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Sample records for environmental germ-cell mutagenesis

  1. HISTORY OF GERM CELL MUTAGENESIS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Much of the early work on germ cell mutation analysis was conducted with nonmammalian species, but this historical overview will begin with the rodent studies that provided quantitative data on induced mutations. The initial studies of mutation induction utilized the newly develo...

  2. Assessing Human Germ-Cell Mutagenesis in the Postgenome Era: A Celebration of the Legacy of William Lawson (Bill) Russell

    PubMed Central

    Wyrobek, Andrew J.; Mulvihill, John J.; Wassom, John S.; Malling, Heinrich V.; Shelby, Michael D.; Lewis, Susan E.; Witt, Kristine L.; Preston, R. Julian; Perreault, Sally D.; Allen, James W.; DeMarini, David M.; Woychik, Richard P.; Bishop, Jack B.

    2007-01-01

    specialty groups should be convened to review and prioritize the evidence for germ-cell mutagenicity from common environmental, occupational, medical, and lifestyle exposures. Workshop attendees agreed on the need for a full-scale assault to address key fundamental questions in human germ-cell environmental mutagenesis. These include, but are not limited to, the following: Do human germ-cell mutagens exist? What are the risks to future generations? Are some parents at higher risk than others for acquiring and transmitting germ-cell mutations? Obtaining answers to these, and other critical questions, will require strong support from relevant funding agencies, in addition to the engagement of scientists outside the fields of genomics and germ-cell mutagenesis. PMID:17295306

  3. Meeting Report. Assessing Human Germ-Cell Mutagenesis in thePost-Genome Era: A Celebration of the Legacy of William Lawson (Bill)Russell

    SciTech Connect

    Wyrobek, Andrew J.; Mulvihill, John J.; Wassom, John S.; Malling,Heinrich V.; Shelby, Michael D.; Lewis, Susan E.; Witt, Kristine L.; Preston, R. Julian; Perreault-Darney, Sally; Allen, James W.; DeMarini,David M.; Woychik, Richard P.; Bishop Jack B; Workshop Presenters

    2006-04-18

    scientificspecialty groups be convened to address specific questions regarding thepotential germ-cell mutagenicity of environmental, occupational, andlifestyle exposures. Strong support from relevant funding agencies andengagement of scientists outside the fields of genomics and germ-cellmutagenesis will be required to launch a full-scale assault on some ofthe most pressing and enduring questions in environmental mutagenesis: Dohuman germ-cell mutagens exist, what risk do they pose to futuregenerations, and are some parents at higher risk than others foracquiring and transmitting germ-cell mutations?

  4. Germ cell mutagenesis in medaka fish after exposures to high-energy cosmic ray nuclei: A human model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimada, Atsuko; Shima, Akihiro; Nojima, Kumie; Seino, Yo; Setlow, Richard B.

    2005-04-01

    Astronauts beyond the Earth's orbit are exposed to high-energy cosmic-ray nuclei with high values of linear energy transfer (LET), resulting in much more biological damage than from x-rays or -rays and may result in mutations and cancer induction. The relative biological effectiveness of these nuclei depends on the LET, rising to as high as 50 at LET values of 100-200 keV/µm. An endpoint of concern is germ cell mutations passed on to offspring, arising from exposure to these nuclei. A vertebrate model for germ cell mutation is Medaka fish (Oryzias latipes). We exposed wild type males to doses of 1 GeV per nucleon Fe nuclei or to 290 MeV per nucleon C nuclei. They were mated to females with recessive mutations at five-color loci. The transparent embryos from >100 days of mating (representing exposed sperm, spermatids, or spermatogonia) were observed so as to detect dominant lethal mutations and total color mutations, even though the embryos might not hatch. The relative number of mutant embryos as a function of dose were compared with those induced by -rays. The relative biological effectiveness values for dominant lethal mutations and total color mutations for exposed sperm and spermatids were 1.3-2.1 for exposure to C nuclei and 1.5-3.0 for exposure to Fe nuclei. (The spermatogonial data were uncertain.) These low values, and the negligible number of viable mutations, compared with those for mutations in somatic cells and for neoplastic transformation, indicate that germ cell mutations arising from exposures to cosmic ray nuclei are not a significant hazard to astronauts. astronaut hazards | linear energy transfer | relative biological effect

  5. MEETING REPORT ASSESSING HUMAN GERM-CELL MUTAGENESIS IN THE POST-GENOME ERA: A CELEBRATION OF THE LEGACY OF WILLIAM LAWSON (BILL) RUSSELL

    EPA Science Inventory

    Although numerous germ-cell mutagens have been identified in animal model systems, to date, no human germ-cell mutagens have been confirmed. Because the genomic integrity of our germ cells is essential for the continuation of the human species, a resolution of this enduring conu...

  6. Testicular germ cell tumours.

    PubMed

    Rajpert-De Meyts, Ewa; McGlynn, Katherine A; Okamoto, Keisei; Jewett, Michael A S; Bokemeyer, Carsten

    2016-04-23

    Testicular germ cell tumours are at the crossroads of developmental and neoplastic processes. Their cause has not been fully elucidated but differences in incidences suggest that a combination of genetic and environment factors are involved, with environmental factors predominating early in life. Substantial progress has been made in understanding genetic susceptibility in the past 5 years on the basis of the results of large genome-wide association studies. Testicular germ cell tumours are highly sensitive to radiotherapy and chemotherapy and hence have among the best outcomes of all tumours. Because the tumours occur mainly in young men, preservation of reproductive function, quality of life after treatment, and late effects are crucial concerns. In this Seminar, we provide an overview of advances in the understanding of the epidemiology, genetics, and biology of testicular germ cell tumours. We also summarise the consensus on how to treat testicular germ cell tumours and focus on a few controversies and improvements in the understanding of late effects of treatment and quality of life for survivors. PMID:26651223

  7. Testicular germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Looijenga, Leendert H J

    2014-02-01

    Human germ cell tumors are of interest because of their epidemiology, clinical behavior and pathobiology. Histologically, they are subdivided into various elements, with similarities to embryogenesis. Recent insights resulted in a division of five types of human germ cell tumors. In the context of male germ cells, three are relevant; Type I: teratomas and yolk sac tumors of neonates and infants; Type II: seminomas and nonseminomas of (predominantly) adolescents and adults; and Type III: spermatocytic seminomas of the elderly. Recent studies led to significant increases in understanding of the parameters involved in the earliest pathogenetic steps of human germ cells tumors, in particularly the seminomas and nonseminomas (Type II). In case of a disturbed gonadal physiology, either due to the germ cell itself, or the micro-environment, embryonic germ cells during a specific window of sensitization can be blocked in their maturation, resulting in carcinoma in situ or gonadoblastoma, the precursors of seminomas and nonseminomas. The level of testicularization of the gonad determines the histological composition of the precursor. These insights will allow better definition of individuals at risk to develop a germ cell malignancy, with putative preventive measurements, and allow better selection of scientific approaches to elucidate the pathogenesis. PMID:24683949

  8. Occupational and Environmental Exposures Associated with Testicular Germ Cell Tumours: Systematic Review of Prenatal and Life-Long Exposures

    PubMed Central

    Béranger, Rémi; Le Cornet, Charlotte; Schüz, Joachim; Fervers, Béatrice

    2013-01-01

    Background Testicular germ cell tumours (TGCT) are the most common cancers in men aged between 15 and 44 years and the incidence has increased steeply over the past 30 years. The rapid increase in the incidence, the spatial variation and the evolution of incidence in migrants suggest that environmental risk factors play a role in TGCT aetiology. The purpose of our review is to summarise the current state of knowledge on occupational and environmental factors thought to be associated with TGCT. Methods A systematic literature search of PubMed. All selected articles were quality appraised by two independent researchers using the ‘Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale’. Results After exclusion of duplicate reports, 72 relevant articles were selected; 65 assessed exposure in adulthood, 7 assessed parental exposures and 2 assessed both. Associations with occupation was reported for agricultural workers, construction workers, firemen, policemen, military personnel, as well as workers in paper, plastic or metal industries. Electromagnetic fields, PCBs and pesticides were also suggested. However, results were inconsistent and studies showing positive associations tended to had lower quality ranking using the assessment scale (p=0.02). Discussion Current evidence does not allow concluding on existence of any clear association between TGCT and adulthood occupational or environmental exposure. The limitations of the studies may partly explain the inconsistencies observed. The lack of association with adulthood exposure is in line with current hypotheses supporting the prenatal origin of TGCT. Future research should focus on prenatal or early life exposure, as well as combined effect of prenatal and later life exposure. National and international collaborative studies should allow for more adequately powered epidemiological studies. More sophisticated methods for assessing exposure as well as evaluating gene–environment interactions will be necessary to establish

  9. Approaches for identifying germ cell mutagens: Report of the 2013 IWGT workshop on germ cell assays(☆).

    PubMed

    Yauk, Carole L; Aardema, Marilyn J; Benthem, Jan van; Bishop, Jack B; Dearfield, Kerry L; DeMarini, David M; Dubrova, Yuri E; Honma, Masamitsu; Lupski, James R; Marchetti, Francesco; Meistrich, Marvin L; Pacchierotti, Francesca; Stewart, Jane; Waters, Michael D; Douglas, George R

    2015-05-01

    This workshop reviewed the current science to inform and recommend the best evidence-based approaches on the use of germ cell genotoxicity tests. The workshop questions and key outcomes were as follows. (1) Do genotoxicity and mutagenicity assays in somatic cells predict germ cell effects? Limited data suggest that somatic cell tests detect most germ cell mutagens, but there are strong concerns that dictate caution in drawing conclusions. (2) Should germ cell tests be done, and when? If there is evidence that a chemical or its metabolite(s) will not reach target germ cells or gonadal tissue, it is not necessary to conduct germ cell tests, notwithstanding somatic outcomes. However, it was recommended that negative somatic cell mutagens with clear evidence for gonadal exposure and evidence of toxicity in germ cells could be considered for germ cell mutagenicity testing. For somatic mutagens that are known to reach the gonadal compartments and expose germ cells, the chemical could be assumed to be a germ cell mutagen without further testing. Nevertheless, germ cell mutagenicity testing would be needed for quantitative risk assessment. (3) What new assays should be implemented and how? There is an immediate need for research on the application of whole genome sequencing in heritable mutation analysis in humans and animals, and integration of germ cell assays with somatic cell genotoxicity tests. Focus should be on environmental exposures that can cause de novo mutations, particularly newly recognized types of genomic changes. Mutational events, which may occur by exposure of germ cells during embryonic development, should also be investigated. Finally, where there are indications of germ cell toxicity in repeat dose or reproductive toxicology tests, consideration should be given to leveraging those studies to inform of possible germ cell genotoxicity. PMID:25953399

  10. Extragonadal Germ Cell Cancer (EGC)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Testicular Cancer Resource Center Extragonadal Germ Cell Cancer (EGC) 95% of all testicular tumors are germ cell ... seen in young adults. Patients with mediastinal nonseminomatous EGC are typically classed as poor risk patients because ...

  11. CHALLENGES FOR THE FUTURE IN ENVIRONMENTAL MUTAGENESIS

    EPA Science Inventory

    CHALLENGES FOR THE FUTURE IN ENVIRONMENTAL MUTAGENESIS
    Michael D. Waters
    US Environmental Protection Agency, MD-51A, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711 USA

    Our rapidly growing understanding of the structure of the human genome is forming the basis for numerous new...

  12. [Mediastinal germ cell tumors].

    PubMed

    Bremmer, F; Ströbel, P

    2016-09-01

    The mediastinum is among the most frequent anatomic region in which germ cell tumors (GCT) arise, second only to the gonads. Mediastinal GCT (mGCT) account for 16 % of all mediastinal neoplasms. Although the morphology and (according to all available data) the molecular genetics of mediastinal and gonadal GCT are identical, a number of unique aspects exist. There is a highly relevant bi-modal age distribution. In pre-pubertal children of both sexes, mGCT consist exclusively of teratomas and yolk sac tumors. The prognosis is generally favorable with modern treatment. In post-pubertal adults, virtually all patients with malignant mGCT are males; the prognosis is more guarded and depends (among other factors) on the histological GCT components and is similar to GCT in other organs. So-called somatic type malignancies (i. e. clonally related, non-germ cell neoplasias arising in a GCT) are much more frequent in mGCT than in other organs, and the association between mediastinal yolk sac tumors and hematological malignancies, such as myelodysplasias and leukemias, is unique to mediastinal tumors. The prognosis of GCT with somatic type malignancies is generally dismal. PMID:27491549

  13. Development of malignant germ cells - the genvironmental hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Looijenga, Leendert H J; Van Agthoven, Ton; Biermann, Katharina

    2013-01-01

    Human germ cell tumors are of interest because of their epidemiology, clinic and patho-biology. Histologically, they are subdivided into various elements, with similarities to embryogenesis. Recent insight triggered development of a higher order division into five types of human germ cell tumors. In the context of male germ cells, only three are relevant; Type I: teratomas and yolk sac tumors of neonates and infants; Type II: seminomas and nonseminomas of (predominantly) adolescents and adults; and Type III: spermatocytic seminomas of the elderly. Various animal models, both occurring spontaneous or induced, are reported, of which their relevance is still a matter of debate. Recent multidisciplinary studies have led to a significant increase in our understanding of the parameters involved in the earliest pathogenetic steps of human germ cells tumors, particularly the seminomas and nonseminomas (Type II). This paper will discuss a number of interesting insights into the normal and aberrant regulation of germ cell development, resulting in the so-called genvironmental hypothesis. This assumes a subtle interaction between environmental- and (epi)genetic parameters, resulting in clinical/phenotypical characteristics. These influence signaling pathways and thereby developmental processes, including gonadal development, germ cell proliferation, maturation and apoptosis. In the case of a disturbed physiology, either due to the germ cell itself, or the micro-environment, embryonic germ cells, during a specific window of sensitization, might be blocked in their maturation, resulting in carcinoma in situ or gonadoblastoma, the precursors of seminomas and nonseminomas. The level of testicularization of the gonad determines the histological composition of the precursor. These insights will allow a better definition of individuals at risk of developing a germ cell malignancy, and allow a better selection of scientific approaches to elucidate the corresponding pathogenesis. PMID

  14. Models of germ cell development and their application for toxicity studies.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Daniel W; Allard, Patrick

    2015-10-01

    Germ cells are unique in their ability to transfer genetic information and traits from generation to generation. As such, the proper development of germ cells and the integrity of their genome are paramount to the health of organisms and the survival of species. Germ cells are also exquisitely sensitive to environmental influences although the testing of germ cell toxicity, especially in females, has proven particularly challenging. In this review, we first describe the remarkable odyssey of germ cells in mammals, with an emphasis on the female germline, from their initial specification early during embryogenesis to the generation of mature gametes in adults. We also describe the current methods used in germ cell toxicity testing and their limitations in examining the complex features of mammalian germ cell development. To bypass these challenges, we propose the use of alternative model systems such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans, and in vitro germ cell methods that have distinct advantages over traditional toxicity models. We discuss the benefits and limitations of each approach, their application to germ cell toxicity studies, and the need for computational approaches to maximize the usefulness of these models. Together, the inclusion of these alternative germ cell toxicity models will be invaluable for the examination of stages not easily accessible in mammals as well as the large scale, high-throughput investigation of germ cell toxicity. PMID:25821157

  15. Palifosfamide in Treating Patients With Recurrent Germ Cell Tumors

    ClinicalTrials.gov

    2015-06-11

    Adult Central Nervous System Germ Cell Tumor; Adult Teratoma; Malignant Extragonadal Germ Cell Tumor; Malignant Extragonadal Non-Seminomatous Germ Cell Tumor; Extragonadal Seminoma; Recurrent Malignant Testicular Germ Cell Tumor; Recurrent Ovarian Germ Cell Tumor; Stage IV Extragonadal Non-Seminomatous Germ Cell Tumor; Stage IV Extragonadal Seminoma; Stage IV Ovarian Germ Cell Tumor

  16. RNA Granules in Germ Cells

    PubMed Central

    Voronina, Ekaterina; Seydoux, Geraldine; Sassone-Corsi, Paolo; Nagamori, Ippei

    2011-01-01

    “Germ granules” are cytoplasmic, nonmembrane-bound organelles unique to germline. Germ granules share components with the P bodies and stress granules of somatic cells, but also contain proteins and RNAs uniquely required for germ cell development. In this review, we focus on recent advances in our understanding of germ granule assembly, dynamics, and function. One hypothesis is that germ granules operate as hubs for the posttranscriptional control of gene expression, a function at the core of the germ cell differentiation program. PMID:21768607

  17. General Information about Extragonadal Germ Cell Tumors

    MedlinePlus

    ... Germ Cell Tumors Treatment (PDQ®)–Patient Version General Information About Extragonadal Germ Cell Tumors Go to Health ... the PDQ Adult Treatment Editorial Board . Clinical Trial Information A clinical trial is a study to answer ...

  18. General Information about Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors

    MedlinePlus

    ... Germ Cell Tumors Treatment (PDQ®)–Patient Version General Information About Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors Go to Health ... the PDQ Adult Treatment Editorial Board . Clinical Trial Information A clinical trial is a study to answer ...

