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Life-long in vivo cell-lineage tracing shows that no oogenesis originates from putative germline stem cells in adult mice

Journal article
Authors Hua Zhang
L. Liu
Xin Li
Kiran Busayavalasa
Yan Shen
O. Hovatta
J. A. Gustafsson
Kui Liu
Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America
Volume 111
Issue 50
Pages 17983-17988
ISSN 0027-8424
Publisher National Academy of Sciences
Publication year 2014
Published at Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 17983-17988
Language en
Keywords Follicle tracing, Genetically modified mouse models, Life-long observations, No postnatal oocyte regeneration, Oocyte tracing, cre recombinase, growth differentiation factor 9, messenger RNA, adult, animal cell, animal experiment, animal tissue, Article, cell lineage, controlled study, corpus luteum, female, gene expression, genetically engineered mouse strain, germline stem cell, lifespan, male, mouse, nonhuman, oocyte development, ovary, primordial germ cell, regeneration, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, somatic cell, spermatogenesis, Mus
Subject categories Cell and Molecular Biology, Cancer and Oncology


Whether or not oocyte regeneration occurs in adult life has been the subject of much debate. In this study, we have traced germcell lineages over the life spans of three genetically modified mouse models and provide direct evidence that oogenesis does not originate from any germline stem cells (GSCs) in adult mice. By selective ablation of all existing oocytes in a Gdf9-Cre;iDTR mouse model, we have demonstrated that no new germ cells were ever regenerated under pathological conditions. By in vivo tracing of oocytes and follicles in the Sohlh1-CreERT2;R26R and Foxl2-CreERT2;mT/mG mouse models, respectively, we have shown that the initial pool of oocytes is the only source of germ cells throughout the life span of the mice and that no adult oogenesis ever occurs under physiological conditions. Our findings clearly show that there are no GSCs that contribute to adult oogenesis in mice and that the initial pool of oocytes formed in early life is the only source of germ cells throughout the entire reproductive life span.

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