Isolation of small SSEA-4-positive putative stem cells from the ovarian surface epithelium of adult human ovaries by two different methods.
ABSTRACT: The adult ovarian surface epithelium has already been proposed as a source of stem cells and germinal cells in the literature, therefore it has been termed the "germinal epithelium". At present more studies have confirmed the presence of stem cells expressing markers of pluripotency in adult mammalian ovaries, including humans. The aim of this study was to isolate a population of stem cells, based on the expression of pluripotency-related stage-specific embryonic antigen-4 (SSEA-4) from adult human ovarian surface epithelium by two different methods: magnetic-activated cell sorting and fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Both methods made it possible to isolate a similar, relatively homogenous population of small, SSEA-4-positive cells with diameters of up to 4? ?m from the suspension of cells retrieved by brushing of the ovarian cortex biopsies in reproductive-age and postmenopausal women and in women with premature ovarian failure. The immunocytochemistry and genetic analyses revealed that these small cells--putative stem cells--expressed some primordial germ cell and pluripotency-related markers and might be related to the in vitro development of oocyte-like cells expressing some oocyte-specific transcription factors in the presence of donated follicular fluid with substances important for oocyte growth and development. The stemness of these cells needs to be further researched.
Project description:BACKGROUND: It has already been found that very small embyronic-like stem cells (VSELs) are present in adult human tissues and organs. The aim of this study was to find if there exists any similar population of cells in cell cultures of reproductive tissues and embryonic stem cells, and if these cells have any relation to pluripotency and germinal lineage. METHODS AND RESULTS: Here we report that a population of small SSEA-4-positive cells with diameters of up to 4 ?m was isolated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) from the human ovarian cell cultures after enzymatic degradation of adult cortex tissues. These small cells - putative ovarian stem cells - were also observed during cell culturing of up to 6 months and more. In general, small putative ovarian stem cells, isolated by FACS, showed a relatively low gene expression profile when compared to human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and human adult fibroblasts; this may reflect the quiescent state of these cells. In spite of that, small putative ovarian stem cells expressed several genes related to primordial germ cells (PGCs), pluripotency and germinal lineage, including VASA. The PGC-related gene PRDM1 was strongly expressed in small putative ovarian stem cells; in both hESCs and fibroblasts it was significantly down-regulated. In addition, putative ovarian stem cells expressed other PGC-related genes, such as PRDM14 and DPPA3. Most of the pluripotency and germinal lineage-related genes were up-regulated in hESCs (except VASA). When compared to fibroblasts, there were several pluripotency-related genes, which were up-regulated in small putative ovarian stem cells. Similar populations of small cells were also isolated by FACS from human testicular and hESC cultures. CONCLUSIONS: Our results confirm the potential embryonic-like character of small putative stem cells isolated from human adult ovaries and their possible relation to germinal lineage.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Recent studies suggest that ovarian germ line stem cells replenish oocyte-pool in adult stage, and challenge the central doctrine of 'fixed germ cell pool' in mammalian reproductive biology. Two distinct populations of spherical stem cells with high nucleo-cytoplasmic ratio have been recently identified in the adult mammalian ovary surface epithelium (OSE) including nuclear OCT-4A positive very small embryonic-like (VSELs) and cytoplasmic OCT-4 expressing ovarian germ stem cells (OGSCs). Three weeks culture of scraped OSE cells results in spontaneous differentiation of the stem cells into oocyte-like, parthenote-like, embryoid body-like structures and also embryonic stem cell-like colonies whereas epithelial cells attach and transform into a bed of mesenchymal cells. Present study was undertaken, to further characterize ovarian stem cells and to comprehend better the process of spontaneous differentiation of ovarian stem cells into oocyte-like structures in vitro. METHODS: Ovarian stem cells were enriched by immunomagnetic sorting using SSEA-4 as a cell surface marker and were further characterized. Stem cells and clusters of OGSCs (reminiscent of germ cell nests in fetal ovaries), were characterized by immuno-localization for stem and germ cell specific markers and spontaneous differentiation in OSE cultures was studied by live cell imaging. RESULTS: Differential expression of markers specific for pluripotent VSELs (nuclear OCT-4A, SSEA-4, CD133), OGSCs (cytoplasmic OCT-4) primordial germ cells (FRAGILIS, STELLA, VASA) and germ cells (DAZL, GDF-9, SCP-3) were studied. Within one week of culture, stem cells became bigger in size, developed abundant cytoplasm, differentiated into germ cells, revealed presence of Balbiani body-like structure (mitochondrial cloud) and exhibited characteristic cytoplasmic streaming. CONCLUSIONS: Presence of germ cell nests, Balbiani body-like structures and cytoplasmic streaming extensively described during fetal ovary development, are indeed well recapitulated during in vitro oogenesis in adult OSE cultures along with characteristic expression of stem/germ cell/oocyte markers. Further studies are required to assess the genetic integrity of in vitro derived oocytes before harnessing their clinical potential. Advance in our knowledge about germ cell differentiation from stem cells will enable researchers to design better in vitro strategies which in turn may have relevance to reproductive biology and regenerative medicine.