  19. What Can a Micronucleus Teach? Learning about Environmental Mutagenesis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Linde, Ana R.; Garcia-Vazquez, Eva

    2009-01-01

    The micronucleus test is widely employed in environmental health research. It can also be an excellent tool for learning important concepts in environmental health. In this article we present an inquiry-based laboratory exercise where students explore several theoretical and practical aspects of environmental mutagenesis employing the micronucleus…

  20. Reprogramming of germ cells into pluripotency

    PubMed Central

    Sekita, Yoichi; Nakamura, Toshinobu; Kimura, Tohru

    2016-01-01

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are precursors of all gametes, and represent the founder cells of the germline. Although developmental potency is restricted to germ-lineage cells, PGCs can be reprogrammed into a pluripotent state. Specifically, PGCs give rise to germ cell tumors, such as testicular teratomas, in vivo, and to pluripotent stem cells known as embryonic germ cells in vitro. In this review, we highlight the current knowledge on signaling pathways, transcriptional controls, and post-transcriptional controls that govern germ cell differentiation and de-differentiation. These regulatory processes are common in the reprogramming of germ cells and somatic cells, and play a role in the pathogenesis of human germ cell tumors. PMID:27621759

  1. Reprogramming of germ cells into pluripotency.

    PubMed

    Sekita, Yoichi; Nakamura, Toshinobu; Kimura, Tohru

    2016-08-26

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are precursors of all gametes, and represent the founder cells of the germline. Although developmental potency is restricted to germ-lineage cells, PGCs can be reprogrammed into a pluripotent state. Specifically, PGCs give rise to germ cell tumors, such as testicular teratomas, in vivo, and to pluripotent stem cells known as embryonic germ cells in vitro. In this review, we highlight the current knowledge on signaling pathways, transcriptional controls, and post-transcriptional controls that govern germ cell differentiation and de-differentiation. These regulatory processes are common in the reprogramming of germ cells and somatic cells, and play a role in the pathogenesis of human germ cell tumors. PMID:27621759

  2. [Ovarian germ cell tumors in girls].

    PubMed

    Nechushkina, I V; Karseladze, A I

    2015-01-01

    Morphological structure of tumor influences on the clinical course of the disease in children with germ cell tumors. Patients with ovarian dysgerminoma at the time of diagnosis are significantly older than patients with immature teratoma and yolk sac tumor. Immature teratoma and mixed germ cell tumors are significantly larger compared to other germ cell tumors. Yolk sac tumor and embryonal carcinoma are the most common cause of emergency surgical interventions and are accompanied by rupture of tumor capsule. PMID:26087605

  3. Environmental stress induces trinucleotide repeat mutagenesis in human cells.

    PubMed

    Chatterjee, Nimrat; Lin, Yunfu; Santillan, Beatriz A; Yotnda, Patricia; Wilson, John H

    2015-03-24

    The dynamic mutability of microsatellite repeats is implicated in the modification of gene function and disease phenotype. Studies of the enhanced instability of long trinucleotide repeats (TNRs)-the cause of multiple human diseases-have revealed a remarkable complexity of mutagenic mechanisms. Here, we show that cold, heat, hypoxic, and oxidative stresses induce mutagenesis of a long CAG repeat tract in human cells. We show that stress-response factors mediate the stress-induced mutagenesis (SIM) of CAG repeats. We show further that SIM of CAG repeats does not involve mismatch repair, nucleotide excision repair, or transcription, processes that are known to promote TNR mutagenesis in other pathways of instability. Instead, we find that these stresses stimulate DNA rereplication, increasing the proportion of cells with >4 C-value (C) DNA content. Knockdown of the replication origin-licensing factor CDT1 eliminates both stress-induced rereplication and CAG repeat mutagenesis. In addition, direct induction of rereplication in the absence of stress also increases the proportion of cells with >4C DNA content and promotes repeat mutagenesis. Thus, environmental stress triggers a unique pathway for TNR mutagenesis that likely is mediated by DNA rereplication. This pathway may impact normal cells as they encounter stresses in their environment or during development or abnormal cells as they evolve metastatic potential. PMID:25775519

  4. Environmental stress induces trinucleotide repeat mutagenesis in human cells

    PubMed Central

    Chatterjee, Nimrat; Lin, Yunfu; Santillan, Beatriz A.; Yotnda, Patricia; Wilson, John H.

    2015-01-01

    The dynamic mutability of microsatellite repeats is implicated in the modification of gene function and disease phenotype. Studies of the enhanced instability of long trinucleotide repeats (TNRs)—the cause of multiple human diseases—have revealed a remarkable complexity of mutagenic mechanisms. Here, we show that cold, heat, hypoxic, and oxidative stresses induce mutagenesis of a long CAG repeat tract in human cells. We show that stress-response factors mediate the stress-induced mutagenesis (SIM) of CAG repeats. We show further that SIM of CAG repeats does not involve mismatch repair, nucleotide excision repair, or transcription, processes that are known to promote TNR mutagenesis in other pathways of instability. Instead, we find that these stresses stimulate DNA rereplication, increasing the proportion of cells with >4 C-value (C) DNA content. Knockdown of the replication origin-licensing factor CDT1 eliminates both stress-induced rereplication and CAG repeat mutagenesis. In addition, direct induction of rereplication in the absence of stress also increases the proportion of cells with >4C DNA content and promotes repeat mutagenesis. Thus, environmental stress triggers a unique pathway for TNR mutagenesis that likely is mediated by DNA rereplication. This pathway may impact normal cells as they encounter stresses in their environment or during development or abnormal cells as they evolve metastatic potential. PMID:25775519

  5. Molecular biology of testicular germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Exposito, R; Merino, M; Aguayo, C

    2016-06-01

    Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) are the most common solid tumors in young adult men. They constitute a unique pathology because of their embryonic and germ origin and their special behavior. Genetic predisposition, environmental factors involved in their development and genetic aberrations have been under study in many works throughout the last years trying to explain the susceptibility and the transformation mechanism of TGCTs. Despite the high rate of cure in this type of tumors because its particular sensitivity to cisplatin, there are tumors resistant to chemotherapy for which it is needed to find new therapies. In the present work, it has been carried out a literature review on the most important molecular aspects involved in the onset and development of such tumors, as well as a review of the major developments regarding prognostic factors, new prognostic biomarkers and the possibility of new targeted therapies. PMID:26482724

  6. Treatment Option Overview (Extragonadal Germ Cell Tumors)

    MedlinePlus

    ... hCG and LDH may be at any level. Poor prognosis A nonseminoma extragonadal germ cell tumor is in the poor prognosis group if: the tumor is in the ... extragonadal germ cell tumor does not have a poor prognosis group. Treatment Option Overview Key Points There ...

  7. Identification of Potential Germ-Cell Mutagens

    EPA Science Inventory

    The existence of agents that can induce germ-cell mutations in experimental systems has been recognized since 1927 with the discovery of the ability of X-rays to induce such mutations in Drosophila. Various rodent-based germ-cell mutation assays have been developed, and ~50 germ...

  8. European Community research on environmental mutagenesis and carcinogenesis.

    PubMed Central

    Sors, A I

    1993-01-01

    Within the 12 Member States of the European Community (EC), environmental policy is now formulated primarily at Community level. As a result, the EC has important regulatory responsibilities for the protection of workers, consumers, and the general public from risks that may arise from environmental chemicals, foremost among them potential carcinogens and mutagens. An important part of EC environmental research and development is intended to provide a scientific basis for these regulations as well as increasing understanding of the basic mechanisms involved in environmental carcinogenesis and mutagenesis. This paper contains a brief introduction to EC environment policy and research, followed by an overview of EC chemicals control activities that are of particular relevance to the research and development program. Community-level research on environmental mutagenesis and carcinogenesis is then reviewed in some detail, including the achievements of recent projects, the scientific content of the current program, and perspectives for the future. PMID:8143645

  9. Primordial Germ Cell Specification and Migration

    PubMed Central

    Marlow, Florence

    2015-01-01

    Primordial germ cells are the progenitor cells that give rise to the gametes. In some animals, the germline is induced by zygotic transcription factors, whereas in others, primordial germ cell specification occurs via inheritance of maternally provided gene products known as germ plasm. Once specified, the primordial germ cells of some animals must acquire motility and migrate to the gonad in order to survive. In all animals examined, perinuclear structures called germ granules form within germ cells. This review focuses on some of the recent studies, conducted by several groups using diverse systems, from invertebrates to vertebrates, which have provided mechanistic insight into the molecular regulation of germ cell specification and migration. PMID:26918157

  10. Germ cell quantitation in human testicular biopsy.

    PubMed

    Sinha Hikim, A P; Chakraborty, J; Jhunjhunwala, J S

    1985-01-01

    Quantitative analysis of human seminiferous epithelium was carried out using an improved method of glutaraldehyde and osmium fixation with plastic embedding. Part of each biopsy specimen was fixed in Bouin's fixative and embedded in paraffin for comparison. Epon embedded tissue had very little artifactual damage compared with paraffin embedded tissue sections. The germ cell to Sertoli cell ratios were determined by counting the various germ cells per "unit" tubular area. Data obtained by this method reflect a remarkable stability of Sertoli cell number and germ cell-Sertoli cell ratios both between biopsies from different individuals and between biopsies from right and left testes from the same individual. Agreement between the present results and those of earlier studies based on paraffin embedded testicular specimens supports the validity of this method of germ cell quantitation of human testicular biopsy samples. PMID:3927550

  11. Sex determination in mammalian germ cells

    PubMed Central

    Spiller, Cassy M; Bowles, Josephine

    2015-01-01

    Germ cells are the precursors of the sperm and oocytes and hence are critical for survival of the species. In mammals, they are specified during fetal life, migrate to the developing gonads and then undergo a critical period during which they are instructed, by the soma, to adopt the appropriate sexual fate. In a fetal ovary, germ cells enter meiosis and commit to oogenesis, whereas in a fetal testis, they avoid entry into meiosis and instead undergo mitotic arrest and mature toward spermatogenesis. Here, we discuss what we know so far about the regulation of sex-specific differentiation of germ cells, considering extrinsic molecular cues produced by somatic cells, as well as critical intrinsic changes within the germ cells. This review focuses almost exclusively on our understanding of these events in the mouse model. PMID:25791730

  12. Specification of germ cell fate in mice.

    PubMed Central

    Saitou, Mitinori; Payer, Bernhard; Lange, Ulrike C; Erhardt, Sylvia; Barton, Sheila C; Surani, M Azim

    2003-01-01

    An early fundamental event during development is the segregation of germ cells from somatic cells. In many organisms, this is accomplished by the inheritance of preformed germ plasm, which apparently imposes transcriptional repression to prevent somatic cell fate. However, in mammals, pluripotent epiblast cells acquire germ cell fate in response to signalling molecules. We have used single cell analysis to study how epiblast cells acquire germ cell competence and undergo specification. Germ cell competent cells express Fragilis and initially progress towards a somatic mesodermal fate. However, a subset of these cells, the future primordial germ cells (PGCs), then shows rapid upregulation of Fragilis with concomitant transcriptional repression of a number of genes, including Hox and Smad genes. This repression may be a key event associated with germ cell specification. Furthermore, PGCs express Stella and other genes, such as Oct-4 that are associated with pluripotency. While these molecules are also detected in mature oocytes as maternally inherited factors, their early role is to regulate development and maintain pluripotency, and they do not serve the role of classical germline determinants. PMID:14511483

  13. Dissecting Germ Cell Metabolism through Network Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Whitmore, Leanne S.; Ye, Ping

    2015-01-01

    Metabolic pathways are increasingly postulated to be vital in programming cell fate, including stemness, differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis. The commitment to meiosis is a critical fate decision for mammalian germ cells, and requires a metabolic derivative of vitamin A, retinoic acid (RA). Recent evidence showed that a pulse of RA is generated in the testis of male mice thereby triggering meiotic commitment. However, enzymes and reactions that regulate this RA pulse have yet to be identified. We developed a mouse germ cell-specific metabolic network with a curated vitamin A pathway. Using this network, we implemented flux balance analysis throughout the initial wave of spermatogenesis to elucidate important reactions and enzymes for the generation and degradation of RA. Our results indicate that primary RA sources in the germ cell include RA import from the extracellular region, release of RA from binding proteins, and metabolism of retinal to RA. Further, in silico knockouts of genes and reactions in the vitamin A pathway predict that deletion of Lipe, hormone-sensitive lipase, disrupts the RA pulse thereby causing spermatogenic defects. Examination of other metabolic pathways reveals that the citric acid cycle is the most active pathway. In addition, we discover that fatty acid synthesis/oxidation are the primary energy sources in the germ cell. In summary, this study predicts enzymes, reactions, and pathways important for germ cell commitment to meiosis. These findings enhance our understanding of the metabolic control of germ cell differentiation and will help guide future experiments to improve reproductive health. PMID:26367011

  14. Dissecting Germ Cell Metabolism through Network Modeling.

    PubMed

    Whitmore, Leanne S; Ye, Ping

    2015-01-01

    Metabolic pathways are increasingly postulated to be vital in programming cell fate, including stemness, differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis. The commitment to meiosis is a critical fate decision for mammalian germ cells, and requires a metabolic derivative of vitamin A, retinoic acid (RA). Recent evidence showed that a pulse of RA is generated in the testis of male mice thereby triggering meiotic commitment. However, enzymes and reactions that regulate this RA pulse have yet to be identified. We developed a mouse germ cell-specific metabolic network with a curated vitamin A pathway. Using this network, we implemented flux balance analysis throughout the initial wave of spermatogenesis to elucidate important reactions and enzymes for the generation and degradation of RA. Our results indicate that primary RA sources in the germ cell include RA import from the extracellular region, release of RA from binding proteins, and metabolism of retinal to RA. Further, in silico knockouts of genes and reactions in the vitamin A pathway predict that deletion of Lipe, hormone-sensitive lipase, disrupts the RA pulse thereby causing spermatogenic defects. Examination of other metabolic pathways reveals that the citric acid cycle is the most active pathway. In addition, we discover that fatty acid synthesis/oxidation are the primary energy sources in the germ cell. In summary, this study predicts enzymes, reactions, and pathways important for germ cell commitment to meiosis. These findings enhance our understanding of the metabolic control of germ cell differentiation and will help guide future experiments to improve reproductive health. PMID:26367011

  15. Dearth and Delayed Maturation of Testicular Germ Cells in Fanconi Anemia E Mutant Male Mice

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Chun; Begum, Khurshida; Jordan, Philip W.; He, Yan; Overbeek, Paul A.

    2016-01-01

    After using a self-inactivating lentivirus for non-targeted insertional mutagenesis in mice, we identified a transgenic family with a recessive mutation that resulted in reduced fertility in homozygous transgenic mice. The lentiviral integration site was amplified by inverse PCR. Sequencing revealed that integration had occurred in intron 8 of the mouse Fance gene, which encodes the Fanconi anemia E (Fance) protein. Fanconi anemia (FA) proteins play pivotal roles in cellular responses to DNA damage and Fance acts as a molecular bridge between the FA core complex and Fancd2. To investigate the reduced fertility in the mutant males, we analyzed postnatal development of testicular germ cells. At one week after birth, most tubules in the mutant testes contained few or no germ cells. Over the next 2–3 weeks, germ cells accumulated in a limited number of tubules, so that some tubules contained germ cells around the full periphery of the tubule. Once sufficient numbers of germ cells had accumulated, they began to undergo the later stages of spermatogenesis. Immunoassays revealed that the Fancd2 protein accumulated around the periphery of the nucleus in normal developing spermatocytes, but we did not detect a similar localization of Fancd2 in the Fance mutant testes. Our assays indicate that although Fance mutant males are germ cell deficient at birth, the extant germ cells can proliferate and, if they reach a threshold density, can differentiate into mature sperm. Analogous to previous studies of FA genes in mice, our results show that the Fance protein plays an important, but not absolutely essential, role in the initial developmental expansion of the male germ line. PMID:27486799

  16. Pollen tetrads in the detection of environmental mutagenesis

    SciTech Connect

    Mulcahy, D.L.

    1981-01-01

    Although pollen is a very sensitive indicator of environmental mutagenesis, it is also sensitive to nonmutagenic environmental stress. By analyzing pollen tetrads, rather than individual pollen grains, it is possible to distinguish between mutagenic and nonmutagenic influences. Another advantage of using pollen tetrads in mutagenicity studies is that it is possible to discriminate between pre- and post-pachytene mutations. This eliminates the mutant sector problem of a single mutational event giving rise to a large number of mutant cells. Methods of analyzing pollen tetrads are described.

