Virant-Klun, I., Skutella, T., Kubista, M., Vogler A., Sinkovec, J., Meden-Vrtovec, H. Expression of Pluripotency and Oocyte-Related Genes in Single Putative Stem Cells from Human Adult Ovarian Surface Epithelium Cultured In Vitro in the Presence of Follicular Fluid. BioMed Research International, 861460, 2013. ISSN: 2314-6133.
The aim of this study was to trigger the expression of genes related to oocytes in putative ovarian stem cells scraped from the ovarian surface epithelium of women with premature ovarian failure and cultured in vitro in the presence of follicular fluid, rich in substances for oocyte growth and maturation. Ovarian surface epithelium was scraped and cell cultures were set up by scrapings in five women with nonfunctional ovaries and with no naturally present mature follicles or oocytes. In the presence of donated follicular fluid putative stem cells grew and developed into primitive oocyte-like cells. A detailed single-cell gene expression profiling was performed to elucidate their genetic status in comparison to human embryonic stem cells, oocytes, and somatic fibroblasts. The ovarian cell cultures depleted/converted reproductive hormones from the culture medium. Estradiol alone or together with other substances may be involved in development of these primitive oocyte-like cells. The majority of primitive oocyte-like cells was mononuclear and expressed several genes related to pluripotency and oocytes, including genes related to meiosis, although they did not express some important oocyte-specific genes. Our work reveals the presence of putative stem cells in the ovarian surface epithelium of women with premature ovarian failure.