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Generation of human oogonia from induced pluripotent stem cells in vitro

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Science  20 Sep 2018:
eaat1674
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat1674

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Abstract

Human in vitro gametogenesis may transform reproductive medicine. Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) have been induced into primordial germ cell-like cells (hPGCLCs); however, further differentiation to a mature germ cell has not been achieved. Here, we show that hPGCLCs differentiate progressively into oogonia-like cells during a long-term in vitro culture (~four months) in xenogeneic reconstituted ovaries with mouse embryonic ovarian somatic cells. The hPGCLC-derived oogonia display hallmarks of epigenetic reprogramming, i.e., genome-wide DNA demethylation, imprint erasure, and extinguishment of aberrant DNA methylation in hPSCs, and acquire an immediate precursory state for meiotic recombination. Furthermore, the inactive X chromosome shows a progressive demethylation and reactivation, albeit partially. These findings establish the germline competence of hPSCs and provide a critical step toward human in vitro gametogenesis.

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