  17. Genomic Landscape of Developing Male Germ Cells

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Tin-Lap; Pang, Alan Lap-Yin; Rennert, Owen M.; Chan, Wai-Yee

    2010-01-01

    Spermatogenesis is a highly orchestrated developmental process by which spermatogonia develop into mature spermatozoa. This process involves many testis- or male germ cell-specific gene products whose expressions are strictly regulated. In the past decade the advent of high-throughput gene expression analytical techniques has made functional genomic studies of this process, particularly in model animals such as mice and rats, feasible and practical. These studies have just begun to reveal the complexity of the genomic landscape of the developing male germ cells. Over 50% of the mouse and rat genome are expressed during testicular development. Among transcripts present in germ cells, 40% – 60% are uncharacterized. A number of genes, and consequently their associated biological pathways, are differentially expressed at different stages of spermatogenesis. Developing male germ cells present a rich repertoire of genetic processes. Tissue-specific as well as spermatogenesis stage-specific alternative splicing of genes exemplifies the complexity of genome expression. In addition to this layer of control, discoveries of abundant presence of antisense transcripts, expressed psuedogenes, non-coding RNAs (ncRNA) including long ncRNAs, microRNAs (miRNAs) and Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), and retrogenes all point to the presence of multiple layers of expression and functional regulation in male germ cells. It is anticipated that application of systems biology approaches will further our understanding of the regulatory mechanism of spermatogenesis.† PMID:19306351

  18. Specifying and protecting germ cell fate

    PubMed Central

    Strome, Susan; Updike, Dustin

    2015-01-01

    Germ cells are the special cells in the body that undergo meiosis to generate gametes and subsequently entire new organisms after fertilization, a process that continues generation after generation. Recent studies have expanded our understanding of the factors and mechanisms that specify germ cell fate, including the partitioning of maternally supplied ‘germ plasm’, inheritance of epigenetic memory and expression of transcription factors crucial for primordial germ cell (PGC) development. Even after PGCs are specified, germline fate is labile and thus requires protective mechanisms, such as global transcriptional repression, chromatin state alteration and translation of only germline-appropriate transcripts. Findings from diverse species continue to provide insights into the shared and divergent needs of these special reproductive cells. PMID:26122616

  19. Surgery and Combination Chemotherapy in Treating Children With Extracranial Germ Cell Tumors

    ClinicalTrials.gov

    2016-05-06

    Childhood Embryonal Tumor; Childhood Extracranial Germ Cell Tumor; Childhood Extragonadal Germ Cell Tumor; Childhood Malignant Ovarian Germ Cell Tumor; Childhood Malignant Testicular Germ Cell Tumor; Childhood Teratoma; Ovarian Embryonal Carcinoma; Ovarian Yolk Sac Tumor; Stage II Malignant Testicular Germ Cell Tumor; Stage IIA Ovarian Germ Cell Tumor; Stage IIB Ovarian Germ Cell Tumor; Stage IIC Ovarian Germ Cell Tumor; Stage III Malignant Testicular Germ Cell Tumor; Stage IIIA Ovarian Germ Cell Tumor; Stage IIIB Ovarian Germ Cell Tumor; Stage IIIC Ovarian Germ Cell Tumor; Testicular Choriocarcinoma and Yolk Sac Tumor; Testicular Embryonal Carcinoma

  20. Elucidating human male germ cell development by studying germ cell cancer.

    PubMed

    Nettersheim, Daniel; Jostes, Sina; Schneider, Simon; Schorle, Hubert

    2016-10-01

    Human germ cell development is regulated in a spatio-temporal manner by complex regulatory networks. Here, we summarize results obtained in germ cell tumors and respective cell lines and try to pinpoint similarities to normal germ cell development. This comparison allows speculating about the critical and error-prone mechanisms, which when disturbed, lead to the development of germ cell tumors. Short after specification, primordial germ cells express markers of pluripotency, which, in humans, persists up to the stage of fetal/infantile spermatogonia. Aside from the rare spermatocytic tumors, virtually all seminomas and embryonal carcinomas express markers of pluripotency and show signs of pluripotency or totipotency. Therefore, it appears that proper handling of the pluripotency program appears to be the most critical step in germ cell development in terms of tumor biology. Furthermore, data from mice reveal that germline cells display an epigenetic signature, which is highly similar to pluripotent cells. This signature (poised histone code, DNA hypomethylation) is required for the rapid induction of toti- and pluripotency upon fertilization. We propose that adult spermatogonial cells, when exposed to endocrine disruptors or epigenetic active substances, are prone to reinitiate the pluripotency program, giving rise to a germ cell tumor. The fact that pluripotent cells can be derived from adult murine and human testicular cells further corroborates this idea. PMID:27512122

  1. Germ cell binding to rat Sertoli cells in vitro

    SciTech Connect

    DePhilip, R.M.; Danahey, D.G.

    1987-12-01

    The interaction between male germ cells and Sertoli cells was studied in vitro by co-incubation experiments using isolated rat germ cells and primary cultures of Sertoli cells made germ cell-free by the differential sensitivity of germ cells to hypotonic shock. The germ cell/Sertoli cell interaction was examined morphologically with phase-contrast and scanning electron microscopy and then quantified by measuring radioactivity bound to Sertoli cell cultures after co-incubation with added (/sup 3/H)leucine-labeled germ cells. Germ cell binding to Sertoli cell cultures was the result of specific adhesion between these two cell types, and several features of this specific adhesion were observed. First, germ cells adhered to Sertoli cell cultures under conditions during which spleen cells and red blood cells did not. Second, germ cells had a greater affinity for Sertoli cell cultures than they had for cultures of testicular peritubular cells or cerebellar astrocytes. Third, germ cells fixed with paraformaldehyde adhered to live Sertoli cultures while similarly fixed spleen cells adhered less tightly. Neither live nor paraformaldehyde-fixed germ cells adhered to fixed Sertoli cell cultures. Fourth, germ cell binding to Sertoli cell cultures was not immediate but increased steadily and approached a maximum at 4 h of co-incubation. Saturation of germ cell binding to Sertoli cell cultures occurred when more than 4200 germ cells were added per mm2 of Sertoli cell culture surface. Finally, germ cell binding to Sertoli cell cultures was eliminated when co-incubation was performed on ice. Based on these observations, we concluded that germ cell adhesion to Sertoli cells was specific, temperature-dependent, and required a viable Sertoli cell but not necessarily a viable germ cell.

  2. Tools for the genetic analysis of germ cells.

    PubMed

    Hammond, Shirley S; Matin, Angabin

    2009-09-01

    Germ cells are essential for the propagation of individual species. Studies on germ cell development in mice highlight important biological paradigms. Beginning with their first appearance around embryonic day 7 (E7), germ cells undergo specific cellular changes at different stages of their embryonic and adult development. Germ cells migrate through the hind-regions of the embryo to eventually home into the developing gonads. Further differentiation and development of germ cells differ in males and females. The processes involved in germ cell development and their eventual differentiation into sperm and oocytes have been under extensive investigation in recent years. Studies on germ cells have shed light on the cellular and molecular processes involved in their specification, migration, proliferation, death, and differentiation. These studies have also revealed much about maintenance of stem cell populations and fertility. Here we review the genetic tools that are at present available to study germ cells in the mouse. PMID:19548313

  3. General Information about Childhood Extracranial Germ Cell Tumors

    MedlinePlus

    ... Germ Cell Tumors Treatment (PDQ®)–Patient Version General Information About Childhood Extracranial Germ Cell Tumors Go to ... the PDQ Pediatric Treatment Editorial Board . Clinical Trial Information A clinical trial is a study to answer ...

  4. Germ Cells Need Folate to Proliferate.

    PubMed

    Walker, Amy K

    2016-07-11

    In this issue of Developmental Cell, Chaudhari and colleagues (2016) use a novel method to create an in vitro proliferative cell line from tumorous C. elegans germ cells, and in the process discover that bacterial folates act as signals for proliferation, independent of their roles as vitamins. PMID:27404353

  5. Marijuana use and testicular germ cell tumors

    PubMed Central

    Trabert, Britton; Sigurdson, Alice J.; Sweeney, Anne M.; Strom, Sara S.; McGlynn, Katherine A.

    2010-01-01

    Background Since the early 1970's the incidence of testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT) in the U.S. has been increasing, however, potential environmental exposures accounting for this rise have not been identified. A prior study reported a significant association among frequent and long-term current users of marijuana and TGCT risk. We aimed to evaluate the relationship of marijuana use and TGCT in a hospital-based case-control study conducted at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Methods TGCT cases diagnosed between January 1990 and October 1996 (n=187) and male friend controls (n=148) were enrolled in the study. All participants were between the ages of 18 and 50 at the time of cases' diagnosis and resided in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, or Oklahoma. Associations of marijuana use and TGCT were estimated using unconditional logistic regression, adjusting for age, race, prior cryptorchidism, cigarette smoking and alcohol intake. Results Overall, TGCT cases were more likely to be frequent marijuana users (daily or greater) than were controls [OR: 2.2, 95% CI: 1.0, 5.1]. In the histologic-specific analyses nonseminoma cases were significantly more likely than controls to be frequent users [OR: 3.1, 95% CI: 1.2, 8.2] and long-term users (10+ years) [OR: 2.4, 95% CI: 1.0, 6.1]. Discussion Our finding of an association between frequent marijuana use and TGCT, particularly among men with nonseminoma, is consistent with the findings of a previous report. Additional studies of marijuana use and TGCT are warranted, especially studies evaluating the role of endocannabinoid signaling and cannabinoid receptors in TGCT. PMID:20925043

  6. Embryonic germ cell lines and their derivation from mouse primordial germ cells.

    PubMed

    Labosky, P A; Barlow, D P; Hogan, B L

    1994-01-01

    When primordial germ cells of the mouse are cultured on feeder layers with the addition of the polypeptide signalling molecules leukaemia inhibitory factor, Steel factor and basic fibroblast growth factor they give rise to cells that resemble undifferentiated blastocyst-derived embryonic stem cells. These primordial germ cell-derived embryonic germ cells (EG cells) can be induced to differentiate extensively in culture and also form teratocarcinomas when injected into nude mice. Additionally, they contribute to chimeras when injected into host blastocysts. We have derived multiple EG cell lines from 8.5 days post coitum (dpc) embryos of C57BL/6 inbred mice. Four independent EG cell lines with normal male karyotypes have formed chimeras (up to 70% coat colour chimerism) when injected into BALB/c host blastocysts. Chimeric mice from all four cell lines are fertile, but only those from one line have transmitted coat colour markers through the germline. Studies have also been carried out to determine whether gonadal primordial germ cells can give rise to pluripotent EG cells. Germ cells from gonads of 15.5 dpc C57BL/6 embryos and newborn mice failed to produce EG cell lines. EG cell lines capable of forming teratocarcinomas and coat colour chimeras have been established from primordial germ cells of 12.5 dpc genital ridges. We are currently testing the genomic imprinting status of the insulin-like growth factor type 2 receptor gene (Igf2r) in our different EG cell lines. PMID:7835148

  7. Environmental mutagenesis during the end-Permian ecological crisis.

    PubMed

    Visscher, Henk; Looy, Cindy V; Collinson, Margaret E; Brinkhuis, Henk; van Konijnenburg-van Cittert, Johanna H A; Kürschner, Wolfram M; Sephton, Mark A

    2004-08-31

    During the end-Permian ecological crisis, terrestrial ecosystems experienced preferential dieback of woody vegetation. Across the world, surviving herbaceous lycopsids played a pioneering role in repopulating deforested terrain. We document that the microspores of these lycopsids were regularly released in unseparated tetrads indicative of failure to complete the normal process of spore development. Although involvement of mutation has long been hinted at or proposed in theory, this finding provides concrete evidence for chronic environmental mutagenesis at the time of global ecological crisis. Prolonged exposure to enhanced UV radiation could account satisfactorily for a worldwide increase in land plant mutation. At the end of the Permian, a period of raised UV stress may have been the consequence of severe disruption of the stratospheric ozone balance by excessive emission of hydrothermal organohalogens in the vast area of Siberian Traps volcanism. PMID:15282373

  8. Environmental mutagenesis during the end-Permian ecological crisis

    PubMed Central

    Visscher, Henk; Looy, Cindy V.; Collinson, Margaret E.; Brinkhuis, Henk; van Konijnenburg-van Cittert, Johanna H. A.; Kürschner, Wolfram M.; Sephton, Mark A.

    2004-01-01

    During the end-Permian ecological crisis, terrestrial ecosystems experienced preferential dieback of woody vegetation. Across the world, surviving herbaceous lycopsids played a pioneering role in repopulating deforested terrain. We document that the microspores of these lycopsids were regularly released in unseparated tetrads indicative of failure to complete the normal process of spore development. Although involvement of mutation has long been hinted at or proposed in theory, this finding provides concrete evidence for chronic environmental mutagenesis at the time of global ecological crisis. Prolonged exposure to enhanced UV radiation could account satisfactorily for a worldwide increase in land plant mutation. At the end of the Permian, a period of raised UV stress may have been the consequence of severe disruption of the stratospheric ozone balance by excessive emission of hydrothermal organohalogens in the vast area of Siberian Traps volcanism. PMID:15282373

  9. Rebuilding Pluripotency from Primordial Germ Cells

    PubMed Central

    Leitch, Harry G.; Nichols, Jennifer; Humphreys, Peter; Mulas, Carla; Martello, Graziano; Lee, Caroline; Jones, Ken; Surani, M. Azim; Smith, Austin

    2013-01-01

    Mammalian primordial germ cells (PGCs) are unipotent progenitors of the gametes. Nonetheless, they can give rise directly to pluripotent stem cells in vitro or during teratocarcinogenesis. This conversion is inconsistent, however, and has been difficult to study. Here, we delineate requirements for efficient resetting of pluripotency in culture. We demonstrate that in defined conditions, routinely 20% of PGCs become EG cells. Conversion can occur from the earliest specified PGCs. The entire process can be tracked from single cells. It is driven by leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and the downstream transcription factor STAT3. In contrast, LIF signaling is not required during germ cell ontogeny. We surmise that ectopic LIF/STAT3 stimulation reconstructs latent pluripotency and self-renewal. Notably, STAT3 targets are significantly upregulated in germ cell tumors, suggesting that dysregulation of this pathway may underlie teratocarcinogenesis. These findings demonstrate that EG cell formation is a robust experimental system for exploring mechanisms involved in reprogramming and cancer. PMID:24052943

  10. Dnd knockout ablates germ cells and demonstrates germ cell independent sex differentiation in Atlantic salmon

    PubMed Central

    Wargelius, Anna; Leininger, Sven; Skaftnesmo, Kai Ove; Kleppe, Lene; Andersson, Eva; Taranger, Geir Lasse; Schulz, Rüdiger W; Edvardsen, Rolf B

    2016-01-01

    Introgression of farmed salmon escapees into wild stocks is a major threat to the genetic integrity of wild populations. Using germ cell-free fish in aquaculture may mitigate this problem. Our study investigated whether it is possible to produce germ cell-free salmon in F0 by using CRISPR-Cas9 to knock out dnd, a factor required for germ cell survival in vertebrates. To avoid studying mosaic animals, sgRNA targeting alb was simultaneously used as a visual tracer since the phenotype of alb KO is complete loss of pigmentation. Induced mutations for the tracer (alb) and the target (dnd) genes were highly correlated and produced germ cell-less fish lacking pigmentation, underlining the suitability of alb KO to serve as tracer for targeted double allelic mutations in F0 animals in species with prohibitively long generation times. This is also the first report describing dnd knockout in any fish species. Analyzing gene expression and histology of dnd KO fish revealed that sex differentiation of the somatic compartment does not depend on the presence of germ cells. However, the organization of the ovarian somatic compartment seems compromised in mutant fish. PMID:26888627

  11. Gender differences in the induction of chromosomal aberrations and gene mutations in rodent germ cells

    SciTech Connect

    Adler, Ilse-Dore; Carere, Angelo; Eichenlaub-Ritter, Ursula

    2007-05-15

    Germ cell mutagenicity testing provides experimental data to quantify genetic risk for exposed human populations. The majority of tests are performed with exposure of males, and female data are relatively rare. The reason for this paucity lies in the differences between male and female germ cell biology. Male germ cells are produced throughout reproductive life and all developmental stages can be ascertained by appropriate breeding schemes. In contrast, the female germ cell pool is limited, meiosis begins during embryogenesis and oocytes are arrested over long periods of time until maturation processes start for small numbers of oocytes during the oestrus cycle in mature females. The literature data are reviewed to point out possible gender differences of germ cells to exogenous agents such as chemicals or ionizing radiation. From the limited information, it can be concluded that male germ cells are more sensitive than female germ cells to the induction of chromosomal aberrations and gene mutations. However, exceptions are described which shed doubt on the extrapolation of experimental data from male rodents to the genetic risk of the human population. Furthermore, the female genome may be more sensitive to mutation induction during peri-conceptional stages compared to the male genome of the zygote. With few exceptions, germ cell experiments have been carried out under high acute exposure to optimize the effects and to compensate for the limited sample size in animal experiments. Human exposure to environmental agents, on the other hand, is usually chronic and involves low doses. Under these conditions, gender differences may become apparent that have not been studied so far. Additionally, data are reviewed that suggest a false impression of safety when responses are negative under high acute exposure of male rodents while a mutational response is induced by low chronic exposure. The classical (morphological) germ cell mutation tests are not performed anymore

  12. Sex Specification and Heterogeneity of Primordial Germ Cells in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Sakashita, Akihiko; Kawabata, Yukiko; Jincho, Yuko; Tajima, Shiun; Kumamoto, Soichiro; Kobayashi, Hisato; Matsui, Yasuhisa; Kono, Tomohiro

    2015-01-01

    In mice, primordial germ cells migrate into the genital ridges by embryonic day 13.5 (E13.5), where they are then subjected to a sex-specific fate with female and male primordial germ cells undergoing mitotic arrest and meiosis, respectively. However, the sex-specific basis of primordial germ cell differentiation is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the sex-specific features of mouse primordial germ cells. We performed RNA-sequencing (seq) of E13.5 female and male mouse primordial germ cells using next-generation sequencing. We identified 651 and 428 differentially expressed transcripts (>2-fold, P < 0.05) in female and male primordial germ cells, respectively. Of these, many transcription factors were identified. Gene ontology and network analysis revealed differing functions of the identified female- and male-specific genes that were associated with primordial germ cell acquisition of sex-specific properties required for differentiation into germ cells. Furthermore, DNA methylation and ChIP-seq analysis of histone modifications showed that hypomethylated gene promoter regions were bound with H3K4me3 and H3K27me3. Our global transcriptome data showed that in mice, primordial germ cells are decisively assigned to a sex-specific differentiation program by E13.5, which is necessary for the development of vital germ cells. PMID:26700643

