The symposium on pluripotent stem cells is designed to introduce very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs) and ovarian stem cells and their role in reproductive health. VSELs are yet poorly studied stem cells in testis (being more primitive to spermatogonial stem cells) and in ovary along with the ovarian stem cells are responsible for oogenesis in adult life. They are implicated during menopause, PCOS, POF and other pathologies including cancers. They can also be targeted to restore fertility in cancer survivors. The symposium to be held in September 2013, will be organized by the National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health (NIRRH), Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMKR), and Indian Society for the Study of Reproduction and Fertility (ISSRF) at New Delhi.
Primordial germ cells which migrate into the gonadal ridges during early development persist into adulthood as VSELs, not only in the gonads but also various adult body tissues. They maintain lifelong homeostasis and have far-reaching implications in reproductive health. Recent discovery of VSELs in various adult body organs including gonads have sparked an interest from a regenerative medicine point of view.
Also as a part of workshop, training will be given to identify and isolate these VSELs from the mammalian gonads.
The symposium/ workshop will be useful to researchers working in the area of reproductive biology having interest in stem cell biology. The aim of the course is to create awareness on the concept of recently discovered VSELs in adult mammalian gonads and the implications in reproductive biology.
The workshop also aims to train participants on methods to identify and isolate these VSELs from mammalian gonads.
The concept of presence of stem cells in adult ovary is highly debated, but they exist and areas active as spermatogonial stem cells. A recent review of Woods and Tilly (2013) where they have compared testicular and ovarian stem cells but still do not acknowledge existence of VSELs in mammalian gonads.
But VSELs exist not only in adult mammalian ovary but also in adult testis. The workshop will provide new advances in field of gonadal stem cells, concept of primordial follicle assembly in adult ovary rather than the concept of fixed number of follicles and about a common and most primitive stem cell population in adult mammalian gonads.
The training course, limited to 15 participants, will provide an overview on VSELs - pluripotent stem cells existing in adult mammalian gonads. The last date for sending interest along with a write up is July 30, 2013.