Background: ICSI is an assisted reproduction technique (ART) mainly used to overcome male infertility. Nowadays, ICSI is employed frequently due to its high success rate, despite it being highly invasive (i.e. epigenetic risk). Recent studies in ART offspring show a higher incidence of cardio-metabolic risk than in naturally-conceived (NC) controls. Thus, in our prior untargeted metabolomic study between ICSI and NC prepubertal girls, we demonstrated insulin resistance in the former.
Aims and objectives: Untargeted plasma metabolomic analysis of ICSI and NC prepubertal boys was performed to detect possible gender-dimorphic metabolic differences with respect to the girl study group.
Methods: Blood plasma samples of strictly matched ICSI and NC boys were analysed by gas chromatographymass spectrometry (GCMS) metabolomics. Both metabolomic and biochemical data were analysed using multivariate statistics and compared with the corresponding results of the girl ICSI and NC groups. The results were visualized on a reconstructed inter-organ metabolic network.
Results: Combining metabolomic and biochemical measurements differentiated the ICSI and NC groups in both genders, with this difference being more prominent in the girls. However, the discriminatory metabolites were gender-specific. Whereas in both sexes a significantly higher concentration in insulin resistance associated metabolites was observed in the ICSI group, in the ICSI boys the largest difference relatively to the NC group was the significantly smaller concentration of the aromatic amino acids, potentially correlated with brain and liver abnormalities.
Conclusions: Our results suggest an increased risk for metabolic disorders as a result of ICSI in both boys and girls. By providing a high resolution perspective of the metabolic state in pre-pubertal children, metabolomics might help develop gender-specific tests and treatments.
Funding: Hellenic Endocrine Society.
01 Oct 2015 - 03 Oct 2015