High serum IGF-1 levels are associated with pregnancy loss following frozen-thawed euploid embryo transfer cycles

Publication date: June 2018
Source:Journal of Reproductive Immunology, Volume 127
Author(s): Mohamad Irani, Dimitrios Nasioudis, Steven S. Witkin, Vinay Gunnala, Steven D. Spandorfer
An elevated level of insulin growth factor (IGF-1) in rat uterine fluid has been shown to exert detrimental effects of embryo development possibly leading to an increase in pregnancy loss. Interestingly, the administration of somatostatin to rats undergoing superovulation reduced IGF-1 levels in uterine luminal fluid and thus reversed its deleterious effects on embryo development and increased the number of normal embryos. Therefore, we investigated whether serum levels of IGF-1 correlate with the incidence of pregnancy loss following IVF. To account for aneuploidy and the effect of hormonal supplementation on serum IGF levels, we only included natural frozen-thawed euploid embryo transfer (N-FET) cycles. Sera collected in the follicular phase (cycle day 10) were tested for levels of IGF-1, IGF-2, and IGF-binding protein 1 (IGFBP-1) using quantitative ELISA. A total of 156 N-FET cycles were included: 120 resulted in a live birth whereas 36 led to a first trimester pregnancy loss. Women with a pregnancy loss had significantly higher serum IGF-1 levels compared to those who achieved a live birth (18.0 ± 1.1 vs. 14.6 ± 0.7 ng/mL, respectively). The two groups had comparable serum IGF-2 and IGFBP-1 levels. There was no significant difference in maternal age, body mass index, gravidity, parity, number of prior miscarriages, peak endometrial thickness, or infertility diagnosis between the two groups. In conclusion, women undergoing euploid blastocyst transfer with elevated serum IGF-1 concentrations may be at increased risk of pregnancy loss. This may constitute a novel molecular explanation of pregnancy loss of euploid conceptus.