A baby conceived with DNA from three people was born on Tuesday in Greece, thanks to a technique used for the first time in the case of infertility, announced on Thursday that the Greek centre Institute of Life (IVF) in a press release
The mother, a 32 year old woman, had attempted, without success, several in vitro fertilisation (IVF), said the medical team greco-Spanish, which was conducted at the assisted conception. This technique had already been used to address the transmission of genetic abnormalities.
These doctors believe that it is a revolution in the area of reproduction, but others prefer to stay cautious. What is the technique?The technique used is to “produce” one egg (reproductive cell female) by transferring the nucleus of the oocyte of the mother (where are gathered the chromosomes) in the oocyte healthy donor, previously emptied of its own nucleus.
A bit like a oocyte donation empty! Fertilization was then carried out in vitro with the father’s sperm and the embryo was subsequently implanted in the uterus of the mother. The goal is to preserve the genetic heritage of the mother, while bypassing infertility caused by an impairment of its oocytes. In this case, the doctors believe that infertility and failure of IVF have been caused by an “anomaly cytoplasmic oocytes” of the mother. No risk that the little boy resembles the donor of the oocyte: its DNA is a combination of the genetic material of its own parents. However, it has also inherited a small part of the genetic heritage of the donor in the form of mitochondrial DNA. Mitochondria are structures located within cells that make energy. They have a DNA of their own and are transmitted to the offspring by the mother.
“Today, for the first time in the world, the inalienable right of a woman to become a mother with its own genetic material becomes a reality,” said Dr. Psathas, embryologist and president of the IVF, in this press release. “As Greek scientists, we are very proud to announce an innovation in the international assisted reproduction”, he added. According to him, “it is now possible for women who have had multiple failures of IVF or suffering from rare genetic diseases mitochondrial to have a child.
“” READ ALSO – the Twins-from different fathers: how is this possible? Questions éthiquesCette method had already been used in 2016 in Mexico, not in order to remedy infertility, but to avoid transmitting a mitochondrial disease to be fatal. The baby born of this technique had been as well designed as her mother, suffered from Leigh syndrome, an inherited metabolic disorder very rare and severe caused by genes located in the mitochondria.
She had already passed on his genes to sick to the two children, both died of this disease.
This technique was able to extract DNA breast while getting rid of the mitochondrial DNA is defective in the origin of the pathology.
For the moment, the couples at risk of transmitting a Leigh syndrome to their children have two options when they want to start a family: to have recourse to a pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to assess the individual risk of the embryo before its implantation in the uterus, or the use of an oocyte donation. But use this method to treat infertility raises a number of ethical questions. Tim Child, a professor and medical director at the university of Oxford, said he is “concerned”. According to him, it is not certain that the patient was in need of this technique. To the extent that “the risks of the technique are not fully known, although regarded as acceptable if they are used to treat mitochondrial disease, but not in this situation,” he noted in a press release. . .