Bone marrow as a source of stem cells and germ cells? Perspectives for transplantation
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- Sottile, V. Cell Tissue Res (2007) 328: 1. doi:10.1007/s00441-006-0361-7
Recent publications have suggested the existence of germ stem cells in the mouse at postnatal stages. The mechanism of de novo oocyte formation is proposed to involve a contribution from the bone marrow to the germ cell pool, via the bloodstream. Critical examination of the data underpinning these contentious claims is under way from a reproductive biology perspective but little has been said about the nature of this elusive bone marrow population with germ cell potential. Furthermore, whereas the prospect of marrow-derived germ cells may appear propitious for fertility applications, its wider impact on transplantation medicine remains to be considered. This paper examines the evidence leading to the current debate and considers the implications of such findings for the field of bone marrow transplantation.