  13. On the development of extragonadal and gonadal human germ cells

    PubMed Central

    Heeren, A. Marijne; He, Nannan; de Souza, Aline F.; Goercharn-Ramlal, Angelique; van Iperen, Liesbeth; Roost, Matthias S.; Gomes Fernandes, Maria M.; van der Westerlaken, Lucette A. J.; Chuva de Sousa Lopes, Susana M.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Human germ cells originate in an extragonadal location and have to migrate to colonize the gonadal primordia at around seven weeks of gestation (W7, or five weeks post conception). Many germ cells are lost along the way and should enter apoptosis, but some escape and can give rise to extragonadal germ cell tumors. Due to the common somatic origin of gonads and adrenal cortex, we investigated whether ectopic germ cells were present in the human adrenals. Germ cells expressing DDX4 and/or POU5F1 were present in male and female human adrenals in the first and second trimester. However, in contrast to what has been described in mice, where ‘adrenal’ and ‘ovarian’ germ cells seem to enter meiosis in synchrony, we were unable to observe meiotic entry in human ‘adrenal’ germ cells until W22. By contrast, ‘ovarian’ germ cells at W22 showed a pronounced asynchronous meiotic entry. Interestingly, we observed that immature POU5F1+ germ cells in both first and second trimester ovaries still expressed the neural crest marker TUBB3, reminiscent of their migratory phase. Our findings highlight species-specific differences in early gametogenesis between mice and humans. We report the presence of a population of ectopic germ cells in the human adrenals during development. PMID:26834021

  14. Germ Cell Tumors in Adolescents and Young Adults.

    PubMed

    Calaminus, Gabriele; Joffe, Jonathan

    2016-01-01

    Germ cell tumors (GCTs) represent a group of biologically complex malignancies that affect patients at different sites within the body and at different ages. The varying nature of these tumors reflects their cell of origin which is the primordial germ cell, which normally gives rise to ovarian and testicular egg and sperm producing cells. These cells retain an ability to give rise to all types of human tissues, and this is illustrated by the different kinds of GCTs that occur. In adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients, GCTs predominantly present as testicular, ovarian or mediastinal primary GCTs, and represent some of the most complex therapeutic challenges within any AYA practice. The varying types of GCTs, defined by primary site and/or age at presentation, can look very similar microscopically. However, there is growing evidence that they may have different molecular characteristics, different biology and different requirements for curative treatments. Whilst in adult testicular GCTs there is evidence for an environmental cause during fetal development and a genetic component, these causative factors are much less well understood in other GCTs. GCTs are some of the most curable cancers in adults, but some patients exhibit resistance to standard treatments. Because of this, today's clinical research is directed at understanding how to best utilize toxic therapies and promote healthy survivorship. This chapter explores the biology, behavior and treatment of GCTs and discusses how the AYA group of GCTs may hold some of the keys to understanding fundamental unanswered questions of biological variance and curability in GCTs. PMID:27595361

  15. Combination Chemotherapy in Treating Young Patients With Recurrent or Resistant Malignant Germ Cell Tumors

    ClinicalTrials.gov

    2016-04-12

    Childhood Extracranial Germ Cell Tumor; Childhood Extragonadal Germ Cell Tumor; Childhood Malignant Ovarian Germ Cell Tumor; Childhood Malignant Testicular Germ Cell Tumor; Ovarian Choriocarcinoma; Ovarian Embryonal Carcinoma; Ovarian Yolk Sac Tumor; Recurrent Childhood Malignant Germ Cell Tumor; Recurrent Malignant Testicular Germ Cell Tumor; Recurrent Ovarian Germ Cell Tumor; Testicular Choriocarcinoma; Testicular Choriocarcinoma and Embryonal Carcinoma; Testicular Choriocarcinoma and Yolk Sac Tumor; Testicular Embryonal Carcinoma; Testicular Embryonal Carcinoma and Yolk Sac Tumor; Testicular Yolk Sac Tumor

  16. Repressive translational control in germ cells.

    PubMed

    Lai, Fangfang; King, Mary Lou

    2013-08-01

    The earliest stages of embryonic development in many animals proceed without zygotic transcription. Genetic control is executed by maternally inherited mRNAs that are under translational control. To set aside the future germ cell lineage, it is pivotal to both exert translational regulation of maternal germline mRNAs and to repress maternal signals in those same cells that drive somatic cell-fate determination. Here we review repressive translational regulation in the germline from the perspective of the conserved RNA binding proteins Pumilio and Nanos, and discuss common themes that have emerged. PMID:23408501

  17. Late Relapse of Testicular Germ Cell Tumors.

    PubMed

    O'Shaughnessy, Matthew J; Feldman, Darren R; Carver, Brett S; Sheinfeld, Joel

    2015-08-01

    Germ cell tumors of the testis have an overall survival rate greater than 90% as a result of a successful multidisciplinary approach to management. Late relapse affects a subset of patients however, and tends to be chemorefractory and the overall prognosis is poor. Surgery is the mainstay in management of late relapse but salvage chemotherapy can be successful. In this review, the clinical presentation and detection of late relapse, clinical outcomes, and predictors of survival in late relapse and the importance of a multidisciplinary treatment approach for successful management of late relapse are discussed. PMID:26216823

  18. SYNAPTONEMAL COMPLEX DAMAGE AS A MEASURE OF CHEMICAL MUTAGEN EFFECTS ON MAMMALIAN GERM CELLS

    EPA Science Inventory

    As heritable chromosome anomalies are implicated in a variety of human disabilities, their induction in germ cells by environmental chemicals is viewed as a threat to health. Synaptonemal complex (SC) analysis is a novel approach for the detection of germ-line chromosomal damage....

  19. Primary pulmonary germ cell tumor with blastomatous differentiation.

    PubMed

    Miller, R R; Champagne, K; Murray, R C

    1994-11-01

    We describe the clinical and pathologic findings of a patient with mixed blastoma-germ cell malignancy primary in the lung. Serum alpha-fetoprotein levels were elevated at presentation, and normalized with anti-germ cell chemotherapy. The resection specimen contained massively necrotic germ cell tumor with viable mature neural tissue, plus viable biphasic blastoma with stromal bone and skeletal muscle differentiation. It is not clear whether the germ cell component represents unusual differentiation of a somatic cell line or whether the blastoma component represents an unusual pattern of teratomatous differentiation. PMID:7525163

  20. Sufficient Numbers of Early Germ Cells Are Essential for Female Sex Development in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Xiangyan; Jin, Xia; Chen, Xiaowen; He, Jiangyan; Yin, Zhan

    2015-01-01

    The sex determination for zebrafish is controlled by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The determination of sex in zebrafish has been suggested to rely on a mechanism that is affected by germ cell-derived signals. To begin our current study, a simplified and efficient germ cell-specific promoter of the dead end (dnd) gene was identified. Utilizing the metrodinazole (MTZ)/ bacterial nitroreductase (NTR) system for inducible germ cell ablation, several stable Tg (dnd:NTR-EGFP-3'UTR) and Tg (dnd:NTR-EGFP+3'UTR) zebrafish lines were then generated with the identified promoter. A thorough comparison of the expression patterns and tissue distributions of endogenous dnd and ntr-egfp transcripts in vivo revealed that the identified 2032-bp zebrafish dnd promoter can recapitulate dnd expression faithfully in stable transgenic zebrafish. The correlation between the levels of the germ cell-derived signals and requirement for maintaining the female fate has been also explored with different durations of the MTZ treatments. Our results revealed the decreasing ratios of female presented in the treated transgenic group are fairly associated with the reducing levels of the early germ cell-derived signals. After the juvenile transgenic fish treated with 5 mM MTZ for 20 days, all MTZ-treated transgenic fish exclusively developed into males with subfertilities. Taken together, our results identified here a simplified and efficient dnd promoter, and provide clear evidence indicating that it was not the presence but the sufficiency of signals derived from germ cells that is essential for female sex development in zebrafish. Our model also provides a unique system for sex control in zebrafish studies. PMID:25679390

  1. Pediatric germ cell tumors presenting beyond childhood?

    PubMed

    Oosterhuis, J W; Stoop, J A; Rijlaarsdam, M A; Biermann, K; Smit, V T H B M; Hersmus, R; Looijenga, L H J

    2015-01-01

    Four cases are reported meeting the criteria of a pediatric (i.e., Type I) testicular germ cell tumor (TGCT), apart from the age of presentation, which is beyond childhood. The tumors encompass the full spectrum of histologies of pediatric TGCT: teratoma, yolk sac tumor, and various combinations of the two, and lack intratubular germ cell neoplasia/carcinoma in situ in the adjacent parenchyma. The neoplasms are (near)diploid, and lack gain of 12p, typical for seminomas and non-seminomas of the testis of adolescents and adults (i.e., Type II). It is proposed that these neoplasms are therefore late appearing pediatric (Type I) TGCT. The present report broadens the concept of earlier reported benign teratomas of the post-pubertal testis to the full spectrum of pediatric TGCT. The possible wide age range of pediatric TGCT, demonstrated in this study, lends credence to the concept that TGCT should according to their pathogenesis be classified into the previously proposed types. This classification is clinically relevant, because Type I mature teratomas are benign tumors, which are candidates for testis conserving surgery, as opposed to Type II mature teratomas, which have to be treated as Type II (malignant) non-seminomas. PMID:25427839

  2. Molecular genetics of testicular germ cell tumors

    PubMed Central

    Sheikine, Yuri; Genega, Elizabeth; Melamed, Jonathan; Lee, Peng; Reuter, Victor E.; Ye, Huihui

    2012-01-01

    Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT) are the most common malignancy in young men. While most TGCT are potentially curable, approximately 5% of patients with TGCT may develop chemoresistance and die from the disease. This review article summarizes current knowledge in genetics underlying the development, progression and chemoresistance of TGCT. Most post-pubertal TGCT originate from intratubular germ cell neoplasia unclassified (IGCNU), which are transformed fetal gonocytes. Development of IGCNU may involve aberrantly activated KITLG/KIT pathway and overexpression of embryonic transcription factors such as NANOG and POU5F1, which leads to suppression of apoptosis, increased proliferation, and accumulation of mutations in gonocytes. Invasive TGCT consistently show gain of chromosome 12p, typically isochromosome 12p. Single gene mutations are uncommon in TGCT. KIT, TP53, KRAS/NRAS, and BRAF are genes most commonly mutated in TGCT and implicated in their pathogenesis. Different histologic subtypes of TGCT possess different gene expression profiles that reflect different directions of differentiation. Their distinct gene expression profiles are likely caused by epigenetic regulation, in particular DNA methylation, but not by gene copy number alterations. Resistance of TGCT to chemotherapy has been linked to karyotypic aberrations, single-gene mutations, and epigenetic regulation of gene expression in small-scale studies. The study of TGCT genetics could ultimately translate into development of new molecular diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for these tumors and improve the care of patients with these malignancies. PMID:22432056

  3. How to make a human germ cell.

    PubMed

    Cooke, Paul S; Nanjappa, Manjunatha K

    2015-01-01

    How the primordial germ cell (PGC) lineage, which eventually gives rise to spermatozoa in males and oocytes in females, is established in the developing mammalian embryo has been a critical topic in both developmental and reproductive biology for many years. There have been significant breakthroughs over the past two decades in establishing both the source of PGCs and the factors that regulate the specification of this lineage in mice, [1] but our understanding of the factors that control PGC development in the human is rudimentary. The SRY-related HMG-box (SOX) family of transcription factors consists of 20 genes in humans and mice that are involved in the maintenance of pluripotency, male sexual development, and other processes. A recent paper in Cell has identified one member of this family, SOX17, as an essential factor for inducing the PGC lineage in humans. [2] Surprisingly, this protein does not appear to have a role in PGC specification in mice. This work not only introduces a new and important player to the field of germ cell specification, but also emphasizes the uniqueness of human PGC development compared to more extensively studied mouse models. PMID:25791734

  4. Standard-Dose Combination Chemotherapy or High-Dose Combination Chemotherapy and Stem Cell Transplant in Treating Patients With Relapsed or Refractory Germ Cell Tumors

    ClinicalTrials.gov

    2016-07-26

    Germ Cell Tumor; Teratoma; Choriocarcinoma; Germinoma; Mixed Germ Cell Tumor; Yolk Sac Tumor; Childhood Teratoma; Malignant Germ Cell Neoplasm; Extragonadal Seminoma; Non-seminomatous Germ Cell Tumor; Seminoma

  5. Exposure to Endocrine Disruptor Induces Transgenerational Epigenetic Deregulation of MicroRNAs in Primordial Germ Cells

    PubMed Central

    Brieño-Enríquez, Miguel A.; García-López, Jesús; Cárdenas, David B.; Guibert, Sylvain; Cleroux, Elouan; Děd, Lukas; Hourcade, Juan de Dios; Pěknicová, Jana; Weber, Michael; del Mazo, Jesús

    2015-01-01

    In mammals, germ cell differentiation is initiated in the Primordial Germ Cells (PGCs) during fetal development. Prenatal exposure to environmental toxicants such as endocrine disruptors may alter PGC differentiation, development of the male germline and induce transgenerational epigenetic disorders. The anti-androgenic compound vinclozolin represents a paradigmatic example of molecule causing transgenerational effects on germ cells. We performed prenatal exposure to vinclozolin in mice and analyzed the phenotypic and molecular changes in three successive generations. A reduction in the number of embryonic PGCs and increased rate of apoptotic cells along with decrease of fertility rate in adult males were observed in F1 to F3 generations. Blimp1 is a crucial regulator of PGC differentiation. We show that prenatal exposure to vinclozolin deregulates specific microRNAs in PGCs, such as miR-23b and miR-21, inducing disequilibrium in the Lin28/let-7/Blimp1 pathway in three successive generations of males. As determined by global maps of cytosine methylation, we found no evidence for prominent changes in DNA methylation in PGCs or mature sperm. Our data suggest that embryonic exposure to environmental endocrine disruptors induces transgenerational epigenetic deregulation of expression of microRNAs affecting key regulatory pathways of germ cells differentiation. PMID:25897752

  6. EDITORIAL INTRODUCTION [TO FEMALE GERM CELLS: BIOLOGY AND GENETIC RISK

    EPA Science Inventory

    This is an editorial introduction to the special issue of utation Research, titled, emale Germ Cells: Biology and Genetic isk, which is an attempt to present a collection of papers that emphasize the distinct properties of female germ cells and their characteristic response to mu...

  7. Two-step oligoclonal development of male germ cells.

    PubMed

    Ueno, Hiroo; Turnbull, Brit B; Weissman, Irving L

    2009-01-01

    During mouse development, primordial germ cells (PGCs) that give rise to the entire germ line are first identified within the proximal epiblast. However, long-term tracing of the fate of the cells has not been done wherein all cells in and around the germ-cell lineage are identified. Also, quantitative estimates of the number of founder PGCs using different models have come up with various numbers. Here, we use tetrachimeric mice to show that the progenitor numbers for the entire germ line in adult testis, and for the initiating embryonic PGCs, are both 4 cells. Although they proliferate to form polyclonal germ-cell populations in fetal and neonatal testes, germ cells that actually contribute to adult spermatogenesis originate from a small number of secondary founder cells that originate in the fetal period. The rest of the "deciduous" germ cells are lost, most likely by apoptosis, before the reproductive period. The second "actual" founder germ cells generally form small numbers of large monoclonal areas in testes by the reproductive period. Our results also demonstrate that there is no contribution of somatic cells to the male germ cell pool during development or in adulthood. These results suggest a model of 2-step oligoclonal development of male germ cells in mice, the second step distinguishing the heritable germ line from cells selected not to participate in forming the next generation. PMID:19098099

  8. [Updated genomics of testicular germ cell tumor].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Meng; He, An-bang; Cai, Zhi-ming; Wu, Song

    2015-04-01

    Testicular germ cell tumor (TGCT) is a most common testicular malignancy with an increasing incidence, and its pathogenesis and mechanisms are not yet clear. The next generation sequencing has become the main tool to uncover the underlying mechanisms of TGCT. The differential gene expressions, gene mutation, predisposing gene-dominated signaling pathways, and changes of the relevant genes in the sex chromosome are largely involved in the occurrence and development of TGCT. Studies on the genomics of TGCT contribute a lot to identifying the pivotal pathogenic genes and paving a theoretical ground for the early screening and targeted therapy of TGCT. This paper summarizes the advances in the studies of the genomics of TGCT so as to reveal thetmechanisms of the disease at the genetic level. PMID:26027106

  9. Primordial Germ Cells: Current Knowledge and Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Nikolic, Aleksandar; Volarevic, Vladislav; Armstrong, Lyle; Lako, Majlinda; Stojkovic, Miodrag

    2016-01-01

    Infertility is a condition that occurs very frequently and understanding what defines normal fertility is crucial to helping patients. Causes of infertility are numerous and the treatment often does not lead to desired pregnancy especially when there is a lack of functional gametes. In humans, the primordial germ cell (PGC) is the primary undifferentiated stem cell type that will differentiate towards gametes: spermatozoa or oocytes. With the development of stem cell biology and differentiation protocols, PGC can be obtained from pluripotent stem cells providing a new therapeutic possibility to treat infertile couples. Recent studies demonstrated that viable mouse pups could be obtained from in vitro differentiated stem cells suggesting that translation of these results to human is closer. Therefore, the aim of this review is to summarize current knowledge about PGC indicating the perspective of their use in both research and medical application for the treatment of infertility. PMID:26635880

  10. Spermatogonial Nature of the Germ Cell Component of Canine Testicular Mixed Germ Cell-Sex Cord Stromal Tumours.

    PubMed

    Mizukami, S; Murakami, T; Tanaka, T; Machida, N; Nomura, K; Yoshida, T; Shibutani, M

    2016-07-01

    The present study has characterized the germ cell component of canine testicular mixed germ cell-sex cord stromal tumours (MGSCTs) by examining the histological nature and histochemical and immunohistochemical features using gonocytic and spermatogonial cellular markers, c-Kit, placental alkaline phosphatase (PLAP), protein gene product 9.5 (PGP9.5), Sal-like protein 4 (SALL4), and the periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) reaction. Histologically, all 45 examples of MGSCTs were classified as spermatocytic seminomas (SSs) and Sertoli cell tumours in combination. The germ cell component of all MGSCTs was negative by PAS staining. Immunohistochemically, PLAP immunoreactivity was lacking in the germ cell component of all MGSCTs, which is not consistent with a gonocytic origin. The germ cell component was positive for PGP9.5 and SALL4 in all MGSCTs and positive for c-Kit in 53% of MGSCTs, which is consistent with the phenotype of spermatogonia. Furthermore, the germ cell component in 71% of MGSCTs had moderate immunoreactivity for SALL4, which is suggestive of a spermatogonial phenotype. Conversely, 29% of cases had a minor population of germ cells showing strong SALL4 immunoreactivity, suggesting a phenotype similar to prespermatogonia. The results suggest that the germ cell component of canine MGSCTs is morphologically classified as SS, with the majority of cases showing the spermatogonial phenotype and some cases containing a small population of prespermatogonia. PMID:27241073

  11. Building on the Past, Shaping the Future: The Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society

    EPA Science Inventory

    In late 2012 the members of the Environmental Mutagen Society voted to change its name to the Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society. Here we describe the thought process that led to adoption of the new name, which both respects the rich history of a Society founded in 19...

