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Barrett S.L.,Northwestern University | Barrett S.L.,Center for Reproductive science | Shea L.D.,Northwestern University | Woodruff T.K.,Northwestern University
Biology of Reproduction | Year: 2010

Cryopreservation of oocytes and embryos is commonly used to preserve fertility. However, women undergoing cancer treatment may not have the time or may not be good candidates for these options. Ovarian cortical tissue cryopreservation and subsequent tissue transplant has been proven successful yet inefficient in preserving larger secondary follicles, and is not recommended as a fertility preservation option for women with certain cancers. We evaluated cryopreservation of individual follicles as an alternative option in rodents, nonhuman primates, and human primates. Under optimal conditions, cryopreserved mouse secondary follicles were able to reestablish granulosa cell-oocyte interactions, which are essential for subsequent follicle growth. Individual secondary follicles survived cryopreservation, were able to be cultured in a three-dimensional alginate hydrogel matrix to the antral stage, and the enclosed oocytes were competent for fertilization. Using a vital imaging technique (pol-scope) employed in many fertility centers, we were able to bioassay the thawed, cultured follicles for the presence of transzonal connections between the somatic and germ cells. Perturbations in these linkages were shown to be reversed when follicles were cryopreserved under optimal freezing conditions. We applied the optimized cryopreservation protocol to isolated rhesus monkey and human secondary follicles, and using the birefringent bioassay, we were able to show good correlation between early follicle growth and healthy somatic cell-oocyte connections. Our results suggest that ovarian follicles can be cryopreserved, thawed, and analyzed noninvasively, making follicle preservation an additional option for young cancer patients. © 2010 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.

Robinson J.F.,Center for Reproductive science | Robinson J.F.,Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research | Fisher S.J.,Center for Reproductive science | Fisher S.J.,Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research | Fisher S.J.,University of California at San Francisco
Cell Research | Year: 2014

Implantation involves complex signaling networks, which direct morphological and molecular transformation of the embryo and the uterus and establish the trajectory of normal pregnancy. The recent work by Zhang et al. published in Cell Research, identifies the transcriptional regulator, Rbpj, as essential for uterine closure and proper embryo alignment during implantation in the mouse, raising the possibility that aberrant Rbpj signaling could contribute to infertility in humans. © 2014 IBCB, SIBS, CAS.

Boehme J.,Center for Reproductive science | Maltepe E.,Center for Reproductive science
Journal of Clinical Investigation | Year: 2015

Clinical vignette: An 8-year-old boy presents to the pediatric ICU after two days of cough with increasing secretions. The patient is progressing to respiratory failure and requires noninvasive mechanical ventilation. His past medical history is remarkable for premature birth at 25 and 6/7 weeks gestational age, cerebral palsy, developmental delay, epilepsy, and gastrostomy tube dependence. His chest x-ray is remarkable for multifocal opacities that are consistent with atelectasis. A complete blood count reveals a wbc count of 9.2 with a normal differential, Hg of 11.7, and platelet count of 276,000. A respiratory viral panel from a nasal swab returns positive for rhinovirus. Additional patient history from the parents uncovers that he has been hospitalized three times over the course of the past 2 years with a similar presentation.

Genbacev O.,Center for Reproductive science | Genbacev O.,University of California at San Francisco | Vicovac L.,University of Belgrade | Larocque N.,Center for Reproductive science | And 2 more authors.
Placenta | Year: 2015

Background/purpose Human placenta and chorion are rapidly growing transient embryonic organs built from diverse cell populations that are of either, ectodermal [placenta and chorion specific trophoblast (TB) cells], or mesodermal origin [villous core and chorionic mesenchyme]. The development of placenta and chorion is synchronized from the earliest phase of implantation. Little is known about the formative stages of the human chorion, in particular the steps between the formation of a smooth chorion and its fusion with the parietal decidua. Methods We examined the available histological material using immunohistochemistry, and further analyzed in vitro the characteristics of the recently established and reported human self-renewing trophoblast progenitor cells (TBPC) derived from chorionic mesoderm. Results Here, we provided evidence that the mechanism by which smooth chorion fuses with parietal decidua is the invasion of smooth chorionic cytotrophoblasts (schCTBs) into the uterine wall opposite to the implantation side. This process, which partially replicates some of the mechanisms of the blastocyst implantation, leads to the formation of a new zone of contacts between fetal and maternal cells. Conclusion We propose the schCTBs invasion of the parietal decidua as a mechanism of 'fusion' of the membranes, and that schCTBs in vivo contribute to the pool of the invasive schCTB. © Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Maltepe E.,Center for Reproductive science | Maltepe E.,University of California at San Francisco | Fisher S.J.,Center for Reproductive science | Fisher S.J.,University of California at San Francisco
Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology | Year: 2015

The placenta sits at the interface between the maternal and fetal vascular beds where it mediates nutrient and waste exchange to enable in utero existence. Placental cells (trophoblasts) accomplish this via invading and remodeling the uterine vasculature. Amazingly, despite being of fetal origin, trophoblasts do not trigger a significant maternal immune response. Additionally, they maintain a highly reliable hemostasis in this extremely vascular interface. Decades of research into how the placenta differentiates itself from embryonic tissues to accomplish these and other feats have revealed a previously unappreciated level of complexity with respect to the placenta's cellular composition. Additionally, novel insights with respect to roles played by the placenta in guiding fetal development and metabolism have sparked a renewed interest in understanding the interrelationship between fetal and placental well-being. Here, we present an overview of emerging research in placental biology that highlights these themes and the importance of the placenta to fetal and adult health. © 2015 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

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