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Life Science Alliance, Life Science Alliance, 11(6), p. e202301926, 2023

DOI: 10.26508/lsa.202301926



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Cell–cell interactions during the formation of primordial follicles in humans

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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Gametogenesis is a complex and sex-specific multistep process during which the gonadal somatic niche plays an essential regulatory role. One of the most crucial steps during human female gametogenesis is the formation of primordial follicles, the functional unit of the ovary that constitutes the pool of follicles available at birth during the entire reproductive life. However, the relation between human fetal germ cells (hFGCs) and gonadal somatic cells during the formation of the primordial follicles remains largely unexplored. We have discovered that hFGCs can form multinucleated syncytia, some connected via interconnecting intercellular bridges, and that not all nuclei in hFGC–syncytia were synchronous regarding meiotic stage. As hFGCs progressed in development, pre-granulosa cells formed protrusions that seemed to progressively constrict individual hFGCs, perhaps contributing to separate them from the multinucleated syncytia. Our findings highlighted the cell–cell interaction and molecular dynamics between hFGCs and (pre)granulosa cells during the formation of primordial follicles in humans. Knowledge on how the pool of primordial follicle is formed is important to understand human infertility.