  12. Alvocidib and Oxaliplatin With or Without Fluorouracil and Leucovorin Calcium in Treating Patients With Relapsed or Refractory Germ Cell Tumors

    ClinicalTrials.gov

    2015-05-11

    Recurrent Extragonadal Seminoma; Recurrent Malignant Extragonadal Germ Cell Tumor; Recurrent Malignant Extragonadal Non-Seminomatous Germ Cell Tumor; Recurrent Malignant Testicular Germ Cell Tumor; Recurrent Ovarian Germ Cell Tumor; Stage III Testicular Cancer; Stage IV Extragonadal Non-Seminomatous Germ Cell Tumor; Stage IV Extragonadal Seminoma; Stage IV Ovarian Germ Cell Tumor

  13. Tritium effects on germ cells and fertility

    SciTech Connect

    Dobson, R.L.; Kwan, T.C.; Straume, T.

    1982-11-19

    Primordial oocytes in juvenile mice show acute gamma-ray LD/sub 50/ as low as 6 rad. This provides opportunities for determining dose-response relations at low doses and chronic exposure in the intact animal - conditions of particular interest for hazard evaluation. Examined in this way, /sup 3/HOH in body water is found to kill murine oocytes exponentially with dose, the LD/sub 50/ level for chronic exposure being only 2..mu..Ci/ml (delivering 0.4 rad/day). At very low doses and dose rates, where comparisons between tritium and other radiations are of special significance for radiological protection, the RBE of tritium compared with /sup 60/Co gamma radiation reaches approximately 3. Effects on murine fertility from tritium-induced oocyte loss have been quantified by reproductive capacity measurements. Chronic low-level exposure has been examined also in three primate species - squirrel, rhesus, and bonnet monkeys. In squirrel monkeys the ovarian germ-cell supply is 99% destroyed by the time of birth from prenatal exposure to body-water levels of /sup 3/HOH (administered in maternal drinking water) of only 3 ..mu..Ci/ml, the LD/sub 50/ level being 0.5 ..mu..Ci/ml (giving 0.1 rad/day), one fourth that in mice. Though not completely ruled out, similar high sensitivity of female germ cells has not been found in macaques; and it probably does not occur in man. The exquisite radiosensitivity of primordial oocytes in mice is apparently due to vulnerability of the plasma membrane (or something of similar geometry and location), not DNA. Evidence for this comes from tritium data as well as neutron studies. Tritium administered as /sup 3/HOH, and therefore generally distributed, is much more effective in killing murine oocytes than is tritium administered as /sup 3/H-TdR, localized in the nucleus. This situation in the mouse may have implications for estimating radiation genetic risk in the human female.

  14. SALL4 expression in germ cell and non-germ cell tumors: a systematic immunohistochemical study of 3215 cases.

    PubMed

    Miettinen, Markku; Wang, Zengfeng; McCue, Peter A; Sarlomo-Rikala, Maarit; Rys, Janusz; Biernat, Wojciech; Lasota, Jerzy; Lee, Yi-Shan

    2014-03-01

    The SALL4 transcription factor is associated with embryonic cell pluripotency and has been shown as a useful immunohistochemical marker for germ cell tumors. However, information of SALL4 distribution in normal human tissues and non-germ cell tumors is limited. In this study we examined normal human tissues and 3215 tumors for SALL4 expression using a monoclonal antibody 6E3 and automated immunohistochemistry. In a 10-week embryo, SALL4 was expressed in ovocytes, intestine, kidney, and some hepatocytes. In adult tissues, it was only detected in germ cells. SALL4 was consistently expressed in all germ cell tumors except some trophoblastic tumors and mature components of teratomas, in which it was selectively expressed in intestinal-like and some squamous epithelia. In non-germ cell carcinomas, SALL4 was detected in 20% of cases or more of serous carcinoma of the ovary, urothelial high-grade carcinoma, and gastric adenocarcinoma (especially the intestinal type). SALL4 was only rarely (≤ 5%) expressed in mammary, colorectal, prostatic, and squamous cell carcinomas. Many SALL4-positive carcinomas showed poorly differentiated patterns, and some showed positivity in most tumor cells mimicking the expression in germ cell tumors. SALL4 was commonly expressed in rhabdoid tumors of the kidney and extrarenal sites and in the Wilms tumor. Expression of SALL4 was rare in other mesenchymal and neuroendocrine tumors but was occasionally detected in melanoma, desmoplastic small round cell tumor, epithelioid sarcoma, and rhabdomyosarcoma. All hematopoietic tumors were negative. SALL4 is an excellent marker of nonteratomatous germ cell tumors, but it is also expressed in other tumors, sometimes extensively. Such expression may reflect stem cell-like differentiation and must be considered when using SALL4 as a marker for germ cell tumors. Observed lack of other pluripotency factors, OCT4 and NANOG, in SALL4-positive non-germ cell tumors can also be diagnostically helpful. PMID

  15. The testicular germ cell tumour transcriptome.

    PubMed

    Alagaratnam, S; Lind, G E; Kraggerud, S M; Lothe, R A; Skotheim, R I

    2011-08-01

    Testicular germ cell tumours (TGCTs) are characterized by young age of onset and a complex pattern of histological subtypes. Transcriptomic studies have tried to uncover the gene expression patterns underlying this. Here, we present a systematic review of transcriptome studies of TGCTs of adolescents and young adults and identify genes common across the various studies, both for TGCTs in general as well as the histological subtypes, hence elucidating both transcriptional changes associated with malignant transformation and differentiation patterns. A meta-analysis of this type adds power and significance to the genes thus found, where most studies have included only a limited number of samples. Both known (KRAS, MYCN and TPD52) and novel (CCT6A, IGFBP3 and SALL2) cancer genes are implicated in TGC tumorigenesis. Gene expression patterns characteristic to embryonic stem cells are also found deregulated in TGC tumorigenesis. This is reflected in how pluripotent embryonal carcinoma cells commonly differentiate into a variety of embryonic and extra-embryonic histological types, each with unique transcriptomes. The embryonal carcinomas in particular are found to overexpress pluripotency genes, while gene signatures for seminomas, teratomas and yolk sac tumours were also identified. This underlines the distinctive transcriptomic programme across histological subtypes, especially striking given that the TGCT genome is largely similar across the same subtypes. PMID:21651573

  16. Analysis of chicken primordial germ cells

    PubMed Central

    Motono, Makoto; Ohashi, Takuya; Iijima, Shinji

    2008-01-01

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are precursors of germline cells. Although avian PGCs have been used to produce transgenic birds, their characteristics largely remain unknown. In this study, we isolated PGCs from chicken embryos at various developmental stages and analyzed the gene expression. Using the expression of stage-specific embryonic antigen-1 (SSEA-1) as a marker of chicken PGCs, we purified PGCs from embryos by fluorescence-activated cell sorting after incubation for 2.5–8.5 days. The number of SSEA-1+ cells was almost unchanged during days 2.5–8.5 of incubation in females but continuously increased in male. Expression of several genes, including Blimp1, SOX2, and CXCR4, was observed in SSEA-1+ cells but not in SSEA-1− cells in both female and male embryos. Quantitative reverse-transcription PCR analysis revealed that the expression of CXCR4, a chemokine receptor essential for migration of PGCs from the bloodstream to the gonads, was reduced after the circulating PGC stage (day 2.5). PMID:19003166

  17. Mutagenesis and differentiation induction in mammalian cells by environmental chemicals

    SciTech Connect

    Friedman, J.; Huberman, E.

    1980-01-01

    These studies indicate that in agreement with the somatic mutation hypothesis, chemical carcinogens: (1) are mutagenic for mammalian cells as tested in the cell-mediated assay; (2) the degree of mutagenicity is correlated with their degree of carcinogenicity; (3) that at least in cases when analyzed carefully the metabolites responsible for mutagenesis are also responsible for initiating the carcinogenic event; and (4) that a cell organ type specificity can be established using the cell-mediated assay. Studies with HL-60 cells and HO melanoma cells and those of others suggest that tumor-promoting phorbol diesters can alter cell differentiation in various cell types and that the degree of the observed alteration in the differentiation properties may be related to the potency of the phorbol esters. Thus these and similar systems may serve as models for both studies and identification of certain types of tumor promoting agents. (ERB)

  18. General Information About Childhood Central Nervous System Germ Cell Tumors

    MedlinePlus

    ... before the cancer is diagnosed and continue for months or years. Childhood CNS germ cell tumors may ... after treatment. Some cancer treatments cause side effects months or years after treatment has ended. Some cancer ...

  19. Quantification of immunocompetent cells in testicular germ cell tumours.

    PubMed

    Torres, A; Casanova, J F; Nistal, M; Regadera, J

    1997-01-01

    The immunocompetent cells present in the different histological patterns of 43 testicular germ cell tumours were evaluated. CD3 + and CD45RO + (UCHL1 +) T lymphocytes, CD68 + and MAC 387 + macrophages, CD20 + (L26 +) B lymphocytes, and kappa and lambda + plasma cells were counted. The number of immunocompetent cells per mm2 of tumour tissue, excluding the necrotic areas, was evaluated. Microscopic fields were randomly selected by two observers. In order to guarantee randomization each surface was divided into parts, numbered through a lattice, and some fields were chosen via a random numbers table. This procedure yielded significantly different counts from those obtained on subjective selection. The number of T-lymphocytes and macrophages was higher in seminomas than in the non-seminomatous testicular germ cell tumours (P < 0.05) Embryonal carcinomas had more T-lymphocytes than immature teratomas. No significant differences were found among testicular germ cell tumours with regards to the B-lymphocytes, with the exception of the high number of B-lymphocytes in mature teratomas. Kappa + and lambda + plasma cells were few in the testicular germ cell tumours. Randomization in the quantification of immunocompetent cells in testicular germ cell tumours is a good means for evaluation of immune response in all the tumour mass, not only in the areas with the most intense inflammatory cell infiltrate, and permits comparison of testicular germ cell tumours with other malignant tumours. Study of immunocompetent cells in every histological type of testicular germ cell tumour is useful in comparing them with other extra-testicular germ cell tumours. PMID:9023554

  20. Perspectives of germ cell development in vitro in mammals

    PubMed Central

    Hayashi, Katsuhiko; Saitou, Mitinori

    2014-01-01

    Pluripotent stem cells, such as embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are able to differentiate into all cell lineages of the embryo proper, including germ cells. This pluripotent property has a huge impact on the fields of regenerative medicine, developmental biology and reproductive engineering. Establishing the germ cell lineage from ESCs/iPSCs is the key biological subject, since it would contribute not only to dissection of the biological processes of germ cell development but also to production of unlimited numbers of functional gametes in vitro. Toward this goal, we recently established a culture system that induces functional mouse primordial germ cells (PGCs), precursors of all germ cells, from mouse ESCs/iPSCs. The successful in vitro production of PGCs arose from the study of pluripotent cell state, the signals inducing PGCs and the technology of transplantation. However, there are many obstacles to be overcome for the robust generation of mature gametes or for application of the culture system to other species, including humans and livestock. In this review, we discuss the requirements for a culture system to generate the germ cell lineage from ESCs/iPSCs. PMID:24725251

  1. The chemosensitivity of testicular germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Voutsadakis, Ioannis A

    2014-04-01

    Although rare cancers overall, testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) are the most common type of cancer in young males below 40 years of age. Both subtypes of TGCTs, i.e., seminomas and non-seminomas, are highly curable and the majority of even metastatic patients may expect to be cured. These high cure rates are not due to the indolent nature of these cancers, but rather to their sensitivity to chemotherapy (and for seminomas to radiotherapy). The delineation of the cause of chemosensitivity at the molecular level is of paramount importance, because it may provide insights into the minority of TGCTs that are chemo-resistant and, thereby, provide opportunities for specific therapeutic interventions aimed at reverting them to chemosensitivity. In addition, delineation of the molecular basis of TGCT chemo-sensitivity may be informative for the cause of chemo-resistance of other more common types of cancer and, thus, may create new therapeutic leads. p53, a frequently mutated tumor suppressor in cancers in general, is not mutated in TGCTs, a fact that has implications for their chemo-sensitivity. Oct4, an embryonic transcription factor, is uniformly expressed in the seminoma and embryonic carcinoma components of non-seminomas, and its interplay with p53 may be important in the chemotherapy response of these tumors. This interplay, together with other features of TGCTs such as the gain of genetic material from the short arm of chromosome 12 and the association with disorders of testicular development, will be discussed in this paper and integrated in a unifying hypothesis that may explain their chemo-sensitivity. PMID:24692098

  2. Germ Cell Origins of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Risk: The Transgenerational Impact of Parental Stress Experience.

    PubMed

    Rodgers, Ali B; Bale, Tracy L

    2015-09-01

    Altered stress reactivity is a predominant feature of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and may reflect disease vulnerability, increasing the probability that an individual will develop PTSD following trauma exposure. Environmental factors, particularly prior stress history, contribute to the developmental programming of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal stress axis. Critically, the consequences of stress experiences are transgenerational, with parental stress exposure impacting stress reactivity and PTSD risk in subsequent generations. Potential molecular mechanisms underlying this transmission have been explored in rodent models that specifically examine the paternal lineage, identifying epigenetic signatures in male germ cells as possible substrates of transgenerational programming. Here, we review the role of these germ cell epigenetic marks, including posttranslational histone modifications, DNA methylation, and populations of small noncoding RNAs, in the development of offspring stress axis sensitivity and disease risk. PMID:25895429

  3. Primordial germ cell biology at the beginning of the XXI century.

    PubMed

    De Felici, Massimo

    2009-01-01

    At the XIV Workshop on the Development and Function of the Reproductive Organs held at the Congress Centre of the University of Rome Tor Vergata, Monteporzio Catone, Rome, Italy, the introduction to the first session entitled Mammalian primordial germ cells dedicated to the memory of Anne McLaren, was the occasion for a concise review of the state of art of research on the biology of primordial germ cells (PGCs). This great, unforgettable scientist, who died in a car accident in July 2007, dedicated most of her studies to this field over the last 25 years. Topics briefly reviewed in this Meeting Report are: 1) how the germ line is determined; 2) what are the mechanisms underlying PGC migration; 3) to what extent PGC survival, proliferation and differentiation are cell autonomous or environmentally controlled processes and 4) how the potential for totipotency is retained in PGCs. PMID:19598110

  4. Molecular biology of testicular germ cell tumors: unique features awaiting clinical application.

    PubMed

    Boublikova, Ludmila; Buchler, Tomas; Stary, Jan; Abrahamova, Jitka; Trka, Jan

    2014-03-01

    Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) are the most common solid tumors in young adult men characterized by distinct biologic features and clinical behavior. Both genetic predispositions and environmental factors probably play a substantial role in their etiology. TGTCs arise from a malignant transformation of primordial germ cells in a process that starts prenatally, is often associated with a certain degree of gonadal dysgenesis, and involves the acquirement of several specific aberrations, including activation of SCF-CKIT, amplification of 12p with up-regulation of stem cell genes, and subsequent genetic and epigenetic alterations. Their embryonic and germ origin determines the unique sensitivity of TGCTs to platinum-based chemotherapy. Contrary to the vast majority of other malignancies, no molecular prognostic/predictive factors nor targeted therapy is available for patients with these tumors. This review summarizes the principal molecular characteristics of TGCTs that could represent a potential basis for development of novel diagnostic and treatment approaches. PMID:24182421

  5. Activity of nintedanib in germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Steinemann, Gustav; Jacobsen, Christine; Gerwing, Mirjam; Hauschild, Jessica; von Amsberg, Gunhild; Höpfner, Michael; Nitzsche, Bianca; Honecker, Friedemann

    2016-02-01

    Germ cell tumors (GCTs) are the most frequent malignancy in male patients between 15 and 45 years of age. Cisplatin-based chemotherapy shows excellent cure rates, but patients with cisplatin-resistant GCTs have a poor prognosis. Nintedanib (BIBF 1120, Vargatef) inhibits the receptor classes vascular endothelial growth factor receptor, platelet derived growth factor receptor, and fibroblast growth factor receptor, and has shown activity against many tumors, as well as in idiopathic lung fibrosis and bleomycin-induced lung injury. Here, we investigated the antineoplastic and antiangiogenic properties of nintedanib in cisplatin-resistant and cisplatin-sensitive GCT cells, both alone and in combination with classical cytotoxic agents such as cisplatin, etoposide, and bleomycin. The half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of nintedanib was 4.5 ± 0.43 μmol/l, 3.1 ± 0.45 μmol/l, and 3.6 ± 0.33 μmol/l in cisplatin-sensitive NTERA2, 2102Ep, and NCCIT cells, whereas the IC50 doses of the cisplatin-resistant counterparts were 6.6 ± 0.37 μmol/l (NTERA2-R), 4.5 ± 0.83 μmol/l (2102Ep-R), and 6.1 ± 0.41 μmol/l (NCCIT-R), respectively. Single treatment with nintedanib induced apoptosis and resulted in a sustained reduction in the capacity of colony formation in both cisplatin-sensitive and cisplatin-resistant GCT cells. Cell cycle analysis showed that nintedanib induced a strong G0/G1-phase arrest in all investigated cell lines. Combination treatment with cisplatin did not result in additive, synergistic, or antagonistic effects. The in-vivo activity was studied using the chorioallantoic membrane assay and indicated the antiangiogenic potency of nintedanib with markedly reduced microvessel density. Topical treatment of inoculated tumor plaques resulted in a significant reduction of the tumor size. This indicates that nintedanib might be a promising substance in the treatment of GCT. PMID:26479145

  6. Mechanisms and chemical induction of aneuploidy in rodent germ cells

    SciTech Connect

    Mailhes, J B; Marchetti, F

    2004-10-15

    The objective of this review is to suggest that the advances being made in our understanding of the molecular events surrounding chromosome segregation in non-mammalian and somatic cell models be considered when designing experiments for studying aneuploidy in mammalian germ cells. Accurate chromosome segregation requires the temporal control and unique interactions among a vast array of proteins and cellular organelles. Abnormal function and temporal disarray among these, and others to be inidentified, biochemical reactions and cellular organelles have the potential for predisposing cells to aneuploidy. Although numerous studies have demonstrated that certain chemicals (mainly those that alter microtubule function) can induce aneuploidy in mammalian germ cells, it seems relevant to point out that such data can be influenced by gender, meiotic stage, and time of cell-fixation post-treatment. Additionally, a consensus has not been reached regarding which of several germ cell aneuploidy assays most accurately reflects the human condition. More recent studies have shown that certain kinase, phosphatase, proteasome, and topoisomerase inhibitors can also induce aneuploidy in rodent germ cells. We suggest that molecular approaches be prudently incorporated into mammalian germ cell aneuploidy research in order to eventually understand the causes and mechanisms of human aneuploidy. Such an enormous undertaking would benefit from collaboration among scientists representing several disciplines.

