A new marker for rare population of endometrial stem cells

Lead researcher

Dr James Deane

Main finding

This study identified a new marker for a rare population of adult stem cells in the regenerative lining of the uterus in mice. This marker, telomerase has the ability to maintain telomeres, which prevent the ageing process in these master cells.


The Ritchie Centre

Research group

Endometrial Stem Cell Biology


Ms Rue Ong, Dr Jason Cain, Dr W Jayasekara, Dr Abhi Tiwari, Dr Diane Carlone, Prof Neil Watkins, A/Prof David Brealt, A/Prof Caroline Gargett

Journal and article title

Molecular Human Reproduction

The mouse endometrium contains epithelial, endothelial and leucocyte populations expressing the stem cell marker telomerase reverse transcriptase.

Most surprising

Many mature white blood cells derived from the bone marrow and present in the uterus also contained telomerase and could be confused with the stem cells.

Future implications

Identifying markers of mouse uterine lining stem cells may be applicable to humans where these cells are likely to have roles in the function of the uterine lining, infertility and diseases such as endometriosis.

Disease/health impact

fertility, endometriosis