Gray level Co-occurrence Matrices (GLCM) to assess microstructural and textural changes in pre-implantation embryos

Tiffany C.Y. Tan, Lesley J. Ritter, Annie Whitty, Renae C. Fernandez, Lisa J. Moran, Sarah A. Robertson, Jeremy G. Thompson, Hannah M. Brown

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    21 Citations (Scopus)


    The preimplantation embryo is extraordinarily sensitive to environmental signals and events such that perturbations can alter embryo metabolism and program an altered developmental trajectory, ultimately affecting the phenotype of the adult individual; indeed, the physical environment associated with in vitro embryo culture can attenuate development. Defining the underlying metabolic changes and mechanisms, however, has been limited by the imaging technology used to evaluate metabolites and structural features in the embryo. Here, we assessed the impact of in vitro fertilization and culture on mouse embryos using three metabolic markers: peroxyfluor 1 (a reporter of hydrogen peroxide), monochlorobimane (a reporter of glutathione), and Mitotracker Deep Red (a marker of mitochondria). We also evaluated the distribution pattern of histone 2AX gamma (γH2AX) in the nuclei of 2- and 8-cell embryos and blastocysts to investigate the degree of DNA damage caused by in vitro embryo culture. In vitro-fertilized embryos, in vivo-developed embryos, and in vivo-fertilized embryos recovered and cultured in vitro were compared at the 2-, 8-cell, and blastocyst stages. In addition to assessments based on fluorescence intensity, textural analysis using Gray Level Co-occurrence Matrix (GLCM), a statistical approach that assesses texture within an image, was used to evaluate peroxyfluor 1, monochlorobimane, and Mitotracker Deep Red staining in an effort to develop a robust metric of embryo quality. Our data provide strong evidence of modified metabolic parameters identifiable as altered fluorescence texture in embryos developed in vitro. Thus, texture-analysis approach may provide a means of gaining additional insight into embryo programming beyond conventional measurements of staining intensity for metabolic markers. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 83: 701–713, 2016

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)701-713
    Number of pages13
    JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Aug 2016

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Genetics
    • Developmental Biology
    • Cell Biology

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