Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Human Reproduction – Experimental And Laboratory Aspects

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
3.05.00  Medical sciences  Human reproduction   
1.03.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Biology   
1.04.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Chemistry   
2.07.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Computer science and informatics   

Code Science Field
3.01  Medical and Health Sciences  Basic medicine 
Infertility; immature oocyte; oocyte maturation in vitro; clinical factors; ultrasonographic characteristics of antral follicles; computer models; cell and embryo morphology; embryonic metabolism; success of procedure; implantation markers; infants – development, genetics; urinary anomalies; arterial hypertension; glioma; xenotransplant; animal model; cysteine cathepsins; inhibitors
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (18)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  14113  PhD Igor But  Human reproduction  Researcher  2009 - 2014  468 
2.  35345  PhD Maruška Čuš  Human reproduction  Junior researcher  2012 - 2014  19 
3.  31883  Marko Došen    Technical associate  2011 - 2012  24 
4.  08397  PhD Vida Gavrić Lovrec  Human reproduction  Researcher  2009 - 2012  228 
5.  03299  PhD Alojz Gregorič  Human reproduction  Researcher  2009 - 2011  358 
6.  29934  Nina Hojnik    Technical associate  2009 - 2014  31 
7.  29590  PhD Martin Ivec  Human reproduction  Junior researcher  2009 - 2011  11 
8.  33092  PhD Jure Knez  Human reproduction  Researcher  2010 - 2014  187 
9.  15712  Martina Kos  Public health (occupational safety)  Technical associate  2009 - 2014  39 
10.  20136  PhD Vilma Kovač  Human reproduction  Researcher  2009 - 2014  159 
11.  11040  PhD Borut Kovačič  Human reproduction  Head  2009 - 2014  369 
12.  24109  Lea Mlakar  Human reproduction  Technical associate  2009 - 2012  22 
13.  28403  PhD Barbara Pregl Breznik  Human reproduction  Junior researcher  2009 - 2013  23 
14.  29768  Ksenija Rakić  Human reproduction  Technical associate  2009 - 2011  18 
15.  15711  PhD Milan Reljič  Human reproduction  Researcher  2009 - 2014  292 
16.  17002  PhD Tadej Strojnik  Oncology  Researcher  2009 - 2014  230 
17.  21865  Rebeka Vidovič    Technical associate  2010 - 2012 
18.  08996  PhD Veljko Vlaisavljević  Human reproduction  Researcher  2009 - 2014  593 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0334  University Medical Centre Maribor  Maribor  5054150000  23,056 
In future the puncture of immature oocytes and their maturation in vitro (IVM) could replace the usual protocols of ovulation stimulation in in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures. This method could simplify the procedure of oocyte retrieval in IVF procedures, as maturation of immature oocytes obtained from an unstimulated ovary nullifies the possibility of ovarian hyperstimulation and other side effects of gonadotropins while decreasing the cost of the IVF procedure. In the IVM procedure immature oocytes are matured from the germinal vesicle (GV) stage to the stage of a mature oocyte, which is in metaphase II. A comparison of oocytes that matured in vitro with oocytes that matured in vivo shows no differences at the level of maturation of the nucleus, fertilization and cleavage stage, but the share of pregnancies per cycle in IVM procedures is considerably lower compared to IVF/ICSI procedures, which gives rise to numerous questions. We wish to assess the impact of specific clinical factors on the success of the IVM procedure, analyze the effect of hormone levels and analyze the morphologic changes of the oocyte in the maturation process. With a computer program for automatic analysis of the echographic image of the ovary we wish to analyze the dynamics of the appearance of a cohort of antral follicles in natural and stimulated cycles. Antigen CA 125 is secreted by mesothelial cells, among them are cells of ovarian surface epithelium. Beside in serum and in ascites, antigen CA 125 can also be found in follicular fluid, but for the time being its physiologic role remains unknown. Presumably the changes in the concentration of CA 125 in follicular fluid are connected with hormonal changes occurring in natural and particularly in stimulated cycles. Previous research suggested that CA 125 plays no significant role in women conceiving after an IVF procedure. On the other hand, some authors observed that CA 125 values were directly associated with the thickness of the endometrium and with ovarian hyperstimulation (OHSS). Infants born after the ART procedure will be followed prospectively. We will also establish the characteristics of their development and note any manifestations of anomalies or lesions. With the analysis of genetic factors in the occurrence of urinary anomalies we wish to include families (150) in which urinary anomalies are present, and by means of genetic analysis we aim to discover the genes involved. With the method of indirect genetic analysis – determination of linkage disequilibrium – we intend to determine the connection between those regions in the human genome that might contain key genes and the specific phenotypes of urinary anomalies. With a mutation analysis of individual genes from thus identified regions we wish to confirm or refute the role of genes in the process of the occurrence of urinary anomalies. Gliomas are the most frequent brain tumors. Invasiveness is an important biologic property of the malignant cell. It includes the capacity of decomposition of the extracellular matrix and the basal membrane. We presume that among other things the process of invasion involves a change in activity and regulation of some types of proteolytic enzymes and of their endogenous inhibitors. So far the role of proteolytic enzymes in brain tumor invasion has not been much investigated. We have already studied the presence and distribution of lysosomal cysteine protease, cathepsin B and its cellular inhibitor stefin A in gliomas. Research was also carried out on other tumors (meningiomas and adenomas) and other proteases (cathepsin L).
Significance for science
The results represent a new basic knowledge about the physiology of human gametes and embryos and new insights in the field of reproductive medicine, gynecology, pediatrics, and neurosurgery. Most of the results of the research program represent a starting point for further research, as is evident also by the high rate of citations of our publications. The work is continuing within a new research program in the same field.
Significance for the country
In most cases the research findings are implemented into clinical work. Functional tests of sperm have become a widespread method in male infertility diagnosis. In addition, monitoring of embryo development in vitro by time-lapse photography has become a routine method which allows better selection of embryos with a more proper embryonic development. Hypoxic embryo culture conditions are particularly useful in patients with a smaller number of embryos. In this population the success of infertility treatment with IVF has significantly improved. New immunohistochemical staining was introduced into clinical practice. The immunohistochemical staining of different tumor markers helps us to choose the optimal treatment for the individual patients with malignant glioma. Our clinical study has shown a prognostic value of inflammation markers in patients with brain tumors. Currently we are investigating the possible link between the latent infection and tumorogenesis. Directly, the results of the program contribute to the improvement of human health in the field of human reproduction, gynecology, pediatrics, and neurosurgery. Indirectly, it helps in development of new professional guidelines and education of personnel at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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