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Production of offspring from a germline stem cell line derived from neonatal ovaries


The idea that females of most mammalian species have lost the capacity for oocyte production at birth1,2,3,4,5 has been challenged recently by the finding that juvenile and adult mouse ovaries possess mitotically active germ cells6. However, the existence of female germline stem cells (FGSCs) in postnatal mammalian ovaries still remains a controversial issue among reproductive biologists and stem cell researchers6,7,8,9,10. We have now established a neonatal mouse FGSC line, with normal karyotype and high telomerase activity, by immunomagnetic isolation and culture for more than 15 months. FGSCs from adult mice were isolated and cultured for more than 6 months. These FGSCs were infected with GFP virus and transplanted into ovaries of infertile mice. Transplanted cells underwent oogenesis and the mice produced offspring that had the GFP transgene. These findings contribute to basic research into oogenesis and stem cell self-renewal and open up new possibilities for use of FGSCs in biotechnology and medicine.

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Figure 1: Establishment of nFGSC or aFGSC culture.
Figure 2: Isolation and culture of aFGSCs.
Figure 3: Characteristics of the nFGSC line.
Figure 4: FGSC transplantation into recipient mice.
Figure 5: GFP offspring generated from the transplantation of nFGSC line or aFGSCs.


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The authors would like to thank Il-Hoan Oh for providing the MSCV–PGK–GFP vector used in this study. This work was supported by Key Program of National Natural Scientific Foundation of China (No. 30630012), and sponsored by Shanghai Pujiang Program, China (No. 06PJ14058) and Shanghai Leading Academic Discipline Project (No. B205).

Author information




K.Z. and L.S. isolated and cultured FGSCs, and created the FGSC line; K.Z., Z.Yu, Y.Z. and R.H. characterized the nFGSC line and long-term cultured aFGSCs; Z.Yu, Z.Ya and Q.Y. examined the physiological function of FGSCs and the presence of GFP transgenes; H.L. and K.S. carried out COBRA; L.Z. and J.X. performed identification of FGSCs in ovaries; K.Z. participated in data analysis; J.W. planned and supervised the project, carried out FGSC transplantation, analysed data and wrote the paper.

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Correspondence to Ji Wu.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Zou, K., Yuan, Z., Yang, Z. et al. Production of offspring from a germline stem cell line derived from neonatal ovaries. Nat Cell Biol 11, 631–636 (2009).

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