Project description:A population of small stem cells with diameters of up to 5 ?m resembling very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs) were sorted from human embryonic stem cell (hESC) cultures using magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS) based on the expression of a stem-cell-related marker prominin-1 (CD133). These VSEL-like stem cells had nuclei that almost filled the whole cell volume and expressed stem-cell-related markers (CD133, SSEA-4) and markers of germinal lineage (DDX4/VASA, PRDM14). They were comparable to similar populations of small stem cells sorted from cell cultures of normal ovaries and were the predominant cells in ascites of recurrent ovarian cancer. The sorted populations of CD133+ VSEL-like stem cells were quiescent in vitro, except for ascites, and were highly activated after exposure to valproic acid and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), indicating a new tool to study these cells in vitro. These VSEL-like stem cells spontaneously formed clusters resembling tumour-like structures or grew into larger, oocyte-like cells and were differentiated in vitro into adipogenic, osteogenic and neural lineages after sorting. We propose the population of VSEL-like stem cells from hESC cultures as potential original embryonic stem cells, which are present in the human embryo, persist in adult human ovaries from the embryonic period of life and are involved in cancer manifestation.
Project description:The present study was undertaken to detect, characterize, and study differentiation potential of stem cells in adult rabbit, sheep, monkey, and menopausal human ovarian surface epithelium (OSE). Two distinct populations of putative stem cells (PSCs) of variable size were detected in scraped OSE, one being smaller and other similar in size to the surrounding red blood cells in the scraped OSE. The smaller 1-3??m very small embryonic-like PSCs were pluripotent in nature with nuclear Oct-4 and cell surface SSEA-4, whereas the bigger 4-7??m cells with cytoplasmic localization of Oct-4 and minimal expression of SSEA-4 were possibly the tissue committed progenitor stem cells. Pluripotent gene transcripts of Oct-4, Oct-4A, Nanog, Sox-2, TERT, and Stat-3 in human and sheep OSE were detected by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. The PSCs underwent spontaneous differentiation into oocyte-like structures, parthenote-like structures, embryoid body-like structures, cells with neuronal-like phenotype, and embryonic stem cell-like colonies, whereas the epithelial cells transformed into mesenchymal phenotype by epithelial-mesenchymal transition in 3 weeks of OSE culture. Germ cell markers like c-Kit, DAZL, GDF-9, VASA, and ZP4 were immuno-localized in oocyte-like structures. In conclusion, as opposed to the existing view of OSE being a bipotent source of oocytes and granulosa cells, mammalian ovaries harbor distinct very small embryonic-like PSCs and tissue committed progenitor stem cells population that have the potential to develop into oocyte-like structures in vitro, whereas mesenchymal fibroblasts appear to form supporting granulosa-like somatic cells. Research at the single-cell level, including complete gene expression profiling, is required to further confirm whether postnatal oogenesis is a conserved phenomenon in adult mammals.
