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Federica Zacchini

Federica Zacchini
Percuros BV

PhD

About

41
Publications
13,720
Reads
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393
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2021 - present
King's College London
Position
  • Project Manager
May 2019 - July 2021
Percuros BV
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • MSCA Post doctoral fellowship
June 2018 - April 2019
Jagiellonian University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
January 2007 - October 2008
Università degli Studi di Teramo
Field of study
  • Biotechnology of Reproduction
October 2003 - October 2006
Università degli Studi di Teramo
Field of study
  • Biotechnology

Publications

Publications (41)
Article
Full-text available
A growing number of sperm methylome analyses have identified genomic loci that are susceptible to paternal age effects in a variety of mammalian species, including human, bovine, and mouse. However, there is little overlap between different data sets. Here, we studied whether or not paternal age effects on the sperm epigenome have been conserved in...
Article
Full-text available
Delayed parenthood is constantly increasing worldwide due to various socio-economic factors. In the last decade, a growing number of epidemiological studies have suggested a link between advanced parental age and an increased risk of diseases in the offspring. Also, poor reproductive outcome has been described in pregnancies conceived by aged paren...
Article
Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) allowed the births of >8 million babies worldwide. Even if ART children are healthy at birth, several studies reported that ART may cause changes in foetal programming, leading to an increased predisposition to metabolic disorders in adulthood. Previous studies on mouse model showed obesity, glucose intolera...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Lipid droplets (LDs) are stored in the embryo throughout the preimplantation development. Yet, the role of LDs in the embryo remains unknown. Embryonic diapause (ED) is a temporary arrest of an embryo when it waits for the uterine receptivity signal to implant. We provide evidence that LDs play a crucial role in maintaining ED. Diapaus...
Article
Full-text available
In somatic cells/tissues, methylation of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) increases with age and age‐related pathologies, which has a direct impact on the regulation of nucleolar activity and cellular metabolism. Here, we used bisulfite pyrosequencing and show that methylation of the rDNA transcription unit including upstream control element (UCE), core promot...
Article
Since the birth of the first baby conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF), assisted reproductive technologies (ART) have been constantly evolving to accomodate needs of a growing number of infertile couples. Rapidly developing ART procedures are directly applied for human infertility treatment without prior long-term safety evaluation. Although t...
Article
The removal of one cell from cleaving embryos (blastomere biopsy, BB) is the main component of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), a diagnostic test aimed to select only healthy embryos before transfer in utero. Studies on animals have suggested BB as risk factor for impaired development during both pre- and postnatal life. However, we still...
Article
Full-text available
Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic phenomenon regulating mono-allelic expression of genes depending on their parental origin. Defective genomic imprinting is involved in several placental disorders, such as intrauterine growth restriction and pre-eclampsia. Uniparental embryos, having maternal-only or paternal-only genomes (parthenogenotes [PAR] a...
Poster
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis is commonly offered to infertile couple to select healthy embryos to be transferred in utero. The procedure involves the removal of one-two cells from cleaving embryos (Blastomere Biopsy — BB) and in vitro culture followed by transfer in utero once the result of PGD confirm their health status. Our previous studies...
Article
Full-text available
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) has been introduced in clinical practice as a tool for selecting "healthy" embryos before their transfer in utero. PGD protocols include biopsy of cleaving embryos (Blastomere Biopsy - BB) or blastocysts (trophectoderm biopsy - TB), followed by genetic analysis to select "healthy" embryos for transfer in uter...
Article
Full-text available
There is growing evidence that advanced maternal age is a risk factor for neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders in offspring. However, it remains unclear whether the altered brain programming induced by advanced maternal age is mediated by pre- or postnatal factors. Here, a mouse model was used to investigate whether pregnancy at advanced age...
Article
Pregnancies obtained by Assisted Reproductive Technologies are at higher risk of miscarriage than those obtained naturally. Previously, we reported impaired placental vascular development of in vitro produced (IVP) sheep embryos and defective DNA methylation in the placentae of those embryos. One reason behind these observed defects may be an impai...
Article
Full-text available
In various animal species, the main cause of pregnancy loss in conceptuses obtained by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) are placental abnormalities. Most abnormalities described in SCNT pregnancies (such as placentomegaly, reduced vascularisation, hypoplasia of trophoblastic epithelium) suggest that placental cell degeneration may be triggered...
Article
Full-text available
This review, is a synopsis of advanced reproductive technologies in farm animals, including the discussion of their limiting factors as revealed by the study of offspring derived from embryos produced in vitro and through cloning. These studies show that the problems of epigenetic mis-programming, which were reported in the initial stages of assist...
Chapter
Chapter Four provides an overview of the current state-of-the-art on the effects of PolyChlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) exposure during embryonic development and the potential long term effects on resulting offspring.
Article
Pregnancies obtained by Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) are associated with limited maternal nutrient uptake. Our previous studies shown that in vitro culture of sheep embryos is associated with vascularization defects in their placentae and consequent reduction of embryo growth. Autophagy is a pro-survival cellular mechanism triggered by...
Data
Table S1. Binding of Prm1 to DNA on 42 DNA Binding Sites on 10 of 27 Chromosomes, Related to Figure 1J Binding occurred in 28 gene-rich domains—14 (50%) genic and 14 (50%) intergenic—whereas the other 14 were classified as scaffold (2n = 54 in sheep).
Article
Full-text available
