The Joslin study will appear in an upcoming issue of Nature and on the journal's Web site on June 14, 2006.
"It was a very important study to do," says Amy J. Wagers, Ph.D., Investigator in Developmental and Stem Cell Biology at Joslin Diabetes Center and Assistant Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School. "The suggestion that bone marrow cells might represent a previously unappreciated source of cells capable of restoring female fertility had significant implications for patients undergoing chemotherapy, which often leads to sterility, and for individuals donating or receiving bone marrow cells for transplant, as well as for women experiencing premature menopause."
The MGH study reported that transplanted cells from the bone marrow or blood could enter the ovaries of genetically infertile or chemically sterilized female mice and produce new oocytes but didn't study whether those oocytes could be ovulated, or whether bone marrow cells normally migrate to the ovary as part of a normal process of ovary regeneration. The Joslin study's goal was to find out if that was possible.
Joslin study researchers used a parabiotic mouse model in which pairs of mice are joined using a surgical procedure that enables blood vessels to fuse such that the mice develop a common circulatory system. "It's a very u
Contact: Jenny Eriksen
Joslin Diabetes Center