Project description:An important risk in the clinical application of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), including human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells (hESCs and hiPSCs), is teratoma formation by residual undifferentiated cells. We raised a monoclonal antibody against hESCs, designated anti-stage-specific embryonic antigen (SSEA)-5, which binds a previously unidentified antigen highly and specifically expressed on hPSCs--the H type-1 glycan. Separation based on SSEA-5 expression through fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) greatly reduced teratoma-formation potential of heterogeneously differentiated cultures. To ensure complete removal of teratoma-forming cells, we identified additional pluripotency surface markers (PSMs) exhibiting a large dynamic expression range during differentiation: CD9, CD30, CD50, CD90 and CD200. Immunohistochemistry studies of human fetal tissues and bioinformatics analysis of a microarray database revealed that concurrent expression of these markers is both common and specific to hPSCs. Immunodepletion with antibodies against SSEA-5 and two additional PSMs completely removed teratoma-formation potential from incompletely differentiated hESC cultures.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Cryopreserved ovarian cortical tissue acts as a source of primordial follicles (PF) which can either be auto-transplanted or cultured in vitro to obtain mature oocytes. This offers a good opportunity to attain biological parenthood to individuals with gonadal insufficiency including cancer survivors. However, role of various intra- and extra-ovarian factors during PF growth initiation still remain poorly understood. Ovarian biology has assumed a different dimension due to emerging data on presence of pluripotent very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs) and ovarian germ stem cells (OGSCs) in ovary surface epithelium (OSE) and the concept of postnatal oogenesis. The present study was undertaken to decipher effect of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) on the growth initiation of PF during organ culture with a focus on ovarian stem cells. METHODS: Serum-free cultures of marmoset (n=3) and human (young and peri-menopausal) ovarian cortical tissue pieces were established. Cortical tissue pieces stimulated with FSH (0.5 IU/ml) or bFGF (100 ng/ml) were collected on Day 3 for histological and molecular studies. Gene transcripts specific for pluripotency (Oct-4A, Nanog), early germ cells (Oct-4, c-Kit, Vasa) and to reflect PF growth initiation (oocyte-specific Gdf-9 and Lhx8, and granulosa cells specific Amh) were studied by q-RTPCR. RESULTS: A prominent proliferation of OSE (which harbors stem cells) and transition of PF to primary follicles was observed after FSH and bFGF treatment. Ovarian stem cells were found to be released on the culture inserts and retained the potential to spontaneously differentiate into oocyte-like structures in extended cultures. q-RTPCR analysis revealed an increased expression of gene transcripts specific for VSELs, OGSCs and early germ cells suggestive of follicular transition. CONCLUSION: The present study shows that both FSH and bFGF stimulate stem cells present in OSE and also lead to PF growth initiation. Thus besides being a source of PF, cryopreserved ovarian cortical tissue could also be a source of stem cells which retain the ability to spontaneously differentiate into oocyte-like structures in vitro. Results provide a paradigm shift in the basic understanding of FSH action and also offer a new perspective to the field of oncofertility research.
Project description:We recently demonstrated that somatic cells from adult primates could be reprogrammed into a pluripotent state by somatic cell nuclear transfer. However, the low efficiency with donor cells from one monkey necessitated the need for large oocyte numbers. Here, we demonstrate nearly threefold higher blastocyst development and embryonic stem (ES) cell derivation rates with different nuclear donor cells. Two ES cell lines were isolated using adult female rhesus macaque skin fibroblasts as nuclear donors and oocytes retrieved from one female, following a single controlled ovarian stimulation. In addition to routine pluripotency tests involving in vitro and in vivo differentiation into various somatic cell types, primate ES cells derived from reprogrammed somatic cells were also capable of contributing to cells expressing markers of germ cells. Moreover, imprinted gene expression, methylation, telomere length, and X-inactivation analyses were consistent with accurate and extensive epigenetic reprogramming of somatic cells by oocyte-specific factors.
Project description:We use the common marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus) as a preclinical nonhuman primate model to study reproductive and stem cell biology. The neonatal marmoset monkey ovary contains numerous primitive premeiotic germ cells (oogonia) expressing pluripotent stem cell markers including OCT4A (POU5F1). This is a peculiarity compared to neonatal human and rodent ovaries. Here, we aimed at culturing marmoset oogonia from neonatal ovaries. We established a culture system being stable for more than 20 passages and 5 months. Importantly, comparative transcriptome analysis of the cultured cells with neonatal ovary, embryonic stem cells, and fibroblasts revealed a lack of germ cell and pluripotency genes indicating the complete loss of oogonia upon initiation of the culture. From passage 4 onwards, however, the cultured cells produced large spherical, free-floating cells resembling oocyte-like cells (OLCs). OLCs strongly expressed several germ cell genes and may derive from the ovarian surface epithelium. In summary, our novel primate ovarian cell culture initially lacked detectable germ cells but then produced OLCs over a long period of time. This culture system may allow a deeper analysis of early phases of female primate germ cell development and-after significant refinement-possibly also the production of monkey oocytes.
