A new study published in Nature looks at the timing of pronuclear transfer (PNT) in mitochondrial replacement therapy.

Professor Adam Balen, Chair of the British Fertility Society said:

“The British Fertility Society welcomes this important pre-clinical research from Professor Herbert and her team in Newcastle, which further optimises the techniques for pronuclear transfer in order to help prevent the transmission of debilitating mitochondrial disease.

“There are many different medical disorders that can be described as mitochondrial disease. They range from mild to severe or life threatening, and can have devastating effects on the families that carry them. However, mitochondrial DNA is only inherited from mothers and women can be at risk of passing on serious disease to their children. Preventing the transmission of mitochondrial disease will allow women carrying the mutations to give birth to children free of the disease and this improved technique is a step closer to achieving this.”

Reference: Towards clinical application of pronuclear transfer to prevent mitochondrial DNA disease. Louise A. Hyslop, Paul Blakeley, Lyndsey Craven, Jessica Richardson, Norah M. E. Fogarty, Elpida Fragouli, Mahdi Lamb, Sissy E. Wamaitha, Nilendran Prathalingam, Qi Zhang, Hannah O’Keefe, Yuko Takeda, Lucia Arizzi, Samer Alfarawati, Helen A. Tuppen, Laura Irving, Dimitrios Kalleas, Meenakshi Choudhary, Dagan Wells, Alison P. Murdoch, Douglass M. Turnbull, Kathy K. Niakan & Mary Herbert. Nature (2016) doi:10.1038/nature18303.