Treatment potential of bone marrow-derived stem cells in women with diminished ovarian reserves and premature ovarian failure

Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2019 Jun;31(3):156-162. doi: 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000531.


Purpose of review: We review the techniques recently tested in both animal models and humans to provide a state-of-the-art on adult stem cell ovarian transplant to achieve ovarian rejuvenation in patients with diminished ovarian reserves.

Recent findings: As the firsts reports of spontaneous pregnancies achieved after bone marrow transplantation in oncologic women with primary ovarian insufficiency, increasing evidence supports the regenerative effects of stem cell-based therapies in the ovarian niche. Adult stem cells from several origins promote follicular development, increase ovarian local vascularization, increase follicle and stromal cell proliferation and reduce cell apoptosis and follicular atresia, although they do not modify embryo quality. Therefore, residual quiescent follicles of aged or damaged ovaries might produce competent oocytes in an adequate ovarian environment. Nevertheless, further research is needed to properly evaluate underlying mechanisms, identify best cell sources and design less invasive infusion techniques.

Summary: Stem cells may be a relevant therapeutic alternative for ovary regeneration and follicular development in patients with impaired ovaries, such as poor ovarian responders or women diagnosed with primary ovarian insufficiency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology*
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / therapy
  • Oocytes / physiology
  • Ovarian Follicle / physiology
  • Ovarian Reserve*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency / therapy*
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Young Adult