Artificial gametes from stem cells
Clin Exp Reprod Med. Jun.
2015 doi: 10.5653/cerm.2015.42.2.33
The generation of artificial gametes is a real challenge for the scientific community today. In vitro development of human eggs and sperm will pave the way for the understanding of the complex process of human gametogenesis and will provide with human gametes for the study of infertility and the onset of some inherited disorders. However, the great promise of artificial gametes resides in their future application on reproductive treatments for all these people wishing to have genetically related children and for which gamete donation is now their unique option of parenthood. This is the case of infertile patients devoid of suitable gametes, same sex couples, singles and those fertile couples in a high risk of transmitting serious diseases to their progeny. In the search of the best method to obtain artificial gametes, many researchers have successfully obtained human germ cell-like cells from stem cells at different stages of differentiation. In the near future, this field will evolve to new methods providing not only viable but also functional and safe artificial germ cells. These artificial sperm and eggs should be able to recapitulate all the genetic and epigenetic processes needed for the correct gametogenesis, fertilization and embryogenesis leading to the birth of a healthy and fertile newborn.