• Decellularization and recellularization of the ovary for bioengineering applications; studies in the mouse.

Decellularization and recellularization of the ovary for bioengineering applications; studies in the mouse.

Reproductive biology and endocrinology : RB&E (2020-07-25)
Ahmed Baker Alshaikh, Arvind Manikantan Padma, Matilda Dehlin, Randa Akouri, Min Jong Song, Mats Brännström, Mats Hellström

Fertility preservation is particularly challenging in young women diagnosed with hematopoietic cancers, as transplantation of cryopreserved ovarian cortex in these women carries the risk for re-introducing cancer cells. Therefore, the construction of a bioengineered ovary that can accommodate isolated small follicles was proposed as an alternative to minimize the risk of malignancy transmission. Various options for viable bioengineered scaffolds have been reported in the literature. Previously, we reported three protocols for producing mouse ovarian scaffolds with the decellularization technique. The present study examined these scaffolds further, specifically with regards to their extracellular composition, biocompatibility and ability to support recellularization with mesenchymal stem cells. Three decellularization protocols based on 0.5% sodium dodecyl sulfate (Protocol 1; P1), or 2% sodium deoxycholate (P2), or a combination of the two detergents (P3) were applied to produce three types of scaffolds. The levels of collagen, elastin and sulfated glycosaminoglycans (sGAGs) were quantified in the remaining extracellular matrix. Detailed immunofluorescence and scanning electron microscopy imaging were conducted to assess the morphology and recellularization efficiency of the constructs after 14 days in vitro utilizing red fluorescent protein-labelled mesenchymal stem cells. All protocols efficiently removed the DNA while the elastin content was not significantly reduced during the procedures. The SDS-protocol (P1) reduced the sGAG and the collagen content more than the SDC-protocol (P2). All scaffolds were biocompatible and recellularization was successful, particularly in several P2-derived scaffolds. The cells were extensively distributed throughout the constructs, with a denser distribution observed towards the ovarian cortex. The cell density was not significantly different (400 to 550 cells/mm2) between scaffold types. However, there was a tendency towards a higher cell density in the SDC-derived constructs. Scanning electron microscope images showed fibrous scaffolds with a dense repopulated surface structure. While there were differences in the key structural macromolecules between protocols, all scaffolds were biocompatible and showed effective recellularization. The results indicate that our SDC-protocol might be better than our SDS-protocol. However, additional studies are necessary to determine their suitability for attachment of small follicles and folliculogenesis.

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Fluoroshield, histology mounting medium