Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Adults lack stem cells for making new eggs

Date:
April 29, 2013
Source:
Carnegie Institution
Summary:
Mammalian females ovulate periodically over their reproductive lifetimes, placing significant demands on their ovaries for egg production. Whether mammals generate new eggs in adulthood using stem cells has been a source of scientific controversy. If true, these "germ-line stem cells" might allow novel treatments for infertility and other diseases.

Mammalian females ovulate periodically over their reproductive lifetimes, placing significant demands on their ovaries for egg production. Whether mammals generate new eggs in adulthood using stem cells has been a source of scientific controversy. If true, these "germ-line stem cells" might allow novel treatments for infertility and other diseases. However, new research from Carnegie's Lei Lei and Allan Spradling demonstrates that adult mice do not use stem cells to produce new eggs.

Related Articles


Their work is published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of April 29.

Before birth, mouse and human ovaries contain an abundant supply of germ cells, some of which will develop into the eggs that will ultimately be released from follicles during ovulation. Around the time of birth these germ cells have formed a large reserve of primordial follicles -- each containing a single immature egg. Evidence of new follicle production is absent after birth, so it has long been believed that the supply of follicles is fixed at birth and eventually runs out, leading to menopause.

During the last decade, some researchers have claimed that primordial follicles in adult mouse ovaries turn over and that females use adult germ-line stem cells to constantly resupply the follicle pool and sustain ovulation. These claims were based on subjective observations of ovarian tissue and on the behavior of extremely rare ovarian cells following extensive growth in tissue culture, a procedure that is capable of "reprogramming" cells.

Lei and Spradling used a technique that allows individual cells and their progeny within a living animal to be followed over time by marking the cells with a new gene. This general approach, known as lineage-tracing, has been a mainstay of classical developmental biology research and has greatly clarified knowledge of tissue stem cells during the last decade.

Their research showed that primordial follicles are highly stable, and that germ-line stem cell activity cannot be detected, even in response to the death of half the existing follicles. The research placed a stringent upper limit on the stem cell activity that could exist in the mouse ovary and escape detection--one stem cell division every two weeks, which is an insignificant level.

What about the rare stem-like cells generated in cultures of ovarian cells? According to Spradling, these cells "likely arise by dedifferentiation in culture," and "the same safety and reliability concerns would apply as to any laboratory-generated cell type that lacks a normal counterpart" in the body.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Institution. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lei Lei and Allan C. Spradling. Female mice lack adult germ-line stem cells but sustain oogenesis using stable primordial follicles. PNAS, April 29, 2013 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1306189110

Cite This Page:

Carnegie Institution. "Adults lack stem cells for making new eggs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130429154103.htm>.
Carnegie Institution. (2013, April 29). Adults lack stem cells for making new eggs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130429154103.htm
Carnegie Institution. "Adults lack stem cells for making new eggs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130429154103.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins