INVITED REVIEW
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 415-420

Insights into female germ cell biology: from in vivo development to in vitro derivations


Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, School of Medicine, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

Correspondence Address:
Kehkooi Kee
Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, School of Medicine, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084
China
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1008-682X.148077

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Understanding the mechanisms of human germ cell biology is important for developing infertility treatments. However, little is known about the mechanisms that regulate human gametogenesis due to the difficulties in collecting samples, especially germ cells during fetal development. In contrast to the mitotic arrest of spermatogonia stem cells in the fetal testis, female germ cells proceed into meiosis and began folliculogenesis in fetal ovaries. Regulations of these developmental events, including the initiation of meiosis and the endowment of primordial follicles, remain an enigma. Studying the molecular mechanisms of female germ cell biology in the human ovary has been mostly limited to spatiotemporal characterizations of genes or proteins. Recent efforts in utilizing in vitro differentiation system of stem cells to derive germ cells have allowed researchers to begin studying molecular mechanisms during human germ cell development. Meanwhile, the possibility of isolating female germline stem cells in adult ovaries also excites researchers and generates many debates. This review will mainly focus on presenting and discussing recent in vivo and in vitro studies on female germ cell biology in human. The topics will highlight the progress made in understanding the three main stages of germ cell developments: namely, primordial germ cell formation, meiotic initiation, and folliculogenesis.


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