Role of Mitochondria Transfer in Infertility: A Commentary.

Rodríguez-Varela C, Labarta E
Cells. 2022 Jun 8;11(12):1867. 2022 doi: 10.3390/cells11121867


Mitochondria transfer techniques were first designed to prevent the transmission of diseases due to mutations in mtDNA, as these organelles are exclusively transmitted to the offspring by the oocyte. Despite this, given the crucial role of mitochondria in oocyte maturation, fertilization and subsequent embryo development, these approaches have been proposed as new potential strategies to overcome poor oocyte quality in infertile patients. This condition is a very common cause of infertility in patients of advanced maternal age, and patients with previous in vitro fertilization (IVF) attempt failures of oocyte origin. In this context, the enrichment or the replacement of the whole set of the oocyte mitochondria may improve its quality and increase these patients’ chances of success after an IVF treatment. In this short review, we will provide a brief overview of the main human studies using heterologous and autologous mitochondria transfer techniques in the reproductive field, focusing on the etiology of the treated patients and the final outcome. Although there is no current clearly superior mitochondria transfer technique, efforts must be made in order to optimize them and bring them into regular clinical practice, giving these patients a chance to achieve a pregnancy with their own oocytes.