Recent studies support the existence of oogonial stem cells (OSCs) in the ovarian cortex of different mammals, including women.These cells are characterized by small size, membrane expression of DEAD(Asp-Glu-Ala-Asp)-box polypeptide-4 (Ddx4), and stemness properties (such as self-renewal and clonal expansion) as well as the ability to differentiate in vitro into oocyte-like cells. However, the discovery of OSCs contrasts with the popular theory that there is a numerically defined oocyte pool for female fertility which undergoes exhaustion with menopause. Indeed, in the ovarian cortex of postmenopausal women OSCs have been detected that possess both viability and capability to differentiate into oocytes, which is similar to those observed in younger patients. The pathophysiological role of this cell population in aged women is still debated since OSCs, under appropriate stimuli, differentiate into somatic cells, and the occurrence of Ddx4+ cells in ovarian tumor samples also suggests their potential involvement in carcinogenesis. Although further investigation into these observations is needed to clarify OSC function in ovary physiology, clinical investigators and researchers studying female infertility are presently focusing on OSCs as a novel opportunity to restore ovarian reserve in both young women undergoing early ovarian failure and cancer survivors experiencing iatrogenic menopause.
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|Titolo:||Ddx4+ Oogonial Stem Cells in Postmenopausal Women's Ovaries: A Controversial, Undefined Role|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|