Strategies for Mammalian Mesenchymal Stem Cells Differentiation into Primordial Germ Cell-Like Cells: A Review

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Reproductive Biology, Faculty of Advanced Medical Sciences, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

2 Department of Gynecologic Endocrinology and Fertility Disorders, Women's Hospital, Ruprecht-Karls University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany

3 Hematology and Oncology Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

4 Department of Biochemistry and Clinical Laboratories, Faculty of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

5 Student’s Research Committee, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

6 Endocrine Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran


Primordial germ cells develop into oocytes and sperm cells. These cells are useful resources in reproductive biology and regenerative medicine. The mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been examined for in vitro production of primordial germ cell-like cells. This study aimed to summarize the existing protocols for MSCs differentiation into primordial germ cell-like cells (PGLCs). In the limited identified studies, various models of mesenchymal stem cells, including those derived from adipose tissue, bone marrow, and Wharton's jelly, have been successfully differentiated into primordial germ cell-like cells. Although the protocols of specification induction are basically very similar, they have been adjusted to the mesenchymal cell type and the species of origin. The availability of MSCs has made it possible to customize conditions for their differentiation into primordial germ cell-like cells in several models, including humans. Refining germ cell-related signaling pathways during induced differentiation of MSCs will help define extension to the protocols for primordial germ cell-like cells production.


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