Recent studies suggest that bone marrow stem cells (BMSCs) are promising grafts to treat a variety of diseases, including reproductive dysfunction. Primary ovarian failure is characterized by amenorrhea and infertility in a normal karyotype female, with an elevated serum level of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and a decrease level of estrogen caused by a mutation in FSH receptor (FSHR) gene. Currently, there is no effective treatment for this condition. The phenotype of FSHR (-/-) mouse, FORKO (follitropin receptor knockout), is a suitable model to study ovarian failure in humans. Female FORKO mice have elevated FSH, decreased estrogen levels, are sterile because of the absence of folliculogenesis, and display thin uteri and small nonfunctional ovaries. In this study, we determined the effects of BMSC transplantation on reproductive physiology in this animal model. Twenty four hours post BMSC transplantation, treated animals showed detectable estroidogeneic changes in daily vaginal smear. Significant increase in total body weight and reproductive organs was observed in treated animals. Hemotoxylin and eosin (H&E) evaluation of the ovaries demonstrated significant increase in both the maturation and the total number of the follicles in treated animals. The FSH dropped to 40-50% and estrogen increased 4-5.5 times in the serum of treated animals compared to controls. The FSHR mRNA was detected in the ovaries of treated animals. Our results show that intravenously injected BMSCs were able to reach the ovaries of FORKO mice, differentiate and express FHSR gene, make FSHR responsive to FSH, resume estrogen hormone production, and restore folliculogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)