Initial characterisation of adult human ovarian cell populations isolated by DDX4 expression and aldehyde dehydrogenase activity

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Abstract

The existence of a population of putative stem cells with germline developmental potential (oogonial stem cells: OSCs) in the adult mammalian ovary has been marked by controversy over isolation methodology and potential for in-vitro transformation, particularly where cell sorting has been based on expression of DEAD box polypeptide 4 (DDX4). This study describes a refined tissue dissociation/fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) protocol for the ovaries of adult women which results in increased cell viability and yield of putative OSCs. A FACS technique incorporating dual-detection of DDX4 with aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) demonstrates the existence of two sub-populations of small DDX4-positive cells (approx. 7 µm diameter) with ALDH1 activity, distinguished by expression of differentially spliced DDX4 transcripts and of DAZL, a major regulator of germ cell differentiation. These may indicate stages of differentiation from a progenitor population and provide a likely explanation for the expression disparities reported previously. These findings provide a robust basis for the further characterisation of these cells, and exploration of their potential physiological roles and therapeutic application.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6953
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2018

Keywords

  • adult stem cells
  • cell biology

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