Germ cells are responsible for the transmission of genetic and epigenetic information across generations. At present, the number of infertile couples is increasing worldwide; these infertility problems can be traced to environmental pollutions, infectious diseases, cancer, psychological or work-related stress, and other factors, such as lifestyle and genetics. Notably, lack of germ cells and germ cell loss present real obstacles in infertility treatment. Recent research aimed at producing gametes through artificial germ cell generation from stem cells may offer great hope for affected couples to treat infertility in the future. Therefore, this rapidly emerging area of artificial germ cell generation from nongermline cells has gained considerable attention from basic and clinical research in the fields of stem cell biology, developmental biology, and reproductive biology. Here, we review the state of the art in artificial germ cell generation.
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Vol. 92 • No. 4