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Egg from ovarian stem cells develops into embryo

Thursday, September 15, 2016 — Poster Session II

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
FAES Terrace


  • S Park
  • K Marquis
  • EF Wolff
  • AH Decherney


The dogma in reproductive biology is that women have a finite ovarian reserve, which means the number of oocyte decrease until depletion at menopause. This is in contrast to men who possess germ line stem cells that create sperm over the lifespan. However, it has been questioned recently by the discovery of cells capable of mitosis and meiosis in mouse, rat and human. We found that these ovarian-derived stem cells (OSCs) are also present in a non-human primate and they can develop into oocytes with fertilization potential. The ovarian cortex was digested with collagenase IV and DNase followed by FACS with the DDX4 antibody. The cells were expanded in culture, transfected with a GFP lentivirus, and were transplanted into the remaining ovary of the rhesus monkey. Gonadotropins were used for ovarian hyperstimulation to isolate oocytes. We confirmed that oocytes were transplant derivation by fluorescence, PCR. Oocyte phenotype with appearance of intact zona pellucida and polar body was observed along with expression of oocyte specific genes. Three out of 38 oocytes obtained by follicular aspiration were confirmed OSCs origin, whereas 10 out of 74 from microdissection. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection was performed with collected MII oocytes and fertilization and embryo development potential assessed. A mature oocyte originating from OSCs developed into 64-cells stage embryo. This is the first fertilized embryo derived from stem cells to achieve fertilization in primates. This finding suggests that OSC transplantation open the door to novel fertility preservation strategies for women with both age-related and premature ovarian insufficiency.

Category: Stem Cell Biology