Ovarian germline stem cells: An unlimited source of oocytes?

Carol Hanna, Jon Hennebold

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    25 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    While there has been progress in directing the development of embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells toward a germ cell state, their ability to serve as a source of functional oocytes in a clinically relevant model or situation has yet to be established. Recent studies suggest that the adult mammalian ovary is not endowed with a finite number of oocytes, but instead possesses stem cells that contribute to their renewal. The ability to isolate and promote the growth and development of such ovarian germline stem cells (GSCs) would provide a novel means to treat infertility in women. Although such ovarian GSCs are well characterized in nonmammalian model organisms, the findings that support the existence of adult ovarian GSCs in mammals have been met with considerable evidence that disputes their existence. This review details the lessons provided by model organisms that successfully utilize ovarian GSCs to allow for a continual and high level of female germ cell production throughout their life, with a specific focus on the cellular mechanisms involved in GSC self-renewal and oocyte development. Such an overview of the role that oogonial stem cells play in maintaining fertility in nonmammalian species serves as a backdrop for the data generated to date that supports or disputes the existence of GSCs in mammals as well as the future of this area of research in terms of its potential for any application in reproductive medicine.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)20-30
    Number of pages11
    JournalFertility and Sterility
    Volume101
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 2014

    Fingerprint

    Oocytes
    Aptitude
    Dissent and Disputes
    Germ Cells
    Mammals
    Stem Cells
    Reproductive Medicine
    Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
    Embryonic Stem Cells
    Growth and Development
    Infertility
    Fertility
    Ovary
    Oogonial Stem Cells
    Research

    Keywords

    • fertility
    • oocytes
    • Ovarian germline stem cells

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Obstetrics and Gynecology
    • Reproductive Medicine

    Cite this

    Ovarian germline stem cells : An unlimited source of oocytes? / Hanna, Carol; Hennebold, Jon.

    In: Fertility and Sterility, Vol. 101, No. 1, 01.2014, p. 20-30.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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