PROBLEM: In an attempt to predict successful embryo transfer and implantation, we measured interleukin (IL)-6 levels in culture supernatants of co-cultured preimplantation human embryos. We tested whether all in vitro—fertilized human embryos in co-cultures do secrete IL-6, and whether there was any difference in such production between embryos that successfully reached the blastocyst stage and blocked embryos. We also addressed the question of IL-6 secretion by co-culture support cells, namely Vero cells themselves.
METHOD OF STUDY: Each fertilized oocyte was cultured individually and transferred in culture wells supplemented with a feeder layer of Vero cells at day 2. In vitro IL-6 production was measured by bioassay of the culture media.
RESULTS: Because Vero cells themselves secrete IL-6, it became impossible, in co-culture, to quantify production of IL-6 by the sole embryos. On the other hand, the co-culture technique has shown us that embryos are likely to consume IL-6. There was no difference between blastocysts and blocked embryos.
CONCLUSIONS: IL-6 levels in human embryo co-cultures do not correlate with future successful embryo transfer.