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Strong science challenges conventional wisdom: new perspectives on ovarian biology

BioMed Central
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Abstract ral Reproductive Biology and ss BioMed CentEndocrinology Open AcceDebate Strong science challenges conventional wisdom: new perspectives on ovarian biology Fuller W Bazer* Address: Center for Animal Biotechnology and Genomics and Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University, USA Email: Fuller W Bazer* - [email protected] * Corresponding author Conventional wisdom, sometimes defined as "truth", is said to be based on evidence that may or may not be so. The same definition may apply to dogma. A wonderful aspect of the scientific community is that it is not afraid to challenge dogma. Johnson et al., in their 11 March 2004 paper in Nature [1], have provided compelling evidence for the existence of proliferative germ cells that give rise to oocytes and follicle production in the postnatal period of development of mice. Debates for or against ovarian germ cells for replenishment of the pool of oocytes were raised in the 1920 s, but additional studies led to "provisional dogma" of a fixed oocyte supply from the fetal period of life that came to be generally accepted for mammals by reproductive biologists and others in the 1950 s – reviewed in Ref. [2]. Johnson et al. [1] provide results from a systematically executed set of experiments that strongly indicate that: Ovaries of juvenile and young adult mice contain large ovoid cells, resembling germ cells of fetal mouse ovaries, in the surface epithelial cell layer. Immunohistochemical staining for mouse Vasa homologue (MVH), a gene expressed exclusively in germ cells, confirmed that these large ovoid cells were of a germline lineage. Additional experiments confirmed the presence of 5-bromdeoxyurid- ine-MVH double-positive cells limited to the ovarian sur- face epithelium. These results, with their histomorphometric findings, provide a strong case for germ-cell proliferation and follicle renewal in the postna- tal mouse ovary [1]. Johnson et al. [1] also found that the meiotic entry gene is express

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