A Transcriptional Atlas of the Adult Human Ovary

  • 8:00 am (PDT)


In this study, we have compiled a single-cell atlas of the adult human ovary and for the first time leveraged spatial transcriptomics to study the ovarian cell landscape, identifying the stromal and immune cell populations of the ovary, deciphering the transcriptome of the developing follicle, and discovering unique signatures of gene expression tied to discrete regions in the ovary.
Analysis of 21,198 cells uncovered four primary cell types found in the human ovary: immune cells, endothelial cells, pericytes, and stromal cells. The spatial transcriptomics data allowed us, for the first time, to identify gradients of gene expression across the ovarian cortex and differential signaling in the follicle’s cumulus mass related to androgen production, lipid regulation, and ECM remodeling.
The similarity between these two datasets demonstrated the robust capabilities of spatial transcriptomics for characterizing cells in various compartments of the ovary. Together, these datasets serve as a benchmark for future studies exploring diseased and perturbed states in the ovary.

Andrea Jones

Ph.D. Candidate

University of Michigan

Speaker Bio

Andrea Jones is a PhD candidate in the Biomedical Engineering Department at the University of Michigan working under her advisor, Dr. Ariella Shikanov. Andrea earned her Bachelor of Science in Biological Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech and subsequently completed her Master of Science at the University of Michigan in Biomedical Engineering. Her research interests are in engineering an in vitro ovarian follicle culture system to restore fertility and understanding human follicle development through NGS technologies. Her dissertation focuses on the application of single-cell sequencing and spatial transcriptomics to identify the mechanisms driving early follicle development and to design an in vitro follicle culture system using novel biomaterials. Andrea is the recipient of a Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Her work is funded by the NIH, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the National Science Foundation.