Experimental approaches to the study of human primordial germ cells

Andrew J Childs, Richard A Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The survival, proliferation, and differentiation of primordial germ cells in the mammalian embryo is regulated by a complex cocktail of growth factors and interactions with surrounding somatic cells, which together form a microenvironment known as the germ cell niche. Extensive insight into the signalling pathways that regulate PGC behaviour has been provided by the study of these cells in rodent models, however little is known about the factors that regulate these processes in human PGCs. In this review, we outline experimental approaches to the culture and manipulation of the first trimester human fetal ovary, and discuss immunohistochemical and stereological approaches to detect changes in human PGC numbers and proliferation in response to treatment with exogenous growth factors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-210
Number of pages12
JournalMethods in Molecular Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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