Objective: To assess if infusion of human bone marrow-derived stem cells (BMDSCs) could promote follicle development in patients with impaired ovarian functions.
Design: Experimental design.
Setting: University research laboratories.
Animal(s): Immunodeficient NOD/SCID female mice.
Intervention(s): Human BMDSCs were injected into mice with chemotherapy-induced ovarian damage and into immunodeficient mice xenografted with human cortex from poor-responder patients (PRs).
Main outcome measure(s): Follicle development, ovulation, and offspring. Apoptosis, proliferation, and vascularization were evaluated in mouse and human ovarian stroma.
Result(s): Fertility rescue and spontaneous pregnancies were achieved in mice ovaries mimicking PRs and ovarian insufficiency, induced by chemotherapy, after BMDSC infusion. Furthermore, BMDSC treatment resulted in production of higher numbers of preovulatory follicles, metaphase II oocytes, 2-cell embryos, and healthy pups. Stem cells promoted ovarian vascularization and cell proliferation, along with reduced apoptosis. In xenografted human ovarian tissues from PRs, infusion of BMDSCs and their CD133+ fraction led to their engraftment close to follicles, resulting in promotion of follicular growth, increases in E2 secretion, and enhanced local vascularization.
Conclusion(s): Our results raised the possibility that promoting ovarian angiogenesis by BMDSC infusion could be an alternative approach to improve follicular development in women with impaired ovarian function.
Clinical trial registration number: NCT02240342.
Keywords: Bone marrow–derived stem cell infusion; follicle rescue; ovarian niche regeneration; poor ovarian response; primary ovarian insufficiency.
Copyright © 2018 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.