Oogenesis in adult mammals, including humans
ABSTRACT The origin of oocytes and primary follicles in ovaries of adult mammalian females has been a matter of dispute for over 100 yr. The prevailing belief that all oocytes in adult mammalian females must persist from the fetal period of life seems to be a uniquely retrogressive reproductive mechanism requiring humans to preserve their gametes from the fetal period for several decades. The utilization of modern techniques during last 10 yr clearly demonstrates that mammalian primordial germ cells originate from somatic cell precursors. This indicates that if somatic cells are precursors of germ cells, then somatic mutations can be passed on to progeny. Mitotically active germline stem cells have been described earlier in ovaries of adult prosimian primates and recently have been reported to also be present in the ovaries of adult mice. We have earlier shown that in adult human females, mesenchymal cells in the ovarian tunica albuginea undergo a mesenchymal-epithelial transition into ovarian surface epithelium cells, which differentiate sequentially into primitive granulosa and germ cells. Recently, we have reported that these structures assemble in the deeper ovarian cortex and form new follicles to replace earlier primary follicles undergoing atresia (follicular renewal). Our current observations also indicate that follicular renewal exists in rat ovaries, and human oocytes can differentiate from ovarian surface epithelium in fetal ovaries in vivo and from adult ovaries in vitro. These reports challenge the established dogma regarding the fetal origin of eggs and primary follicles in adult mammalian ovaries. Our data indicate that the pool of primary follicles in adult human ovaries does not represent a static but a dynamic population of differentiating and regressing structures. Yet, the follicular renewal may cease at a certain age, and this may predetermine the onset of the natural menopause or premature ovarian failure. A lack of follicular renewal in aging ovaries may cause an accumulation of spontaneously arising or environmentally induced genetic alterations of oocytes, and that may be why aging females have a much higher chance of having oocytes with more mutations in persisting primary follicles.
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ABSTRACT: In vitro maturation (IVM) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) technologies are facing with growing demands of older women to conceive. Although ovarian stem cells (OSCs) of older women are capable of producing in vitro fresh oocyte-like cells (OLCs), such cells cannot respond to IVM and IVF due to the lack of granulosa cells required for their maturation. Follicular renewal is also dependent on support of circulating blood mononuclear cells. They induce intermediary stages of meiosis (metaphase I chromosomal duplication and crossover, anaphase, telophase, and cytokinesis) in newly emerging ovarian germ cells, as for the first time demonstrated here, induce formation of granulosa cells, and stimulate follicular growth and development. A pretreatment of OSC culture with mononuclear cells collected from blood of a young healthy fertile woman may cause differentiation of bipotential OSCs into both developing germ and granulosa cells. A small blood volume replacement may enable treatment of ovarian infertility in vivo. The transferred mononuclear cells may temporarily rejuvenate virtually all tissues, including improvement of the function of endocrine tissues. Formation of new follicles and their development may be sufficient for IVM and IVF. The novel proposed in vitro approaches may be used as a second possibility. Infertility of human males affects almost a half of the infertility cases worldwide. Small blood volume replacement from young healthy fertile men may also be easy approach for the improvement of sperm quality in older or other affected men. In addition, body rejuvenation by small blood volume replacement from young healthy individuals of the same sex could represent a decline of in vitro methodology in favor of in vivo treatment for human functional diseases. Here we propose for the first time that blood mononuclear cells are essential for rejuvenation of those tissues, where immune system components participate in an appropriate division and differentiation of tissue stem cells. If needed, small blood volume replacement from distinct young healthy individuals could be utilized in six month intervals for repair of young altered or aged reproductive and other tissue functions. Systemic and local use of honey bee propolis tincture is an alternative option for functional rejuvenation of some tissues. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12958-015-0001-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 12/2015; 13(1):1. DOI:10.1186/s12958-015-0001-8 · 2.41 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To characterize different cell populations in the human ovary, morphological and functional characteristics of cell populations collected during routine IVF procedures were studied. Cells obtained from follicular fluid grew in vitro under minimal medium conditions, without growth factor, including leukaemia-inhibiting factor. Morphological analysis revealed a heterogeneous cell population, with cells displaying a fibroblast-like, epithelial-like and also neuron-like features. Morpho-functional characteristics of fibroblast-like cells were similar to mesenchymal stem cells, and, in particular, were positive for mesenchymal stemness markers, including CD90, CD44, CD105, CD73, but negative for epithelial proteins, such as cytokeratins, CD34 and CD45 antigens. Cell proliferation activity at different times and colony-forming unit capability were evaluated, and multipotency of a subset of granulosa cells was established by in-vitro differentiation studies (e.g. osteogenic, chondrogenic and adipogenic differentiation). This study suggests that cells provided by mesenchymal plasticity can be easily isolated by waste follicular fluid, avoiding scraping of human ovaries, and cultivated in minimal conditions. Successful growth of such progenitor cells on three-dimensional cryogel scaffold provides the basis for future developments in tissue engineering. This culture system may be regarded as an experimental model in which biological behaviour is not influenced by specific growth factors.Reproductive biomedicine online 10/2014; 29(4). DOI:10.1016/j.rbmo.2014.06.006 · 2.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Summary Due to the increased interest in preantral follicular physiology, non-invasive retrieval and morphological classification are crucial. Therefore, this study aimed: (1) to standardize a minimally invasive isolation protocol, applicable to three ruminant species; (2) to morphologically classify preantral follicles upon retrieval; and (3) to describe morphological features of freshly retrieved follicles compared with follicle characteristics using invasive methods. Bovine, caprine and ovine ovarian cortex strips were retrieved from slaughterhouse ovaries and dispersed. This suspension was filtered, centrifuged, re-suspended and transferred to a Petri dish, to which 0.025 mg/ml neutral red (NR) was added to assess the viability of the isolated follicles. Between 59 and 191 follicles per follicle class and per species were collected and classified by light microscopy, based on follicular cell morphology. Subsequently, follicle diameters were measured. The proposed isolation protocol was applicable to all three species and showed a significant, expected increase in diameter with developmental stage. With an average diameter of 37 ± 5 μm for primordial follicles, 47 ± 6.3 μm for primary follicles and 67.1 ± 13.1 μm for secondary follicles, no significant difference in diameter among the three species was observed. Bovine, caprine and ovine follicles (63, 59 and 50% respectively) were graded as viable upon retrieval. Using the same morphological characteristics as determined by invasive techniques [e.g. haematoxylin-eosin (HE) sections], cumulus cell morphology and follicle diameter could be used routinely to classify freshly retrieved follicles. Finally, we applied a mechanical, minimally invasive, follicle isolation protocol and extended it to three ruminant species, yielding viable preantral follicles without compromising further in vitro processing and allowing routine follicle characterization upon retrieval.Zygote 07/2014; DOI:10.1017/S0967199414000331 · 1.32 Impact Factor