Lgr5 marks stem/progenitor cells in ovary and tubal epithelia

Annie Ng, Shawna Tan, Gurmit Singh, Pamela Rizk, Yada Swathi, Tuan Zea Tan, Ruby Yun-Ju Huang, Marc Leushacke, Nick Barker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ovary surface epithelium (OSE) undergoes ovulatory tear and remodelling throughout life. Resident stem cells drive such tissue homeostasis in many adult epithelia, but their existence in the ovary has not been definitively proven. Lgr5 marks stem cells in multiple epithelia. Here we use reporter mice and single-molecule fluorescent in situ hybridization to document candidate Lgr5(+) stem cells in the mouse ovary and associated structures. Lgr5 is broadly expressed during ovary organogenesis, but becomes limited to the OSE in neonate life. In adults, Lgr5 expression is predominantly restricted to proliferative regions of the OSE and mesovarian-fimbria junctional epithelia. Using in vivo lineage tracing, we identify embryonic and neonate Lgr5(+) populations as stem/progenitor cells contributing to the development of the OSE cell lineage, as well as epithelia of the mesovarian ligament and oviduct/fimbria. Adult Lgr5(+) populations maintain OSE homeostasis and ovulatory regenerative repair in vivo. Thus, Lgr5 marks stem/progenitor cells of the ovary and tubal epithelia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745-57
Number of pages13
JournalNature Cell Biology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


  • Adult Stem Cells
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cell Lineage
  • Embryonic Stem Cells
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Fallopian Tubes
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Genetic Markers
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Models, Biological
  • Ovary
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Regeneration
  • Transcriptome

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