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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2015 Oct;16(10):625-38. doi: 10.1038/nrm4056. Epub 2015 Sep 9.

Ovary and fimbrial stem cells: biology, niche and cancer origins.

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A*STAR Institute of Medical Biology, 8A Biomedical Grove, 06-06 Immunos, 138648 Singapore.
MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh, 5 Little France Drive, Edinburgh EH16 4UU, UK.


The mammalian ovary is covered by a single-layered epithelium that undergoes rupture and remodelling following each ovulation. Although resident stem cells are presumed to be crucial for this cyclic regeneration, their identity and mode of action have been elusive. Surrogate stemness assays and in vivo fate-mapping studies using recently discovered stem cell markers have identified stem cell pools in the ovary and fimbria that ensure epithelial homeostasis. Recent findings provide insights into intrinsic mechanisms and local extrinsic cues that govern the function of ovarian and fimbrial stem cells. These discoveries have advanced our understanding of stem cell biology in the ovary and fimbria, and lay the foundations for evaluating the contribution of resident stem cells to the initiation and progression of human epithelial ovarian cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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