  7. Vanadium induced ultrastructural changes and apoptosis in male germ cells.

    PubMed

    Aragón, M A; Ayala, M E; Fortoul, T I; Bizarro, P; Altamirano-Lozano, M

    2005-01-01

    Vanadium is a transition metal that is emitted to the atmosphere during combustion of fossil fuels. In the environment, vanadium occurs in the (V) oxidized form, but in the body it is found exclusively in the (IV) oxidized form. Vanadium tetraoxide is an inorganic chemical species in the (IV) oxidized form that has been shown to induce toxic effects in vitro and in vivo. The reproductive toxicity of vanadium in males was studied through monitoring germ cell apoptosis during spermatogenesis. We analyzed ultrastructural damage, and testosterone and progesterone concentrations following vanadium tetraoxide administered to male mice for 60 days. Spermatogenesis stages I-III and X-XII frequently showed apoptotic germ cells in control and treated animals; vanadium tetraoxide treatment induced an increase in the number of germ cell apoptosis in stages I-III and XII at 9.4 and 18.8 mg/kg, respectively. Although spermatogenesis is regulated by testosterone, in our study this hormone level was not modified by vanadium administration; thus, germ cell death was not related with testosterone concentration. At the ultrastructural level, we observed inclusion structures that varied as to location and content in the Sertoli and germ cells. PMID:15808796

  8. Germ Cell Nuclear Factor Regulates Gametogenesis in Developing Gonads

    PubMed Central

    Sabour, Davood; Xu, Xueping; Chung, Arthur C. K.; Le Menuet, Damien; Ko, Kinarm; Tapia, Natalia; Araúzo-Bravo, Marcos J.; Gentile, Luca; Greber, Boris; Hübner, Karin; Sebastiano, Vittorio; Wu, Guangming; Schöler, Hans R.; Cooney, Austin J.

    2014-01-01

    Expression of germ cell nuclear factor (GCNF; Nr6a1), an orphan member of the nuclear receptor gene family of transcription factors, during gastrulation and neurulation is critical for normal embryogenesis in mice. Gcnf represses the expression of the POU-domain transcription factor Oct4 (Pou5f1) during mouse post-implantation development. Although Gcnf expression is not critical for the embryonic segregation of the germ cell lineage, we found that sexually dimorphic expression of Gcnf in germ cells correlates with the expression of pluripotency-associated genes, such as Oct4, Sox2, and Nanog, as well as the early meiotic marker gene Stra8. To elucidate the role of Gcnf during mouse germ cell differentiation, we generated an ex vivo Gcnf-knockdown model in combination with a regulated CreLox mutation of Gcnf. Lack of Gcnf impairs normal spermatogenesis and oogenesis in vivo, as well as the derivation of germ cells from embryonic stem cells (ESCs) in vitro. Inactivation of the Gcnf gene in vivo leads to loss of repression of Oct4 expression in both male and female gonads. PMID:25140725

  9. Reproduction of wild birds via interspecies germ cell transplantation.

    PubMed

    Kang, Seok Jin; Choi, Jin Won; Kim, Sun Young; Park, Kyung Je; Kim, Tae Min; Lee, Young Mok; Kim, Heebal; Lim, Jeong Mook; Han, Jae Yong

    2008-11-01

    The present study was conducted to apply an interspecies germ cell transfer technique to wild bird reproduction. Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) primordial germ cells (PGCs) retrieved from the gonads of 7-day-old embryos were transferred to the bloodstream of 2.5-day-old chicken (Gallus gallus) embryos. Pheasant-to-chicken germline chimeras hatched from the recipient embryos, and 10 pheasants were derived from testcross reproduction of the male chimeras with female pheasants. Gonadal migration of the transferred PGCs, their involvement in spermatogenesis, and production of chimeric semen were confirmed. The phenotype of pheasant progenies derived from the interspecies transfer was identical to that of wild pheasants. The average efficiency of reproduction estimated from the percentage of pheasants to total progenies was 17.5%. In conclusion, interspecies germ cell transfer into a developing embryo can be used for wild bird reproduction, and this reproductive technology may be applicable in conserving endangered bird species. PMID:18685127

  10. Germ-cell malignant tumours in father and son.

    PubMed Central

    Musa, M. B.

    1975-01-01

    Germ-cell malignant tumours occurred in a man and his son. The father, who had a teratoma of the right testicle removed 24 years ago, is presently alive and well. The son, who had a choriocarcinoma presenting as an abdominal mass, possibly originating in the testicle, died within 7 months of the diagnosis with metastases in the lungs, liver and retroperitoneum. This report documents the third such case of germ-cell neoplasms occurring in father and son. Images FIG. 1 FIG. 2 FIG. 3 PMID:1168534

  11. Paternity in patients with bilateral testicular germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Heidenreich, A; Vorreuther, R; Neubauer, S; Zumbe, J; Engelmann, U H

    1997-01-01

    We report on the finding of paternity in 1 patient with metachronous bilateral testis germ cell tumor (BTGCT) and in another patient with a unilateral testicular germ cell tumor and contralateral carcinoma in situ (CIS). These cases demonstrate that patients with BTGCT or CIS in their solitary testicle are not necessarily infertile. Surveillance might be a therapeutic modality in patients with contralateral CIS and active spermatogenesis and the desire for paternity assumed that they are included in close follow-up protocols. PMID:9076475

  12. Germ cell neoplasia in situ (GCNIS): evolution of the current nomenclature for testicular pre-invasive germ cell malignancy.

    PubMed

    Berney, Daniel M; Looijenga, Leendert H J; Idrees, Muhammad; Oosterhuis, J Wolter; Rajpert-De Meyts, Ewa; Ulbright, Thomas M; Skakkebaek, Niels E

    2016-07-01

    The pre-invasive lesion associated with post-pubertal malignant germ cell tumours of the testis was first recognized in the early 1970s and confirmed by a number of observational and follow-up studies. Until this year, this scientific story has been confused by resistance to the entity and disagreement on its name. Initially termed 'carcinoma in situ' (CIS), it has also been known as 'intratubular germ cell neoplasia, unclassified' (IGCNU) and 'testicular intraepithelial neoplasia' (TIN). In this paper, we review the history of discovery and controversy concerning these names and introduce the reasoning for uniting behind a new name, endorsed unanimously at the World Health Organization (WHO) consensus classification 2016: germ cell neoplasia in situ (GCNIS). PMID:26918959

  13. A functional genomic screen in planarians identifies novel regulators of germ cell development

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yuying; Stary, Joel M.; Wilhelm, James E.; Newmark, Phillip A.

    2010-01-01

    Germ cells serve as intriguing examples of differentiated cells that retain the capacity to generate all cell types of an organism. Here we used functional genomic approaches in planarians to identify genes required for proper germ cell development. We conducted microarray analyses and in situ hybridization to discover and validate germ cell-enriched transcripts, and then used RNAi to screen for genes required for discrete stages of germ cell development. The majority of genes we identified encode conserved RNA-binding proteins, several of which have not been implicated previously in germ cell development. We also show that a germ cell-specific subunit of the conserved transcription factor CCAAT-binding protein/nuclear factor-Y is required for maintaining spermatogonial stem cells. Our results demonstrate that conserved transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms regulate germ cell development in planarians. These findings suggest that studies of planarians will inform our understanding of germ cell biology in higher organisms. PMID:20844018

  14. Cholesterol induces proliferation of chicken primordial germ cells.

    PubMed

    Chen, Dongyang; Chen, Meijuan; Lu, Zhenping; Yang, Mengmeng; Xie, Long; Zhang, Wenxin; Xu, Huiyan; Lu, Kehuan; Lu, Yangqing

    2016-08-01

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are the precursors of sperm and eggs and may serve as suitable cells for use in research in developmental biology and transgenic animals. However, the long-term propagation of PGCs in vitro has so far been plagued by the loss of their germ cell characteristics. This is largely because of the scarcity of knowledge concerning cell division and proliferation in these cells and the poor optimization of the culture medium. The sonic hedgehog (SHH) signaling pathway is involved in proliferation of many types of cells, but little is known about its role in chicken PGCs. The results of the current study indicate that the proliferation of chicken PGCs increases significantly when cholesterol, a molecule that facilitates the trafficking of HH ligands, is supplemented in the culture medium. This effect was attenuated when an SHH antagonist, cyclopamine was added, suggesting the involvement of SHH signaling in this process. The characterization of PGCs treated with cholesterol has shown that these cells express germ-cell-related markers and retain their capability to colonize the embryonic gonad after re-introduction to vasculature of stage-15 HH embryos, indicating that proliferation of PGCs induced by cholesterol does not alter the germ cell characteristics of these cells. PMID:27269880

  15. Germ cell DNA quantification shortly after IR laser radiation.

    PubMed

    Bermúdez, D; Carrasco, F; Diaz, F; Perez-de-Vargas, I

    1991-01-01

    The immediate effect of IR laser radiation on rat germ cells was studied by cytophotometric quantification of the nuclear DNA content in testicular sections. Two different levels of radiation were studied: one according to clinical application (28.05 J/cm2) and another known to increase the germ cell number (46.80 J/cm2). The laser beam induced changes in the germ cell DNA content depending on the cell type, the cell cycle phase and the doses of radiation energy applied. Following irradiation at both doses the percentage of spermatogonia showing a 4c DNA content was increased, while the percentage of these with a 2c DNA content was decreased. Likewise, the percentages of primary spermatocytes with a DNA content equal to 4c (at 28.05 J/cm2), between 2c and 4c (at 46.80 J/cm2) and higher than 4c (at both doses) were increased. No change in the mean spermatid DNA content was observed. Nevertheless, at 46.80 J/cm2 the percentages of elongated spermatids with a c or 2c DNA content differed from the controls. Data show that, even at laser radiation doses used in therapy, the germ cell DNA content is increased shortly after IR laser radiation. PMID:1772145

  16. Declaring the Existence of Human Germ-Cell Mutagens

    EPA Science Inventory

    After more than 80 years of searching for human germ-cell mutagens, I think that sufficient evidence already exists for a number of agents to be so considered, and definitive confirmation seems imminent due to the application ofrecently developed genomic techniques. In preparatio...

  17. DNA Analysis in Samples From Younger Patients With Germ Cell Tumors and Their Parents or Siblings

    ClinicalTrials.gov

    2016-04-07

    Childhood Malignant Ovarian Germ Cell Tumor; Childhood Malignant Testicular Germ Cell Tumor; Ovarian Choriocarcinoma; Ovarian Embryonal Carcinoma; Ovarian Mixed Germ Cell Tumor; Ovarian Teratoma; Ovarian Yolk Sac Tumor; Testicular Choriocarcinoma; Testicular Embryonal Carcinoma; Testicular Seminoma; Testicular Teratoma; Testicular Yolk Sac Tumor

  18. The role of dead-end in germ-cell tumor development.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Rui; Bhattacharya, Chitralekha; Matin, Angabin

    2007-12-01

    Testicular germ-cell tumors occur in human males of all age groups, from infants to men over 50 years old. Most commonly, germ-cell tumors (generally known as testicular cancer) occur in young males between the ages of 15 to 35 years. The tumor tissues are usually histologically diverse, and testicular tumors that occur in the different age groups tend to be of specific histological subtypes. Most germ-cell tumors originate from primordial germ cells during embryonic development, although the progression and eventual detection of the disease occurs decades later in humans. Mouse strains spontaneously develop a specific subtype of testicular germ-cell tumors, the type I germ-cell tumors, and these tumors are similar to the germ-cell tumors (or teratomas) that occur in human infants. Some mouse strains, such as the 129-Ter strain, have extremely high germ-cell tumor incidences, making such strains ideal for genetic and biological studies of germ cell-tumor development. Here a brief overview of the recently identified genetic defect in the Ter strain, inactivation of the dead-end (Dnd1) gene, and the ongoing studies on Dnd1 to understand its role in germ-cell and germ cell-tumor development, are provided. PMID:17905939

  19. Prmt5 is required for germ cell survival during spermatogenesis in mice

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yanbo; Zhu, Tianxiang; Li, Qiuling; Liu, Chunyi; Han, Feng; Chen, Min; Zhang, Lianjun; Cui, Xiuhong; Qin, Yan; Bao, Shilai; Gao, Fei

    2015-01-01

    During germ cell development, epigenetic modifications undergo extensive remodeling. Abnormal epigenetic modifications usually result in germ cell loss and reproductive defect. Prmt5 (Protein arginine methyltransferase 5) encodes a protein arginine methyltransferase which has been demonstrated to play important roles in germ cell development during embryonic stages. In the present study, we found that Prmt5 was also abundantly expressed in male germ cells after birth. Inactivation of this gene by crossing with Stra8-Cre transgenic mice resulted in germ cell loss during spermatogenesis. Further study revealed that the germ cell development was grossly normal before P10. However, most of the germ cells in Prmt5Δ/f; Stra8-Cre mice were blocked at meiotic stage. The expression of meiosis associated genes was reduced in Prmt5Δ/f; Stra8-Cre testes compared to control testes at P10. γH2AX was detected in sex body of control germ cells at P12, whereas multiple foci were observed in Prmt5-deficient germ cells. Further study revealed that H4R3me2s was virtually absent in germ cells after Prmt5 inactivation. The results of this study indicate that Prmt5 also plays important roles in germ cell development during spermatogenesis. PMID:26072710

  20. Induction of Germ Cell-like Cells from Porcine Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hanning; Xiang, Jinzhu; Zhang, Wei; Li, Junhong; Wei, Qingqing; Zhong, Liang; Ouyang, Hongsheng; Han, Jianyong

    2016-01-01

    The ability to generate germ cells from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) is valuable for human regenerative medicine and animal breeding. Germ cell-like cells (GCLCs) have been differentiated from mouse and human PSCs, but not from porcine PSCs, which are considered an ideal model for stem cell applications. Here, we developed a defined culture system for the induction of primordial germ cell-like cells (PGCLCs) from porcine induced PSCs (piPSCs). The identity of the PGCLCs was characterized by observing cell morphology, detecting germ cell marker gene expression and evaluating epigenetic properties. PGCLCs could further differentiate into spermatogonial stem cell-like cells (SSCLCs) in vitro. Importantly, meiosis occurred during SSCLC induction. Xenotransplantation of GCLCs into seminiferous tubules of infertile immunodeficient mice resulted in immunohistochemically identifiable germ cells in vivo. Overall, our study provides a feasible strategy for directing piPSCs to the germ cell fate and lays a foundation for exploring germ cell development mechanisms. PMID:27264660

  1. Induction of Germ Cell-like Cells from Porcine Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hanning; Xiang, Jinzhu; Zhang, Wei; Li, Junhong; Wei, Qingqing; Zhong, Liang; Ouyang, Hongsheng; Han, Jianyong