Protamines confer a compact structure to the genome of male gametes. Here, we find that somatic cells can be remodeled by transient expression of protamine 1 (Prm1). Ectopically expressed Prm1 forms scattered foci in the nuclei of fibroblasts, which coalescence into spermatid-like structures, concomitant with a loss of histones and a reprogramming...
Article
Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) has a broad spectrum of potential applications, ranging from therapeutic cloning, production of transgenic animals, drug production, regenerative medicine and even for the rescue of endangered species. It is already more than 16 years since Dolly, first cloned mammal, was born, and many improvements in SCNT have...
Article
Pluripotency is the ability of one cell to generate every cell type of the 3 germ layers, a property typically owned by embryonic stem cells (ESC) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), with some exceptions; multilineage-differentiating stress-enduring (Muse) cells are an example. Muse cells, described as pre-existing pluripotent stem cells in...
Article
Full-text available
The post-meiotic phase of spermatogenesis is characterised by a radical reorganization of the chromatin, leading to its nucleosomal to toroid transition. The replacement of histones with protamine is a gradual process regulated to the hierarchical translation of repressed mRNAs leading to the following events: incorporation of testis-specific histo...
Article
Oocyte maturation process includes the establishment of proper epigenetics marks, fundamental to ensure successful pregnancy. Epigenetic maturation of the oocyte depends on one-carbon-metabolism (OCM), whose key elements (cobalamin, folate) are crucial cofactors for the transfer of methyl groups onto chromatin. Commercially available IVM-media only...
Article
Epigenetic programming has a crucial role in mammalian development. It is well described that disarrangement of epigenetic programming is associated with impaired embryonic development, compromised pregnancy (ie. abortion or preeclampsia) and several imprinting disorders (i.e Prader Willi and Beckwith-Wiedemann syndromes). A useful tool to better u...
Article
Assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) are generally considered to be safe, but recent studies suggest an excess of negative pregnancy outcomes. The mechanisms responsible for adverse events share similar condition like abnormal placentation, which finally leads to impaired embryo growth due to limited nutrient uptake. High autophagy activation...
Article
Full-text available
Study question: Does blastomere biopsy (BB) of preimplantation embryos induce long-term effects on their growth and post-natal behavior? Summary answer: BB induces long-term effects on body weight and behavior in male mice. What is known already: BB is an essential technique for performing preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), a screening t...
Article
Full-text available
Functional genomic imprinting is necessary for the transfer of maternal resources to mammalian embryos. Imprint-free embryos are unable to establish a viable placental vascular network necessary for the transfer of resources such as nutrients and oxygen. How the parental origin of inherited genes influences cellular response to resource limitation...
Article
To evaluate how Assisted Reproduction Technologies (ART) affect vasculogenesis of the developing conceptus, we analyzed placental and fetal development of sheep embryos produced in vitro (IVP). Pregnancies produced by ART carry increased risk of low birth weight, although what causes this risk remains largely unknown. We recently reported that deve...
Article
Full-text available
Advanced paternal age (APA) contributes to the risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in children. In this study, we used a mouse model to investigate the effects of APA on behavioral features related to autistic syndromes (that is, social deficits, communication impairments and stereotypic/repetitive behaviors). We also examined whether such eff...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Despite its success in almost all farm and laboratory animals, somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is still a low-efficiency technique. In this investigation, we determined the impact of each enucleation step on oocyte viability (assessed by parthenogenetic activation): Hoechst (HO) staining, cytochalasin B, ultraviolet (UV) exposure, and...
Article
We review published data on cell/gamete lyophilization. Most studies have utilized the same established protocols for cryopreservation (storage in liquid nitrogen) as for cell lyophilization (dehydration of frozen samples by water sublimation). Surveying natural lyoprotectants, we suggest trehalose and late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins as...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract The scope of this article is not to provide an exhaustive review of nuclear transfer research, because many authoritative reviews exist on the biological issues related to somatic and embryonic cell nuclear transfer. We shall instead provide an overview on the work done specifically on sheep and the value of this work on the greater nuclea...
Article
Full-text available
The unprecedented decline of biodiversity worldwide is urging scientists to collect and store biological material from seriously threatened animals, including large mammals. Lyophilization is being explored as a low-cost system for storage in bio-banks of cells that might be used to expand or restore endangered or extinct species through the proced...
Article
Full-text available
Study question: Is DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) dysfunction involved in epigenetic deregulation of placentae from embryos obtained by assisted reproduction technologies (ARTs)? Summary answer: DNMT1 expression in growing placentae of in vitro produced (IVP) embryos is compromised and associated with pregnancy loss. What is known already: DN...
Article
Full-text available
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are common environmental contaminants that represent an important risk factor of reproductive disorders in chronically exposed human populations. However, it is not known whether a short accidental exposure of embryos to PCBs before implantation might influence their further development and whether the effect might...
Article
Abstract Introduction Defining a reference model for early placental development in sheep: postimplantation growth in naturally conceived sheep conceptuses Onset of placental vascularisation in naturally conceived sheep embryos Phenotypic and molecular characterization of ART-derived sheep embryos Determination of the critical window during which e...
Article
Full-text available
The production of androgenetic embryos in large animals is a complex procedure. Androgenetic embryos have been produced so far only in cattle and sheep using pronuclear transfer (PT) between zygotes derived from in vitro fertilization (IVF) of previously enucleated oocytes. PT is required due to the poor developmental potential of androgenotes deri...

Questions

Questions (8)
Question
I have to choose a glucometer for my research on mice. 
Many of those reported on publication are not available in Poland. I would like to know if some has experience with Accuchek Active or Accuchek Performa glucometer from Roche, as I am thinking to take this one. 
Thank you in advance
Question
Dear all, 
I am starting a new project and I need to buy a glucometer, for measurement of blood glucose during GTT. As this is a new procedure for me and we do not have in my lab, I would like to have some advice to choose the best one. 
thank you
Question
I would like to perform analysis of spent medium with NanoSight. Should I analyze fresh medium or I can store my samples at -80°C before analysis?
Question
I am looking for IVF protocol in rabbit. 
thank you in advance for your help. 
Question
Dear All, 
I'm planning to perform epigenetic study on offspring born following Assisted Reproductive Technologies. I do not have an extensive experience on mouse model and I know that some strains are not so good for this kind of study. thus, which one should I use?
Thank you for your suggestion. 
Question
I have old samples prepared for in situ hybridazion. 
I would like to know if it is possible to use them for hystology (paraffin embedding) to do some morphological investigation and how I should process them. 
thank you
Question
I have a ear biopsy sample to process for histological analysis. I've processed the tissue according to classic paraffin embedding protocol but I'm not 100% satisfied. If anyone has suggestion or some tricks, it will be very usefull. Thank You 
Question
I'm looking for paraffin embedding protocols to use on blastocyst stage embryos in sheep. If anyone has a protocol or some reference, I would be very grateful. Thank you.

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