The ability to produce mature human eggs from adult ovaries in vitro has several potential applications in human reproduction. The technique of harvesting cells from the ovarian surface is relatively easy, can be accomplished by a laparoscopy technique, and yields more cells for use for in vitro fertilization. The ability to develop human eggs from OSE cells may help women with reduced fertility and premature menopause, who lack follicles in their ovaries, to have a better chance of conceiving through in vitro fertilization. Eventually, frozen OSE cells from younger females may be preserved for later production of fresh eggs. This may prevent the occurrence of fetal genetic alterations, which are often associated with an advanced maternal age. In addition, a colonization of premenopausal ovaries with younger oocyte and granulosa stem cells may establish a new cohort of primary follicles. This may result in a 10- to 12-year delay of the onset of natural menopause. Also, these ovarian stem cells could be used to generate several cell types used in stem cell research, and fertilized eggs produced in this way could produce cells capable of giving rise to embryonic stem cells for use in research and therapeutic applications.
This press release is based on the article: Oogenesis in cultures derived from adult human ovaries
Antonin Bukovsky, Marta Svetlikova and Michael R Caudle
Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, 2005, 3:17 (5 May 2005)
This article is available free of charge, according to Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology's Open Access policy at: http:/?www.rbej.com/content/?/?/?7