    2016-01-01

    The ability to generate germ cells from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) is valuable for human regenerative medicine and animal breeding. Germ cell-like cells (GCLCs) have been differentiated from mouse and human PSCs, but not from porcine PSCs, which are considered an ideal model for stem cell applications. Here, we developed a defined culture system for the induction of primordial germ cell-like cells (PGCLCs) from porcine induced PSCs (piPSCs). The identity of the PGCLCs was characterized by observing cell morphology, detecting germ cell marker gene expression and evaluating epigenetic properties. PGCLCs could further differentiate into spermatogonial stem cell-like cells (SSCLCs) in vitro. Importantly, meiosis occurred during SSCLC induction. Xenotransplantation of GCLCs into seminiferous tubules of infertile immunodeficient mice resulted in immunohistochemically identifiable germ cells in vivo. Overall, our study provides a feasible strategy for directing piPSCs to the germ cell fate and lays a foundation for exploring germ cell development mechanisms. PMID:27264660

  2. On the number of founding germ cells in humans

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Chang-Jiang; Luebeck, E Georg; Byers, Breck; Moolgavkar, Suresh H

    2005-01-01

    Background The number of founding germ cells (FGCs) in mammals is of fundamental significance to the fidelity of gene transmission between generations, but estimates from various methods vary widely. In this paper we obtain a new estimate for the value in humans by using a mathematical model of germ cell development that depends on available oocyte counts for adult women. Results The germline-development model derives from the assumption that oogonial proliferation in the embryonic stage starts with a founding cells at t = 0 and that the subsequent proliferation can be defined as a simple stochastic birth process. It follows that the population size X(t) at the end of germline expansion (around the 5th month of pregnancy in humans; t = 0.42 years) is a random variable with a negative binomial distribution. A formula based on the expectation and variance of this random variable yields a moment-based estimate of a that is insensitive to the progressive reduction in oocyte numbers due to their utilization and apoptosis at later stages of life. In addition, we describe an algorithm for computing the maximum likelihood estimation of the FGC population size (a), as well as the rates of oogonial division and loss to apoptosis. Utilizing both of these approaches to evaluate available oocyte-counting data, we have obtained an estimate of a = 2 – 3 for Homo sapiens. Conclusion The estimated number of founding germ cells in humans corresponds well with values previously derived from chimerical or mosaic mouse data. These findings suggest that the large variation in oocyte numbers between individual women is consistent with a smaller founding germ cell population size than has been estimated by cytological analyses. PMID:16120211

  3. Updates in the management of ovarian germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Matei, Daniela; Brown, Jubilee; Frazier, Lindsay

    2013-01-01

    Ovarian germ cell tumors are rare events at all ages-in pediatrics, adolescence, and during young adulthood. Combining the knowledge and experience of pediatric and gynecologic oncologists can lead to better outcomes for all. In this review, we intend to present the latest consensus on management of women and children with this disease and highlight the opportunities for collaboration and clinical research going forward. PMID:23714505

  4. PGC-Enriched miRNAs Control Germ Cell Development

    PubMed Central

    Bhin, Jinhyuk; Jeong, Hoe-Su; Kim, Jong Soo; Shin, Jeong Oh; Hong, Ki Sung; Jung, Han-Sung; Kim, Changhoon; Hwang, Daehee; Kim, Kye-Seong

    2015-01-01

    Non-coding microRNAs (miRNAs) regulate the translation of target messenger RNAs (mRNAs) involved in the growth and development of a variety of cells, including primordial germ cells (PGCs) which play an essential role in germ cell development. However, the target mRNAs and the regulatory networks influenced by miRNAs in PGCs remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate a novel miRNAs control PGC development through targeting mRNAs involved in various cellular pathways. We reveal the PGC-enriched expression patterns of nine miRNAs, including miR-10b, -18a, -93, -106b, -126-3p, -127, -181a, -181b, and -301, using miRNA expression analysis along with mRNA microarray analysis in PGCs, embryonic gonads, and postnatal testes. These miRNAs are highly expressed in PGCs, as demonstrated by Northern blotting, miRNA in situ hybridization assay, and miRNA qPCR analysis. This integrative study utilizing mRNA microarray analysis and miRNA target prediction demonstrates the regulatory networks through which these miRNAs regulate their potential target genes during PGC development. The elucidated networks of miRNAs disclose a coordinated molecular mechanism by which these miRNAs regulate distinct cellular pathways in PGCs that determine germ cell development. PMID:26442865

  5. POMB/ACE chemotherapy for mediastinal germ cell tumours.

    PubMed

    Bower, M; Brock, C; Holden, L; Nelstrop, A; Makey, A R; Rustin, G J; Newlands, E S

    1997-05-01

    Mediastinal germ cell tumours (MGCT) are rare and most published series reflect the experiences of individual institutions over many years. Since 1979, we have treated 16 men (12 non-seminomatous germ cell tumours and 4 seminomas) with newly diagnosed primary MGCT with POMB/ACE chemotherapy and elective surgical resection of residual masses. This approach yielded complete remissions in 15/16 (94%) patients. The median follow-up was 6.0 years and no relapses occurred more than 2 years after treatment. The 5 year overall survival in the non-seminomatous germ cell tumours (NSGCT) is 73% (95% confidence interval 43-90%). One patient with NSGCT developed drug-resistant disease and died without achieving remission and 2 patients died of relapsed disease. In addition, 4 patients with bulky and/or metastatic seminoma were treated with POMB/ACE. One died of treatment-related neutropenic sepsis in complete remission and one died of relapsed disease. Finally, 4 patients (2 NSGCT and 2 seminomas) referred at relapse were treated with POMB/ACE and one was successfully salvaged. The combination of POMB/ACE chemotherapy and surgery is effective management for MGCT producing high long-term survival rates. PMID:9291802

  6. Development of germ cell neoplasia in situ in chinchilla rabbits.

    PubMed

    Vigueras-Villaseñor, Rosa María; Montelongo Solís, Paola; Chávez-Saldaña, Margarita; Gutiérrez-Pérez, Oscar; Cortés Trujillo, Lucero; Rojas-Castañeda, Julio César

    2016-05-01

    The present study was designed to describe the development of germ cell neoplasia in situ in Chinchilla rabbit by administration of estradiol. The study was performed in rabbits distributed into two groups: control and 17 β-estradiol. The determination of histological alterations and POU5F1 and c-kit proteins employed as biomarkers for the diagnosis of this neoplasia was carried out. Testicular descent and complete spermatogenesis were observed in the control group. The protein biomarkers were negative. However, in the rabbits treated with estradiol, the testes remained undescended with the gonocytes undifferentiated to spermatogonia. There were histological lesions owing to germ cell neoplasia in situ and positive to POU5F1 and c-kit proteins. These findings indicate that the chinchilla rabbit is an ideal model to study this neoplasia in which the histological characteristics and biomarkers of the disease could be clearly observed. Using this model we suggested that the persisting gonocytes could be responsible for the development of germ cell neoplasia in situ. PMID:26617392

  7. NUT protein immunoreactivity in ovarian germ cell tumours.

    PubMed

    Iacobelli, J F; Charles, A K; Crook, M; Stewart, C J R

    2015-02-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate NUT (nuclear protein in the testis) expression in ovarian germ cell tumours (GCTs). Immunostaining for NUT protein was performed in 10 mature cystic teratomas and in 49 malignant ovarian GCTs including 15 pure dysgerminomas, six dysgerminomas associated with gonadoblastoma, nine yolk sac tumours, 12 immature teratomas, and seven mixed malignant tumours. Only nuclear staining was considered a positive finding although cytoplasmic staining was noted when present. Thirty-seven (76%) malignant GCTs were NUT positive but staining was usually of weak to moderate intensity and observed in a relatively small proportion of neoplastic cells. Staining in immature teratomas and yolk sac tumours was restricted to foci of hepatoid and intestinal/glandular differentiation, where both nuclear and cytoplasmic reactivity were observed. In dysgerminoma associated with gonadoblastoma only the in situ and invasive germ cell elements were NUT positive. Nuclear staining was not seen in benign teratomas. Most malignant ovarian GCTs express NUT protein, albeit focally, and this should be considered when evaluating immunostaining in the differential diagnosis of poorly differentiated malignancies, particularly NUT midline carcinoma. Since NUT protein appears to play a role in normal germ cell maturation it may influence intestinal or hepatoid differentiation within malignant GCTs. PMID:25551299

  8. In vitro differentiation of germ cells from stem cells: a comparison between primordial germ cells and in vitro derived primordial germ cell-like cells.

    PubMed

    Ge, W; Chen, C; De Felici, M; Shen, W

    2015-01-01

    Stem cells are unique cell types capable to proliferate, some of them indefinitely, while maintaining the ability to differentiate into a few or any cell lineages. In 2003, a group headed by Hans R. Schöler reported that oocyte-like cells could be produced from mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells in vitro. After more than 10 years, where have these researches reached? Which are the major successes achieved and the problems still remaining to be solved? Although during the last years, many reviews have been published about these topics, in the present work, we will focus on an aspect that has been little considered so far, namely a strict comparison between the in vitro and in vivo developmental capabilities of the primordial germ cells (PGCs) isolated from the embryo and the PGC-like cells (PGC-LCs) produced in vitro from different types of stem cells in the mouse, the species in which most investigation has been carried out. Actually, the formation and differentiation of PGCs are crucial for both male and female gametogenesis, and the faithful production of PGCs in vitro represents the basis for obtaining functional germ cells. PMID:26469955

  9. In vitro differentiation of germ cells from stem cells: a comparison between primordial germ cells and in vitro derived primordial germ cell-like cells

    PubMed Central

    Ge, W; Chen, C; De Felici, M; Shen, W

    2015-01-01

    Stem cells are unique cell types capable to proliferate, some of them indefinitely, while maintaining the ability to differentiate into a few or any cell lineages. In 2003, a group headed by Hans R. Schöler reported that oocyte-like cells could be produced from mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells in vitro. After more than 10 years, where have these researches reached? Which are the major successes achieved and the problems still remaining to be solved? Although during the last years, many reviews have been published about these topics, in the present work, we will focus on an aspect that has been little considered so far, namely a strict comparison between the in vitro and in vivo developmental capabilities of the primordial germ cells (PGCs) isolated from the embryo and the PGC-like cells (PGC-LCs) produced in vitro from different types of stem cells in the mouse, the species in which most investigation has been carried out. Actually, the formation and differentiation of PGCs are crucial for both male and female gametogenesis, and the faithful production of PGCs in vitro represents the basis for obtaining functional germ cells. PMID:26469955

  10. Detection of phase specificity of in vivo germ cell mutagens in an in vitro germ cell system.

    PubMed

    Habas, Khaled; Anderson, Diana; Brinkworth, Martin

    2016-04-15

    In vivo tests for male reproductive genotoxicity are time consuming, resource-intensive and their use should be minimised according to the principles of the 3Rs. Accordingly, we investigated the effects in vitro, of a variety of known, phase-specific germ cell mutagens, i.e., pre-meiotic, meiotic, and post-meiotic genotoxins, on rat spermatogenic cell types separated using Staput unit-gravity velocity sedimentation, evaluating DNA damage using the Comet assay. N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU), N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU) (spermatogenic phase), 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) and 5-bromo-2'-deoxy-uridine (5-BrdU) (meiotic phase), methyl methanesulphonate (MMS) and ethyl methanesulphonate (EMS) (post-meiotic phase) were selected for use as they are potent male rodent, germ cell mutagens in vivo. DNA damage was detected directly using the Comet assay and indirectly using the TUNEL assay. Treatment of the isolated cells with ENU and MNU produced the greatest concentration-related increase in DNA damage in spermatogonia. Spermatocytes were most sensitive to 6-MP and 5-BrdU while spermatids were particularly susceptible to MMS and EMS. Increases were found when measuring both Olive tail moment (OTM) and% tail DNA, but the greatest changes were in OTM. Parallel results were found with the TUNEL assay, which showed highly significant, concentration dependent effects of all these genotoxins on spermatogonia, spermatocytes and spermatids in the same way as for DNA damage. The specific effects of these chemicals on different germ cell types matches those produced in vivo. This approach therefore shows potential for use in the detection of male germ cell genotoxicity and could contribute to the reduction of the use of animals in such toxicity assays. PMID:27059372

  11. In Vitro Ectopic Behavior of Porcine Spermatogonial Germ Cells and Testicular Somatic Cells.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kyung Hoon; Lee, Won Young; Do, Jung Tae; Park, Chan Kyu; Kim, Nam Hyung; Kim, Jin Hoi; Chung, Hak Jae; Kim, Dong Woon; Song, Hyuk

    2016-08-01

    Embryonic body-like colony formation is a unique pattern in male germ cell cultures, including spermatogonial stem cells. However, detailed information of the colony formation has not yet been sufficiently reported in male germ cell culture. To elucidate the formation of germ cell-derived colony (GDC), glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor receptor alpha-1 (GFRα-1)-positive pig germ cells were isolated using an immunomagnetic cell isolation method and labeled with red- or green-fluorescent dye. In GDC culture, red-fluorescent-labeled germ cells were evenly distributed in the wells from day 1 to 4, and they clustered together at the time of GDC formation on day 6. Interestingly, feeder cells migrated to the site of colony formation as spermatogonia carriers. Furthermore, when freshly prepared green-labeled GFRα-1-positive germ cells were added, mixed-fluorescent dye (red and green) colonies were observed. On bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) treatment, 58% ± 3.13% of germ cells were positive to protein gene product 9.5 but negative to BrdU cells. Immunocytochemistry and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction results showed that cultured GDC cells were positive to stem cell- and pig germ cell-specific marker genes. In conclusion, in vitro formation of GDCs is mainly dependent on the aggregation of single germ cells as well as on the slow proliferation of germ cells. PMID:27328332

  12. The diversity of nanos expression in echinoderm embryos supports different mechanisms in germ cell specification.

    PubMed

    Fresques, Tara; Swartz, Steven Zachary; Juliano, Celina; Morino, Yoshiaki; Kikuchi, Mani; Akasaka, Koji; Wada, Hiroshi; Yajima, Mamiko; Wessel, Gary M

    2016-07-01

    Specification of the germ cell lineage is required for sexual reproduction in all animals. However, the timing and mechanisms of germ cell specification is remarkably diverse in animal development. Echinoderms, such as sea urchins and sea stars, are excellent model systems to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms that contribute to germ cell specification. In several echinoderm embryos tested, the germ cell factor Vasa accumulates broadly during early development and is restricted after gastrulation to cells that contribute to the germ cell lineage. In the sea urchin, however, the germ cell factor Vasa is restricted to a specific lineage by the 32-cell stage. We therefore hypothesized that the germ cell specification program in the sea urchin/Euechinoid lineage has evolved to an earlier developmental time point. To test this hypothesis we determined the expression pattern of a second germ cell factor, Nanos, in four out of five extant echinoderm clades. Here we find that Nanos mRNA does not accumulate until the blastula stage or later during the development of all other echinoderm embryos except those that belong to the Echinoid lineage. Instead, Nanos is expressed in a restricted domain at the 32-128 cell stage in Echinoid embryos. Our results support the model that the germ cell specification program underwent a heterochronic shift in the Echinoid lineage. A comparison of Echinoid and non-Echinoid germ cell specification mechanisms will contribute to our understanding of how these mechanisms have changed during animal evolution. PMID:27402572

  13. Tre1, a G Protein-Coupled Receptor, Directs Transepithelial Migration of Drosophila Germ Cells

    PubMed Central

    2003-01-01

    In most organisms, germ cells are formed distant from the somatic part of the gonad and thus have to migrate along and through a variety of tissues to reach the gonad. Transepithelial migration through the posterior midgut (PMG) is the first active step during Drosophila germ cell migration. Here we report the identification of a novel G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), Tre1, that is essential for this migration step. Maternal tre1 RNA is localized to germ cells, and tre1 is required cell autonomously in germ cells. In tre1 mutant embryos, most germ cells do not exit the PMG. The few germ cells that do leave the midgut early migrate normally to the gonad, suggesting that this gene is specifically required for transepithelial migration and that mutant germ cells are still able to recognize other guidance cues. Additionally, inhibiting small Rho GTPases in germ cells affects transepithelial migration, suggesting that Tre1 signals through Rho1. We propose that Tre1 acts in a manner similar to chemokine receptors required during transepithelial migration of leukocytes, implying an evolutionarily conserved mechanism of transepithelial migration. Recently, the chemokine receptor CXCR4 was shown to direct migration in vertebrate germ cells. Thus, germ cells may more generally use GPCR signaling to navigate the embryo toward their target. PMID:14691551

  14. Generation of exogenous germ cells in the ovaries of sterile NANOS3-null beef cattle

    PubMed Central

    Ideta, Atsushi; Yamashita, Shiro; Seki-Soma, Marie; Yamaguchi, Ryosaku; Chiba, Shiori; Komaki, Haruna; Ito, Tetsuya; Konishi, Masato; Aoyagi, Yoshito; Sendai, Yutaka

    2016-01-01

    Blastocyst complementation (BC) systems have enabled in vivo generation of organs from allogeneic pluripotent cells, compensating for an empty germ cell niche in gene knockout (KO) animals. Here, we succeeded in producing chimeric beef cattle (Wagyu) by transferring allogenic germ cells into ovaries using somatic cell nuclear transfer and BC technology. The KO of NANOS3 (NANOS3−/−) in Wagyu bovine ovaries produced a complete loss of germ cells. Holstein blastomeres (NANOS3+/+) were injected into NANOS3−/− Wagyu embryos. Subsequently, exogenous germ cells (NANOS3+/+) were identified in the NANOS3−/− ovary. These results clearly indicate that allogeneic germ cells can be generated in recipient germ cell-free gonads using cloning and BC technologies. PMID:27117862

  15. Generation of exogenous germ cells in the ovaries of sterile NANOS3-null beef cattle.

    PubMed

    Ideta, Atsushi; Yamashita, Shiro; Seki-Soma, Marie; Yamaguchi, Ryosaku; Chiba, Shiori; Komaki, Haruna; Ito, Tetsuya; Konishi, Masato; Aoyagi, Yoshito; Sendai, Yutaka

