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Reprod Sci. 2008 Feb;15(2):139-46. Epub 2007 Dec 18.

Expression of stem and germ cell markers within nonfollicle structures in adult mouse ovary.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, USA.


Recent studies have suggested that germline stem cells may generate new follicles in the adult murine ovary. In this study, the authors use a pou5f1-enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) transgenic mouse model to study the expression of stem and germ cell markers in adult murine ovaries. Immunohistochemical analyses and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction were performed to detect the expression of mouse vasa homologue, stem cells factor receptor, stage-specific embryonic antigen 1, synaptonemal complex proteins, disrupted meiotic, and growth differentiation factor-9 in GFP+ ovarian tissues. GFP+ cell aggregates of nonfollicle structures were identified and isolated from adult B6.CBA-Tg(pou5f1-EGFP)2Mnn/J transgenic mouse ovaries. This study shows the presence of cell aggregates that are distinct from ovarian follicles and are coexpressing germline and stem cell surface markers in adult murine ovaries. These cell aggregates may represent a mixed population of germ cells and germline stem cells. Further research is necessary to evaluate the plasticity of the potential stem cell population in these cell aggregates.

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