In vitro fertilisation technologies can overcome reproductive problems and are often used in strategies to preserve endangered species, but high numbers of mature, fertilizable oocytes are often difficult to obtain. In September 27 Science, Melanie Snow and colleagues from Monash University, Victoria, Australia, show that fertile adult mice can be generated from xenografted murine ovaries (Science, 297:2227, September 27, 2002).

Snow et al. murine ovarian tissue into male and female rats treated or untreated with pregnant mare serum gonadotrophin (PMSG). They observed that these ovaries produced fully viable oocytes that were capable of fertilization and development into viable young. The rate of development to two-cell embryos was higher from oocytes derived from the female PMSG treated group.

"Although this strategy could potentially be applied to humans, its use in human assisted reproduction should be considered with caution," caution the authors.

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