Utilizing calcium alginate for the assessment of bone morphogenetic protein 15 induction effect on the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cell derived from human follicular fluid to oocyte-like structure

Document Type : Original Article


1 Cellular and Molecular Research Center; Department of Anatomical Science, Faculty of Medicine, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran

2 Department of Anatomical Science, Faculty of Medicine, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran

3 Fertility, Infertility and Perinatology Center, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran


Background: Follicular fluid (FF)-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are possible new source of cells in the study of oogenesis and regenerative medicine. Several biomaterials have been used as scaffolds to mimic ovarian tissue stroma. Using good matrix is essential for increasing the cell survival rate, proliferation, and differentiation. However, no study has been performed to investigate the effects of BMP15 and calcium alginate hydrogel on the differentiation potential of FF-derived MSCs to oocyte-like structures (OLSs). Materials and Methods: In this work, FF MSCs, which were collected from women in routine in vitro fertilization procedure, were capsulated with 0.5% calcium alginate, and then the encapsulated cells were cultured in medium containing BMP15 for 2 weeks. Trypan blue staining was carried out to determine cell viability. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunofluorescence (ICC) staining method were performed to characterize the expression of OCT4, Nanog, ZP2, and ZP3 genes and protein. The encapsulation process did not change the morphology and viability of the encapsulated cells. Results: Reverse-transcription-PCR and ICC showed that MSCs expressed germ line stem cell markers such as OCT4 and Nanog. After 4 days of culture, OLSs formed and expressed zona pellucida markers. OLSs at least reached 180–230 μm in diameter in the control and BMP15-treated groups. Finally, a reduction in the expression pattern of pluripotency and ZP markers was detected in the encapsulated cells cultured in the BMP15-supplemented medium. Conclusion: The three-dimensional alginate culture system seems to be a promising method of getting in vitro differentiation and development of ovarian cells, which could mimic the native ovarian condition.


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