A group such as Kyushu University announced that it was the first in the world to succeed in producing normally functioning ovarian tissue from mouse "ES cells" that can be transformed into various cells.

It is expected to be useful in elucidating the causes of infertility in the future.

This was announced by a group of Professor Katsuhiko Hayashi and Assistant Professor Takeshi Yoshino of the Graduate School of Medicine, Kyushu University.

In the research to produce eggs from "ES cells", it was necessary to culture them in combination with ovarian cells taken out from the foetation, which was a problem in advancing the research in animals other than mice.

The group succeeded in creating "cells that closely resemble fetal ovaries" by adding special proteins to mouse ES cells, and called "cells that are the source of eggs" made from mouse ES cells. It was cultivated in combination.

As a result, these cells grew into ovarian tissue, and when the resulting egg was artificially inseminated, a normal mouse was born.

It is the first time in the world to produce a functioning ovarian tissue using only mouse ES cells.

In the future, the group says that if ovaries and eggs can be produced from ES cells alone in other animals, it will be useful for elucidating the cause of infertility, developing treatments, and researching the protection of endangered species.

Professor Hayashi said, "There are some diseases related to the ovary whose cause is unknown, but if the development of the ovary can be reproduced with ES cells, it should lead to the elucidation of the cause."

Expert "Very important achievements"

Professor Michinori Saito of Kyoto University, who is familiar with the development of germ cells, commented on this research, "This is an extremely important result, and the ovary itself was produced together with the egg. It is expected that many studies will be carried out, such as inducing germ cells and inducing testicular cells, which is basically the same principle. "