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Post-natal oogenesis: a concept for controversy that intensified during the last decade

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 December 2013

Yashar Esmaeilian*
Biotechnology Institute, University of Ankara, Ankara 06500, Turkey. Biotechnology Institute, University of Ankara, Ankara, Turkey.
Arzu Atalay
Biotechnology Institute, University of Ankara, Ankara, Turkey.
Esra Erdemli
Department of Histology and Embryology, School of Medicine, University of Ankara, Ankara, Turkey.
All correspondence to: Yashar Esmaeilian. Biotechnology Institute, University of Ankara, Ankara 06500, Turkey. Tel: +90 312 222 5816. Fax: +90 312 222 5872. e-mail:


For decades, scientists have considered that female mammals are born with a lifetime reserve of oocytes in the ovary, irrevocably fated to decline after birth. However, controversy in the matter of the possible presence of oocytes and granulosa cells that originate from stem cells in the adult mammalian ovaries has been expanded. The restricted supply of oocytes in adult female mammals has been disputed in recent years by supporters of neo-oogenesis, who claim that germline stem cells (GSCs) exist in the ovarian surface epithelium (OSE) or the bone marrow (BM). Differentiation of ovarian stem cells (OSCs) into oocytes, fibroblast-like cells, granulosa phenotype, neural and mesenchymal type cells and generation of germ cells from OSCs under the contribution of an OSC niche that consists of immune system-related cells and hormonal signalling has been claimed. Although these arguments have met with intense suspicion, their confirmation would necessitate the revision of the current classic knowledge of female reproductive biology.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

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