For over fifty years the science of fertility in women has been unchallenged. A woman will go though menopause and cease to be able to bear a child from her own eggs. Only recently over the past few years has it come to light that men’s reproductive organs produce less sperm with age.
Jonathon Tilly and his research team at the Massachusetts hospital have discovered stem cells in the ovaries of mice responsible for developing follicles containing eggs and the surrounding cells who nourish the eggs. Tilly came to the conclusion that something must be going on when he calculated the amount of eggs adult mice were losing per day.
In comparison, the remaining egg amount was more then expected. Green fluorescent protein was used as a marker to determine what was happening inside of the mice ovaries. The green glowing eggs led them to a niche where stem cells were producing immature eggs. They were located in the ovaries where most scientists had previously never thought to look. This breakthrough would begin a path of dispelling the belief that women are born with all their eggs.
It might help to ease the mind of a ravaged cancer victim who may benefit from regenerating egg stem cells as long as all the stem cells aren’t destroyed by treatment.The Tilly team hard at work soon noticed every time a cancer patient received a bone marrow transplant shortly after the recipient became fertile again. The theory was the bone marrow carries a specific type of stem cell the ovaries use to replenish the egg supply. The bone marrow received from the donor carries these stem cells. Fertility is now restored in the cancer victim.
Another research team set out to uncover their own findings about eggs from bone marrow stem cells. They came to the conclusion using mice joined together by the skin of their legs in order to mingle their circulatory system and green fluorescent protein that the bone marrow theory was untrue. The finding does not darken the optimistic Tilly. His study had been on immature eggs not ovulated eggs of the ovary.
Granulosa cells form a niche near the external part of the ovary. In this niche ovary stem cells are thought to divide and become immature eggs. One group of scientists did a study using five women aged thirty nine to fifty two and were able to grow mature eggs using immature eggs scraped from the surface of the ovaries suggesting proof of stem cells situated at or close to the outer area of the ovary.It
It is still unclear why menopause actually occurs. Perhaps the signal ovaries are thought to send to stem cells to produce immature eggs gets jumbled up or weakens along the way. It is now known that excess signaling can prolong fertilitlife.
Hormone ts can revive the ovaries. A woman can go through menopause take some doctor prescribed pills and continue to have periods as long as she takes them. There are pills that will cause a woman to produce breast milk without being pregnant.
With the dawning of ovary stem cells there is hope of equal fertility in women and men.