Author(s): Bhartiya D, Sriraman K, Parte S
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Abstract The spontaneous return of fertility after bone marrow transplantation or heterotopic grafting of cryopreserved ovarian cortical tissue has surprised many, and a possible link with stem cells has been proposed. We have reviewed the available literature on ovarian stem cells in adult mammalian ovaries and presented a model that proposes that the ovary harbors two distinct populations of stem cells, namely, pluripotent, quiescent, very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs), and slightly larger "progenitor" ovarian germ stem cells (OGSCs). Besides compromising the somatic niche, oncotherapy destroys OGSCs since, like tumor cells, they are actively dividing; however VSELs persist since they are relatively quiescent. BMT or transplanted ovarian cortical tissue may help rejuvenate the ovarian niche, which possibly supports differentiation of persisting VSELs resulting in neo-oogenesis and follicular development responsible for successful pregnancies. Postnatal oogenesis in mammalian ovary from VSELs may be exploited for fertility restoration in cancer survivors including those who were earlier deprived of gametes and/or gonadal tissue cryopreservation options.
This article was published in Obstet Gynecol Int
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy