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Lab Invest. 2013 Feb;93(2):181-93. doi: 10.1038/labinvest.2012.167. Epub 2012 Nov 19.

The restorative effects of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells on damaged ovarian function.

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Kato Ladies Clinic, 7-20-3 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan.


The clinical application of human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as treatment for intractable diseases or traumatic tissue damage has attracted attention. To address the ability of reactivating injured ovaries, we prepared a rat model with damaged ovaries by using an anticancer agent, cyclophosphamide (CTX). We then investigated the restorative effects on ovarian function and the safety of adipose-derived MSCs (A-MSCs). MSCs were shown to be capable of inducing angiogenesis and restoring the number of ovarian follicles and corpus lutea in ovaries. No deformities, tumor formation or deaths were observed in F1 and F2 rats, indicating that the local injection of MSCs into the ovary did not have any obvious side effects. In addition, the localization of the Y chromosome was investigated using the fluorescent in situ hybridization method by injecting male A-MSCs into the ovaries; as a result, the Y chromosomes were localized not in the follicles, but in the thecal layers. ELISA revealed that A-MSCs secreted higher levels of vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) than tail fibroblast cells. Quantitative real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry showed that higher expression levels of VEGF, IGF-1 and HGF were observed in CTX-treated ovaries after A-MSC transplantation. These findings suggest that MSCs may have a role in restoring damaged ovarian function and could be useful for regenerative medicine.

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