Transplantation of UC-MSCs on collagen scaffold activates follicles in dormant ovaries of POF patients with long history of infertility


Premature ovarian failure (POF) is a refractory disease for clinical treatment with the goal of restoring fertility. In this study, umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells on a collagen scaffold (collagen/UC-MSCs) can activate primordial follicles in vitro via phosphorylation of FOXO3a and FOXO1. Transplantation of collagen/UC-MSCs to the ovaries of POF patients rescued overall ovarian function, evidenced by elevated estradiol concentrations, improved follicular development, and increased number of antral follicles. Successful clinical pregnancy was achieved in women with POF after transplantation of collagen/UC-MSCs or UC-MSCs. In summary, collagen/UC-MSC transplantation may provide an effective treatment for POF.

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The authors would like to thank Xiaoling Sun, Yong Liu and Fangfang He for their technical assistance in TVUS-guided transplantation, flow cytometry and repeated transvaginal ultrasonographic examinations, respectively. This work was supported by Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA01030501 to Haixiang Sun), National Natural Science Foundation of China (31571189, 81571391, 30900847 to Lijun Ding), Jiangsu Provincial Medical Youth Talent (QNRC2016006) and Nanjing Medical Science Development Project (JQX14004, ZKX16042).

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Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Yali Hu or Jianwu Dai or Haixiang Sun.

Electronic supplementary material

Figure S1

AKT1 expression in ovaries co-cultured with collagen/UC-MSCs.

Figure S2

Quantitative analyses of nuclear export of FOXO3a in oocytes of primordial follicles co-cultured with collagen/eSF or collagen/UC-MSCs.

Figure S3

Treatment with collagen/UC-MSCs had no effect on the expression of p-AKT1, FOXO3a and p-FOXO1 at 48 h. A—J, The expression of p-AKT1, FOXO3a and p-FOXO1 was determined using IHC.

Figure S4

The expression of Ki67 and C-caspase 3 in ovaries.

Figure S5

An illustration of ovary co-cultured with collagen/UC-MSCs in a culture dish.

Figure S6

Flow chart of the overall clinical study.

Figure S7

GMP grade UC-MSCs documents.

Figure S8

Procedure used for transplantation of collagen/UC-MSCs to ovaries of POF patients.

Table S1

Antibodies information

Table S2 Primers sequences

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Ding, L., Yan, G., Wang, B. et al. Transplantation of UC-MSCs on collagen scaffold activates follicles in dormant ovaries of POF patients with long history of infertility. Sci. China Life Sci. 61, 1554–1565 (2018).

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  • premature ovarian failure
  • collagen scaffold
  • UC-MSCs
  • primordial follicle activation
  • granulosa cells
  • FOXO3a
  • FOXO1