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Germ cells and gonads

Culture of human ovarian tissue in xeno-free conditions using laminin components of the human ovarian extracellular matrix

Hao J., Tuck A.R., Prakash C.R., Damdimopoulos A., Sjödin M.O.D., Lindberg J., Niklasson B., Pettersson K., Hovatta O., Damdimopoulou P.
Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, 2020

In this article, human ovarian extracellular matrix (ECM) components that would support in vitro culture of human ovarian tissue were identified, compatible with possible future clinical applications. Three laminins (LN) proteins, LN221, LN521, LN511 were selected for culture experiments to be compared with Matrigel, an undefined and animal-based mixture of ECM components using tissue from 17 patients. The overall most expressed laminin α-chains were LAMA2 and LAMA5, β-chains LAMB1 and LAMB2, and γ-chain LAMC1. In culture experiments, LN221 enhanced follicular survival compared with Matrigel (p < 0.001), whereas tissue cultured on LN521 had a higher proportion of secondary follicles (p < 0.001). LN511 and mixture of laminins did not support the cultures leading to lower follicle densities and higher apoptosis. All cultures produced steroids and contained proliferating cells. In conclusion, LN221 and LN521 show promise in providing xeno-free growth substrates for human ovarian tissue cultures, which may help in the further development of folliculogenesis in vitro for clinical practices.