Preimplantation embryo morphology following early luteal phase anti-nidatory treatment with mifepristone (RU486) in the rhesus monkey

D. Ghosh, P. G L Lalitkumar, Viviana J. Wong, Andrew G Hendrickx, Jayasrcc Scngupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The ultrastructural characteristics of peri-implantation stage embryos recovered on day 6 after ovulation from rhesus monkeys with or without mifepristone (RU486) treatment during the early luteal phase were examined in the present study. Monkeys were randomly allocated to two groups; group 1 animals were injected s.c. with 2 ml vehicle (1:4, benzyl benzoate:olive oil, v/v, n = 21) and group 2 animals received a single dose of mifepristone (2 mg/kg body weight, w/v, n = 30) in the same volume of vehicle on day 2 after ovulation in mated cycles. On day 6 after ovulation, female monkeys of both groups were laparotomized and their reproductive tracts were flushed to retrieve preimplantation stage embryos. Embryos that showed frank degeneration or desynchrony on gross microscopical examination were not included in the present study. Preimplantation embryo growth on day 6 after ovulation was significantly (P < 0.05) affected in the morula-blastocyst transition stage in mifepristone-treated monkeys compared with that in the control group of monkeys. Ultrastructurally, administration of mifepristone on day 2 after ovulation depressed preimplantation stage embryo development, characterized by loss of cell polarity, lack of mitochondrial maturity, and lack of differentiation in trophoblast cells. Furthermore, preimplantation embryos from mifepristone-treated animals displayed a higher occurrence of inter-blastomere space, intra-cytoplasmic vacuoles, myelinoid bodies, accumulation of lipid droplets, lysosomes, lipofuscins, autophagosomes and multivesicular bodies. Collectively, it appears that the developmental potential of preimplantation embryos was significantly compromised in mifepristone-treated cycles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-188
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000


  • Blastocyst
  • Inner cell mass
  • Mifepristone
  • Morula
  • Trophoblast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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