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Oogonial stem cells: do they exist and may they have an impact on future fertility treatment?

Ghazal, Sanaz

Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology: June 2013 - Volume 25 - Issue 3 - p 223–228
doi: 10.1097/GCO.0b013e328360e96a
FERTILITY: Edited by Aydin Arici
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Purpose of review Germline stem cell research over the last decade has brought into question one of the basic tenets of reproductive biology that women are born with a finite number of oocytes without the potential for renewal. Evidence for the existence of oogonial stem cells in the postnatal ovary has gained momentum, but skepticism remains.

Recent findings Several research studies claimed that they have identified functional oogonial stem cells in the postnatal ovary of several different species including humans. The scientific community has questioned both the methods and significance of these studies.

Summary Many speculate that germline stem cells could make a significant impact on the treatment of female infertility. However, this field of research is still in its infancy. There is still much to learn about the biology of oogonial stem cells and their potential clinical application. More research is needed before oogonial stem cells can become a viable treatment modality for women with infertility.

Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Correspondence to Sanaz Ghazal, MD, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Yale University School of Medicine, 150 Sargent Drive 2nd Floor, New Haven, CT 06511, USA. Tel: +1 203 785 4708; e-mail: sanaz.ghazal@yale.edu

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins