell adhesion, we utilized co-culture systems involving JAR and Ishikawa cells.
Results: Our analysis revealed upregulation of nine tsRNAs and four miRNAs in ECM derived from high-quality embryos, whereas 37 tsRNAs and 12 miRNAs exhibited upregulation in ECM from low-quality embryos. The bioinformatics analysis of tsRNA, miRNA, and mRNA pathways indicated that their respective target genes may play pivotal roles in both embryo development and endometrial receptivity. Utilizing tiRNA mimics, we demonstrated that the prominently expressed tiRNA-1:35-Leu-TAG-2 in the low-quality ECM group can be internalized by Ishikawa cells. Notably, transfection of tiRNA-1:35-Leu-TAG-2 into Ishikawa cells reduced the attachment rate of JAR spheroids.
Conclusion: Our investigation uncovers significant variation in the expression profiles of tsRNAs and miRNAs between ECM derived from high- and low-quality embryos. Intriguingly, the release of tiRNA-1:35-Leu-TAG-2 by low-quality embryos detrimentally affects embryo implantation and endometrial receptivity. These findings provide fresh insights into understanding the molecular foundations of embryo-endometrial communication.
Keywords: Embryo culture medium; Embryo quality; Endometrial receptivity; miRNA; tsRNA.