Project description:Human adipose tissue has been recently recognized as a potential source of stem cells for regenerative medicine applications, including bone tissue engineering (TE). Despite the gathered knowledge regarding the differentiation potential of human adipose tissue-derived stem cells (hASCs), in what concerns the endothelial lineage many uncertainties are still present. The existence of a cell subpopulation within the human adipose tissue that expresses a SSEA-4 marker, usually associated to pluripotency, raises expectations on the differentiation capacity of these cells (SSEA-4(+)hASCs). In the present study, the endothelial and osteogenic differentiation potential of the SSEA-4(+)hASCs was analyzed, aiming at proposing a single-cell source/subpopulation for the development of vascularized bone TE constructs. SSEA-4(+)hASCs were isolated using immunomagnetic sorting and cultured either in ?-MEM, in EGM-2 MV (endothelial growth medium), or in osteogenic medium. SSEA-4(+)hASCs cultured in EGM-2 MV formed endothelial cell-like colonies characterized by a cobblestone morphology and expression of CD31, CD34, CD105, and von Willebrand factor as determined by quantitative reverse transcriptase (RT)-polymerase chain reaction, immunofluorescence, and flow cytometry. The endothelial phenotype was also confirmed by their ability to incorporate acetylated low-density lipoprotein and to form capillary-like structures when seeded on Matrigel. SSEA-4(+)hASCs cultured in ?-MEM displayed fibroblastic-like morphology and exhibited a mesenchymal surface marker profile (>90% CD90(+)/CD73(+)/CD105(+)). After culture in osteogenic conditions, an overexpression of osteogenic-related markers (osteopontin and osteocalcin) was observed both at molecular and protein levels. Matrix mineralization detected by Alizarin Red staining confirmed SSEA-4(+)hASCs osteogenic differentiation. Herein, we demonstrate that from a single-cell source, human adipose tissue, and by selecting the appropriate subpopulation it is possible to obtain microvascular-like endothelial cells and osteoblasts, the most relevant cell types for the creation of vascularized bone tissue-engineered constructs.
Project description:Adult mesenchymal stromal cell-based interventions have shown promising results in a broad range of diseases. However, their use has faced limited effectiveness owing to the low survival rates and susceptibility to environmental stress on transplantation. We describe the cellular and molecular characteristics of multilineage-differentiating stress-enduring (Muse) cells derived from adipose tissue (AT), a subpopulation of pluripotent stem cells isolated from human lipoaspirates. Muse-AT cells were efficiently obtained using a simple, fast, and affordable procedure, avoiding cell sorting and genetic manipulation methods. Muse-AT cells isolated under severe cellular stress, expressed pluripotency stem cell markers and spontaneously differentiated into the three germ lineages. Muse-AT cells grown as spheroids have a limited proliferation rate, a diameter of ?15 µm, and ultrastructural organization similar to that of embryonic stem cells. Muse-AT cells evidenced high stage-specific embryonic antigen-3 (SSEA-3) expression (?60% of cells) after 7-10 days growing in suspension and did not form teratomas when injected into immunodeficient mice. SSEA-3+ -Muse-AT cells expressed CD105, CD29, CD73, human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I, CD44, and CD90 and low levels of HLA class II, CD45, and CD34. Using lipopolysaccharide-stimulated macrophages and antigen-challenged T-cell assays, we have shown that Muse-AT cells have anti-inflammatory activities downregulating the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines, such as interferon-? and tumor necrosis factor-?. Muse-AT cells spontaneously gained transforming growth factor-?1 expression that, in a phosphorylated SMAD2-dependent manner, might prove pivotal in their observed immunoregulatory activity through decreased expression of T-box transcription factor in T cells. Collectively, the present study has demonstrated the feasibility and efficiency of obtaining Muse-AT cells that can potentially be harnessed as immunoregulators to treat immune-related disorders. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2017;6:161-173.