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Methods Mol Biol. 2013;945:347-63. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-125-7_21.

Human female reproductive tract epithelial cell culture.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.


The female reproductive system is a complex system. Epithelia of the female reproductive system including the ovaries, the oviduct, and the uterus are important sites for follicular development, ovulation, fertilization, implantation, and embryo development. They are also able to synthesize and secrete various hormones, growth factors, and cytokines, which are essential to women's health, sexuality, and reproduction. Conversely, their dysfunction has been implicated in disorders such as infertility, endometriosis, and many other gynecological diseases, as well as cancer. In this chapter, we describe detailed procedures for establishing and maintaining primary cultures of human ovarian surface epithelium, oviductal epithelium, and endometrium. We also provide protocols for cell immortalization, clonal isolation, and in coculture with stromal cells. These cultures can be useful models for investigating the molecular and cellular functions of these epithelia in both normal and pathological states.

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