Effect of intra-ovarian injection of mesenchymal stem cells in aged mares

Sicilia T. Grady, Ashlee E. Watts, James A. Thompson, Cecilia Penedo, Kranti Konganti, Katrin Hinrichs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study aims to determine if intra-ovarian injection of bone marrow–derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) improves or restores ovarian function in aged females. Methods: Prospective randomized study of eight aged mares and six young mares receiving intra-ovarian injection of MSCs or vehicle. Main outcome measures were antral follicle count and serum anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) (aged and young mares), and for aged mares, oocyte meiotic and developmental competence; gross and histological ovarian assessment; evaluation of presence of chimerism in recovered granulosa cells and in ovarian tissue samples; and gene expression in ovarian tissue as assessed by RNA sequencing. Results: Injection of MSCs was not associated with significant changes in follicle number, oocyte recovery rate on follicle aspiration, oocyte maturation rate, or blastocyst rate after ICSI in aged mares, or in changes in follicle number in young mares. There were no significant changes in peripheral AMH concentrations, indicating a lack of effect on growing follicles. MSC donor DNA was not recovered in granulosa cells or in ovarian tissue, indicating lack of persistence of injected MSC. RNA sequencing revealed significant differences in gene expression between MSC- and vehicle-injected ovaries. Conclusions: Intra-ovarian injection of bone marrow–derived MSCs altered gene expression but did not improve ovarian function in aged mares.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • Aging
  • Anti-Müllerian hormone
  • Equids
  • Fertility
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone
  • Follicular development
  • Oocyte
  • Ovary
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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