Stem cell potential of the mammalian gonad

Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2009 Jun 1;1:510-8. doi: 10.2741/e47.


Stem cells have enormous potential for therapeutic application because of their ability to self-renew and differentiate into different cell types. Gonads, which consist of somatic cells and germ cells, are the only organs capable of transmitting genetic materials to the offspring. Germ-line stem cells and somatic stem cells have been found in the testis; however, the presence of stem cells in the ovary remains controversial. In this review, we discuss studies focusing on whether stem cell properties are present in the different cell types of male and female gonads and their implications on stem cell research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Germ Cells / cytology*
  • Gonads / cytology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Stem Cells / cytology*