Recapitulating folliculogenesis and oogenesis outside the body: encapsulated in vitro follicle growth

Aubrey Converse, Emily J Zaniker, Farners Amargant, Francesca E Duncan
Folliculogenesis is a tightly coordinated process essential for generating a fertilization-competent gamete while also producing gonadal hormones that sustain endocrine function. In vitro follicle growth systems have been critical to our understanding of key events in folliculogenesis, such as gonadotropin-independent and -dependent growth, steroid hormone production, and oocyte growth and maturation (cytoplasmic and meiotic). Although there are several successful follicle culture strategies,
more » ... e following protocol details an encapsulated in vitro follicle growth (eIVFG) system for use with mouse ovarian follicles. eIVFG is performed with alginate hydrogels, which are biologically inert, maintain cell-to-cell interactions between granulosa cells and the oocyte, and preserve follicle architecture as found in the ovary. The system supports follicle growth, development, and differentiation from the early primary follicle to the antral follicle stage. Moreover, post-folliculogenesis events including meiotic maturation, ovulation, and luteinization are also supported. Importantly, the culture of secondary follicles has successfully resulted in viable pups after blastocyst transfer. This alginate-based eIVFG system is versatile and has broad applications as a tool for interrogating the fundamental biology of the ovarian follicle in a controlled manner, a screening platform for toxicity and bioactivity, and a potential fertility preservation method for endangered species as well as humans.
doi:10.1093/biolre/ioac176 pmid:36136744 pmcid:PMC9843677 fatcat:zr52a4knxjeapl3vy5quddj73m