The production of gametes from pluripotent stem cells in culture, also known as in vitro gametogenesis, will make an important contribution to reproductive biology and regenerative medicine, both as a unique tool for understanding germ cell development and as an alternative source of gametes for reproduction. In vitro gametogenesis was developed using mouse pluripotent stem cells but is increasingly being applied in other mammalian species, including humans. In principle, the entire process of germ cell development is nearly reconstitutable in culture using mouse pluripotent stem cells, although the fidelity of differentiation processes and the quality of resultant gametes remain to be refined. The methodology in the mouse system is only partially applicable to other species, and thus it must be optimised for each species. In this review, we update the current status of in vitro gametogenesis in mice, humans and other animals, and discuss challenges for further development of this technology.
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