Effects of in vitro culture of mouse fetal gonads on subsequent ovarian development in vivo and oocyte maturation in vitro

Hideyuki H. Motohashi, Tadashi Sankai, Koichi Nariai, Kahei Sato, Hidemi Kada

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Under organ culture, female fetal gonads in mice cannot develop beyond the preantral follicle stage unless the follicles are individually isolated and cultured again. In this study, we investigated the effect of in vitro culture of female fetal gonads before transplantation on subsequent in vivo development. The gonads derived from female fetuses 12.5 days postcoitum were organ-cultured for 0, 7 and 14 days, and then were grafted underneath the kidney capsules of severe combined immunodeficient mice and recovered at 21, 14 and 7 days post-transplantation, respectively. The histological analysis of the grafts showed that the in vitro culture of the fetal gonads restricted follicular development to the antral follicle stage post-transplantation. In the grafts cultured for 14 days, particularly, no antral follicle was observed. However, the oocytes in these follicles had grown to around 65 μm in diameter and had competence to resume meiosis in vitro. When the fetal gonads were grafted after culture for 7 and 14 days, 13.0% and 6.8% of the oocytes progressed to the metaphase II stage, respectively. These data showed significant differences (P <0.05) in comparison with the control group (25.3%). Our results indicate that the in vitro culture of female fetal gonads before transplantation affects the subsequent in vivo development of both follicular cells and oocytes, and in vitro oocyte maturation. However, this effect seems to be more severe in terms of follicular development when compared with oocyte growth and maturation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-48
Number of pages6
JournalHuman cell : official journal of Human Cell Research Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Follicular development
  • Oocyte growth and maturation
  • Oogenesis
  • Organ culture
  • Ovarian transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research

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