Generation of ovarian follicles from mouse pluripotent stem cells

Journal: Science

Published: 2021-07-16

DOI: 10.1126/science.abe0237

Affiliations: 9

Authors: 15

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Research Highlight

Making mouse eggs from scratch

© Clouds Hill Imaging Ltd./Corbis Documentary/Getty Images

© Clouds Hill Imaging Ltd./Corbis Documentary/Getty Images

The creation of viable mouse eggs from stem cells in a lab provides a new tool for studying primordial egg development. It could also one day lead to new treatments for infertility in people and help save endangered species from extinction.

While it has recently become possible to generate oocytes from pluripotent stem cells in test tubes, they still need to cultivated in the body to fully develop as reproductive cells.

Now, a team led by researchers at Kyushu University in Japan has devised a cell-culturing protocol capable of converting mouse embryonic stem cells into ovarian gonadal tissue.

The resulting cells then served as a support bed for the egg-cell precursors — themselves made from stem cells — to properly develop into functional oocytes that could be fertilized to yield normal mouse pups.

This demonstrates that it is possible to generate huge numbers of functional eggs in a test tube, but technological improvements and ethical deliberations are needed before it can be used in reproductive medicine.

Supported content

  1. Science 373, eabe0237 (2021). doi: 10.1126/science.abe0237
Institutions Share
Kyushu University, Japan 0.54
RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences (IMS), Japan 0.23
Kumamoto University, Japan 0.07
Osaka University, Japan 0.07
Yokohama City University (YCU), Japan 0.03
Hiroshima University (HU), Japan 0.03
Kawasaki Medical University, Japan 0.02