Ovarian Club X and CoGEN in Asia


Xiaoyang ZHAO (China)

He got his Ph.D degree at IOZ, CAS in 2011, and set up a lab in 2011 to study the germ cells development, the application of regenerative medicine in human infertility, focus on somatic reprogramming, transdifferentiation, and germ cell differentiation. He was granted the funding of "National Outstanding Young Scholar" in 2013. In the past few years, He had authored more than 40 SCI papers including Nature, Cell Stem Cell, Nature protocols, Cell Research, JBC and other journals, and also received several awards including the first ISTT Young Investigator Award (2012) and the second prize of "National Natural Science Award" (2014). He had established the first mouse induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) lines which have the competence to produce the “all-iPSC” mice by tetraploid complementation (Nature, 2009), and contributed to establishing the haploid embryonic stem cells (ESCs) which were able to generate alive transgenic adult mice (Nature, 2012), and also contributed to generating the system of complete meiosis from ES-cell derived germ cells in vitro (Cell stem cell).


In Vitro Generation of Germ Cells from Stem Cells

Around 15% couples suffering from infertility, many cases could be treated with assisted reproductive technology, while some cases failed to get babies due to poor quality gametes. Our previous work indicates that infertility which due to genetic mutations can be treated by genomic editing and stem cell technology in mice. In addition, we reported that pluripotent stem cells could differentiate into spermatids like cells via meiosis in vitro. Recently, we established a 3D methylcellulose (MC) induction system which could generate hPGCLCs more efficiently and economically, and more importantly, in large scale. hPGCLCs from MC group retained similar gene expression profiles, germ cell specific markers, epigenetic properties and cellular states with these characteristics of hPGCLCs from U96 group. Furthermore, hPGCLCs also could be generated from iPSCs which induced from testes cells of an azoospermia patient with deletion of AZFc fragments in equivalent efficiency of hESCs. The results suggested the deletion of AZFc fragments, one common problem for azoospermia, have no effect on induction of human primordial germ cell fate. Thus, we provide a modified system for obtaining hPGCLCs from pluripotent stem cells, which will facilitate the study of human germ cell development and stem cells based reproductive medicine.