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Treatment potential of bone marrow-derived stem cells in women with diminished ovarian reserves and premature ovarian failure

Herraiz, Soniaa,b,*; Pellicer, Nuriac,*; Romeu, Mónicab,c; Pellicer, Antonioa,b,d

Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology: June 2019 - Volume 31 - Issue 3 - p 156–162
doi: 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000531
FERTILITY, IVF AND REPRODUCTIVE GENETICS: Edited by Emre Seli and Juan A. García Velasco

Purpose of review We review the techniques recently tested in both animal models and humans to provide a state-of-the-art on adult stem cell ovarian transplant to achieve ovarian rejuvenation in patients with diminished ovarian reserves.

Recent findings As the firsts reports of spontaneous pregnancies achieved after bone marrow transplantation in oncologic women with primary ovarian insufficiency, increasing evidence supports the regenerative effects of stem cell-based therapies in the ovarian niche. Adult stem cells from several origins promote follicular development, increase ovarian local vascularization, increase follicle and stromal cell proliferation and reduce cell apoptosis and follicular atresia, although they do not modify embryo quality. Therefore, residual quiescent follicles of aged or damaged ovaries might produce competent oocytes in an adequate ovarian environment. Nevertheless, further research is needed to properly evaluate underlying mechanisms, identify best cell sources and design less invasive infusion techniques.

Summary Stem cells may be a relevant therapeutic alternative for ovary regeneration and follicular development in patients with impaired ovaries, such as poor ovarian responders or women diagnosed with primary ovarian insufficiency.

aFundación IVI

bReproductive Medicine Research Group, IIS La Fe

cWomen's Health Area, La Fe University Hospital, Av. Fernando Abril Martorell, Valencia, Spain

dIVI-RMA Rome, Largo Ildebrando Pizzetti, Rome, Italy

Correspondence to Sonia Herraiz, PhD, Fundación IVI, Av. Fernando Abril Martorell, 106 Torre A 1a, 46026 Valencia, Spain. Tel: +34 6 390 33 05; e-mail:

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