Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 December 2021
Mitochondrial (mt)DNA mutations can cause a broad range of severely debilitating or fatal disorders. There is no cure available and the only available treatments have purely symptomatic effects. Preventing mitochondrial disease transmission is therefore a major priority. Germline nuclear transfer (NT), such as maternal spindle (ST), pronuclear (PNT) or polar body (PBT) transfer, has been proposed as a possible strategy to prevent mother-to-child transmission of mtDNA mutations. This technology involves nuclear genome transfer from an oocyte or zygote carrying mtDNA mutations to an enucleated donor counterpart with healthy mtDNA. In addition, the technology has also been considered as a treatment option for certain infertility indications, such as women experiencing poor embryo development, with the expectation of improving in vitro treatment outcomes. Here, we provide an overview on recent developments in the field of NT, either with the aim to avoid mtDNA diseases or to overcome certain forms of female infertility.