    2016-01-01

    Blastocyst complementation (BC) systems have enabled in vivo generation of organs from allogeneic pluripotent cells, compensating for an empty germ cell niche in gene knockout (KO) animals. Here, we succeeded in producing chimeric beef cattle (Wagyu) by transferring allogenic germ cells into ovaries using somatic cell nuclear transfer and BC technology. The KO of NANOS3 (NANOS3(-/-)) in Wagyu bovine ovaries produced a complete loss of germ cells. Holstein blastomeres (NANOS3(+/+)) were injected into NANOS3(-/-) Wagyu embryos. Subsequently, exogenous germ cells (NANOS3(+/+)) were identified in the NANOS3(-/-) ovary. These results clearly indicate that allogeneic germ cells can be generated in recipient germ cell-free gonads using cloning and BC technologies. PMID:27117862

  16. Insights into female germ cell biology: from in vivo development to in vitro derivations

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Dajung; Kee, Kehkooi

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms of human germ cell biology is important for developing infertility treatments. However, little is known about the mechanisms that regulate human gametogenesis due to the difficulties in collecting samples, especially germ cells during fetal development. In contrast to the mitotic arrest of spermatogonia stem cells in the fetal testis, female germ cells proceed into meiosis and began folliculogenesis in fetal ovaries. Regulations of these developmental events, including the initiation of meiosis and the endowment of primordial follicles, remain an enigma. Studying the molecular mechanisms of female germ cell biology in the human ovary has been mostly limited to spatiotemporal characterizations of genes or proteins. Recent efforts in utilizing in vitro differentiation system of stem cells to derive germ cells have allowed researchers to begin studying molecular mechanisms during human germ cell development. Meanwhile, the possibility of isolating female germline stem cells in adult ovaries also excites researchers and generates many debates. This review will mainly focus on presenting and discussing recent in vivo and in vitro studies on female germ cell biology in human. The topics will highlight the progress made in understanding the three main stages of germ cell developments: namely, primordial germ cell formation, meiotic initiation, and folliculogenesis. PMID:25652637

  17. Signaling from germ cells mediated by the rhomboid homolog stet organizes encapsulation by somatic support cells.

    PubMed

    Schulz, Cordula; Wood, Cricket G; Jones, D Leanne; Tazuke, Salli I; Fuller, Margaret T

    2002-10-01

    Germ cells normally differentiate in the context of encapsulating somatic cells. However, the mechanisms that set up the special relationship between germ cells and somatic support cells and the signals that mediate the crucial communications between the two cell types are poorly understood. We show that interactions between germ cells and somatic support cells in Drosophila depend on wild-type function of the stet gene. In males, stet acts in germ cells to allow their encapsulation by somatic cyst cells and is required for germ cell differentiation. In females, stet function allows inner sheath cells to enclose early germ cells correctly at the tip of the germarium. stet encodes a homolog of rhomboid, a component of the epidermal growth factor receptor signaling pathway involved in ligand activation in the signaling cell. The stet mutant phenotype suggests that stet facilitates signaling from germ cells to the epidermal growth factor receptor on somatic cells, resulting in the encapsulation of germ cells by somatic support cells. The micro-environment provided by the surrounding somatic cells may, in turn, regulate differentiation of the germ cells they enclose. PMID:12223409

  18. Control of mammalian germ cell entry into meiosis.

    PubMed

    Feng, Chun-Wei; Bowles, Josephine; Koopman, Peter

    2014-01-25

    Germ cells are unique in undergoing meiosis to generate oocytes and sperm. In mammals, meiosis onset is before birth in females, or at puberty in males, and recent studies have uncovered several regulatory steps involved in initiating meiosis in each sex. Evidence suggests that retinoic acid (RA) induces expression of the critical pre-meiosis gene Stra8 in germ cells of the fetal ovary, pubertal testis and adult testis. In the fetal testis, CYP26B1 degrades RA, while FGF9 further antagonises RA signalling to suppress meiosis. Failsafe mechanisms involving Nanos2 may further suppress meiosis in the fetal testis. Here, we draw together the growing knowledge relating to these meiotic control mechanisms, and present evidence that they are co-ordinately regulated and that additional factors remain to be identified. Understanding this regulatory network will illuminate not only how the foundations of mammalian reproduction are laid, but also how mis-regulation of these steps can result in infertility or germline tumours. PMID:24076097

  19. Extragonadal germ cell tumors are often associated with Klinefelter syndrome.

    PubMed

    Aguirre, David; Nieto, Karem; Lazos, Minerva; Peña, Y Rocio; Palma, Icela; Kofman-Alfaro, Susana; Queipo, Gloria

    2006-04-01

    Klinefelter syndrome is a well documented abnormality of sex differentiation, with an incidence of 1 in 600 newborn males. It is characterized by a 47,XXY or a mosaic karyotype and clinical findings of hypergonadotrophic hypogonadism, small testes, infertility, reduced body hair, gynecomastia, and tall stature. Other conditions like venous disease, autoimmune disorders, mild neurobehavioral deficit, diabetes mellitus, sexual precocity, and osteoporosis may also affect these patients. Different malignancies such as breast cancer, testicular tumors, leukemia, and lymphomas occur in 1%-2% of the cases. Klinefelter syndrome has been associated with other malignancies such as extragonadal germ cell tumors; however, some authors consider this association an unusual finding. We report the molecular cytogenetic studies performed in 4 young males with mediastinal germ cell tumors. In 2 cases, a 47,XXY karyotype was recognized in different tissues by fluorescent in situ hybridization, whereas the other 2 had a normal XY karyotype. We propose that in young patients with mediastinal teratoma, a cytogenetic analysis must always be performed. PMID:16564924

  20. Spectrum of germ cell tumors: from head to toe.

    PubMed

    Ueno, Teruko; Tanaka, Yumiko Oishi; Nagata, Michio; Tsunoda, Hajime; Anno, Izumi; Ishikawa, Shigemi; Kawai, Koji; Itai, Yuji

    2004-01-01

    Germ cell tumors (GCTs) occur most frequently in the gonads and are relatively rare in other sites, such as the pineal gland, neurohypophysis, mediastinum, and retroperitoneum. GCTs are thought to originate from primordial germ cells, which migrate to the primitive gonadal glands in the urogenital ridge. Extragonadal GCTs might also originate from these cells when the cells are sequestered during their migration. Pathologic subtypes of GCTs vary, and the prevalence of mixed tumors is high. These factors produce a diversity of radiologic findings and make prospective radiologic diagnosis difficult in many cases. However, similar radiologic findings have been observed in pathologically equivalent tumors in varying sites. Seminomas appear as uniformly solid, lobulated masses with fibrovascular septa that enhance intensely. Nonseminomatous GCTs appear as heterogeneous masses with areas of necrosis, hemorrhage, or cystic degeneration. Fat and calcifications are hallmarks of teratomas, most of which are benign. In immature teratomas, scattered fat and calcification within larger solid components are occasionally seen. These imaging characteristics reflect the pathologic features of each tumor, and histologically similar GCTs at varying sites have similar radiologic features. Knowledge of the pathologic appearances of GCTs and their corresponding radiologic appearances will allow radiologists to diagnose these tumors correctly. PMID:15026588

  1. Cryopreservation of specialized chicken lines using cultured primordial germ cells.

    PubMed

    Nandi, S; Whyte, J; Taylor, L; Sherman, A; Nair, V; Kaiser, P; McGrew, M J

    2016-08-01

    Biosecurity and sustainability in poultry production requires reliable germplasm conservation. Germplasm conservation in poultry is more challenging in comparison to other livestock species. Embryo cryopreservation is not feasible for egg-laying animals, and chicken semen conservation has variable success for different chicken breeds. A potential solution is the cryopreservation of the committed diploid stem cell precursors to the gametes, the primordial germ cells ( PGCS: ). Primordial germ cells are the lineage-restricted cells found at early embryonic stages in birds and form the sperm and eggs. We demonstrate here, using flocks of partially inbred, lower-fertility, major histocompatibility complex- ( MHC-: ) restricted lines of chicken, that we can easily derive and cryopreserve a sufficient number of independent lines of male and female PGCs that would be sufficient to reconstitute a poultry breed. We demonstrate that germ-line transmission can be attained from these PGCs using a commercial layer line of chickens as a surrogate host. This research is a major step in developing and demonstrating that cryopreserved PGCs could be used for the biobanking of specialized flocks of birds used in research settings. The prospective application of this technology to poultry production will further increase sustainability to meet current and future production needs. PMID:27099306

  2. Bone morphogenetic protein 4 mediates human embryonic germ cell derivation.

    PubMed

    Hiller, Marc; Liu, Cyndi; Blumenthal, Paul D; Gearhart, John D; Kerr, Candace L

    2011-02-01

    Human primordial germ cells (PGCs) have proven to be a source of pluripotent stem cells called embryonic germ cells (EGCs). Unlike embryonic stem cells, virtually little is known regarding the factors that regulate EGC survival and maintenance. In mice, the growth factor bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) has been shown to be required for maintaining mouse embryonic stem cells, and disruptions in this gene lead to defects in mouse PGC specification. Here, we sought to determine whether recombinant human BMP4 could influence EGC derivation and/or human PGC survival. We found that the addition of recombinant BMP4 increased the number of human PGCs after 1 week of culture in a dose-responsive manner. The efficiency of EGC derivation and maintenance in culture was also enhanced by the presence of recombinant BMP4 based on alkaline phosphatase and OCT4 staining. In addition, an antagonist of the BMP4 pathway, Noggin, decreased PGC proliferation and led to an increase in cystic embryoid body formation. Quantitative real-time (qRT)-polymerase chain reaction analyses and immunostaining confirmed that the constituents of the BMP4 pathway were upregulated in EGCs versus PGCs. Downstream activators of the BMP4 pathway such as ID1 and phosphorylated SMADs 1 and 5 were also expressed, suggesting a role of this growth factor in EGC pluripotency. PMID:20486775

  3. Telomere homeostasis in mammalian germ cells: a review.

    PubMed

    Reig-Viader, Rita; Garcia-Caldés, Montserrat; Ruiz-Herrera, Aurora

    2016-06-01

    Telomeres protect against genome instability and participate in chromosomal movements during gametogenesis, especially in meiosis. Thus, maintaining telomere structure and telomeric length is essential to both cell integrity and the production of germ cells. As a result, alteration of telomere homeostasis in the germ line may result in the generation of aneuploid gametes or gametogenesis disruption, triggering fertility problems. In this work, we provide an overview on fundamental aspects of the literature regarding the organization of telomeres in mammalian germ cells, paying special attention to telomere structure and function, as well as the maintenance of telomeric length during gametogenesis. Moreover, we discuss the different roles recently described for telomerase and TERRA in maintaining telomere functionality. Finally, we review how new findings in the field of reproductive biology underscore the role of telomere homeostasis as a potential biomarker for infertility. Overall, we anticipate that the study of telomere stability and equilibrium will contribute to improve diagnoses of patients; assess the risk of infertility in the offspring; and in turn, find new treatments. PMID:26525972

  4. Cryopreservation of specialized chicken lines using cultured primordial germ cells

    PubMed Central

    Nandi, S.; Whyte, J.; Taylor, L.; Sherman, A.; Nair, V.; Kaiser, P.; McGrew, M. J.

    2016-01-01

    Biosecurity and sustainability in poultry production requires reliable germplasm conservation. Germplasm conservation in poultry is more challenging in comparison to other livestock species. Embryo cryopreservation is not feasible for egg-laying animals, and chicken semen conservation has variable success for different chicken breeds. A potential solution is the cryopreservation of the committed diploid stem cell precursors to the gametes, the primordial germ cells (PGCs). Primordial germ cells are the lineage-restricted cells found at early embryonic stages in birds and form the sperm and eggs. We demonstrate here, using flocks of partially inbred, lower-fertility, major histocompatibility complex- (MHC-) restricted lines of chicken, that we can easily derive and cryopreserve a sufficient number of independent lines of male and female PGCs that would be sufficient to reconstitute a poultry breed. We demonstrate that germ-line transmission can be attained from these PGCs using a commercial layer line of chickens as a surrogate host. This research is a major step in developing and demonstrating that cryopreserved PGCs could be used for the biobanking of specialized flocks of birds used in research settings. The prospective application of this technology to poultry production will further increase sustainability to meet current and future production needs. PMID:27099306

  5. ELMO1 signaling in apoptotic germ cell clearance and spermatogenesis.

    PubMed

    Elliott, Michael R; Ravichandran, Kodi S

    2010-10-01

    Apoptosis and the subsequent removal of dying cells are crucial processes for tissue development and maintenance. Although we are beginning to understand the signaling pathways that control the phagocytic clearance of apoptotic cells, the physiological relevance of these pathways is lacking. During spermatogenesis, over half of the developing germ cells eventually die by apoptosis, yet the signaling pathways that regulate the phagocytic clearance of these dying cells or the impact of this clearance on development and maintenance of the germ cell population is not well understood. The ELMO1/Dock180 proteins form an evolutionarily conserved signaling module that functions as a bipartite guanine nucleotide exchange factor for the small GTPase Rac. The subsequent Rac-dependent cytoskeletal changes play an important role in the physical engulfment of apoptotic cells. Recent findings demonstrate an in vivo role for ELMO1-dependent clearance in the testes, with implications for spermatogenesis. Here we will discuss the role of apoptotic cell clearance during spermatogenesis, with a particular emphasis on ELMO1/Dock180 signaling. PMID:20958313

  6. nanos function is essential for development and regeneration of planarian germ cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuying; Zayas, Ricardo M; Guo, Tingxia; Newmark, Phillip A

    2007-04-01

    Germ cells are required for the successful propagation of sexually reproducing species. Understanding the mechanisms by which these cells are specified and how their totipotency is established and maintained has important biomedical and evolutionary implications. Freshwater planarians serve as fascinating models for studying these questions. They can regenerate germ cells from fragments of adult tissues that lack reproductive structures, suggesting that inductive signaling is involved in planarian germ cell specification. To study the development and regeneration of planarian germ cells, we have functionally characterized an ortholog of nanos, a gene required for germ cell development in diverse organisms, from Schmidtea mediterranea. In the hermaphroditic strain of this species, Smed-nanos mRNA is detected in developing, regenerating, and mature ovaries and testes. However, it is not detected in the vast majority of newly hatched planarians or in small tissue fragments that will ultimately regenerate germ cells, consistent with an epigenetic origin of germ cells. We show that Smed-nanos RNA interference (RNAi) results in failure to develop, regenerate, or maintain gonads in sexual planarians. Unexpectedly, Smed-nanos mRNA is also detected in presumptive testes primordia of asexual individuals that reproduce strictly by fission. These presumptive germ cells are lost after Smed-nanos RNAi, suggesting that asexual planarians specify germ cells, but their differentiation is blocked downstream of Smed-nanos function. Our results reveal a conserved function of nanos in germ cell development in planarians and suggest that these animals will serve as useful models for dissecting the molecular basis of epigenetic germ cell specification. PMID:17376870

  7. Etiology and early pathogenesis of malignant testicular germ cell tumors: towards possibilities for preinvasive diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Elzinga-Tinke, Jenny E; Dohle, Gert R; Looijenga, Leendert Hj

    2015-01-01

    Malignant testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT) are the most frequent cancers in Caucasian males (20-40 years) with an 70% increasing incidence the last 20 years, probably due to combined action of (epi)genetic and (micro)environmental factors. It is expected that TGCT have carcinoma in situ(CIS) as their common precursor, originating from an embryonic germ cell blocked in its maturation process. The overall cure rate of TGCT is more than 90%, however, men surviving TGCT can present long-term side effects of systemic cancer treatment. In contrast, men diagnosed and treated for CIS only continue to live without these long-term side effects. Therefore, early detection of CIS has great health benefits, which will require an informative screening method. This review described the etiology and early pathogenesis of TGCT, as well as the possibilities of early detection and future potential of screening men at risk for TGCT. For screening, a well-defined risk profile based on both genetic and environmental risk factors is needed. Since 2009, several genome wide association studies (GWAS) have been published, reporting on single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with significant associations in or near the genes KITLG, SPRY4, BAK1, DMRT1, TERT, ATF7IP, HPGDS, MAD1L1, RFWD3, TEX14, and PPM1E, likely to be related to TGCT development. Prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal environmental factors also influence the onset of CIS. A noninvasive early detection method for CIS would be highly beneficial in a clinical setting, for which specific miRNA detection in semen seems to be very promising. Further research is needed to develop a well-defined TGCT risk profile, based on gene-environment interactions, combined with noninvasive detection method for CIS. PMID:25791729

  8. Etiology and early pathogenesis of malignant testicular germ cell tumors: towards possibilities for preinvasive diagnosis

    PubMed Central

    Elzinga-Tinke, Jenny E; Dohle, Gert R; Looijenga, Leendert HJ

    2015-01-01

    Malignant testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT) are the most frequent cancers in Caucasian males (20–40 years) with an 70% increasing incidence the last 20 years, probably due to combined action of (epi)genetic and (micro)environmental factors. It is expected that TGCT have carcinoma in situ (CIS) as their common precursor, originating from an embryonic germ cell blocked in its maturation process. The overall cure rate of TGCT is more than 90%, however, men surviving TGCT can present long-term side effects of systemic cancer treatment. In contrast, men diagnosed and treated for CIS only continue to live without these long-term side effects. Therefore, early detection of CIS has great health benefits, which will require an informative screening method. This review described the etiology and early pathogenesis of TGCT, as well as the possibilities of early detection and future potential of screening men at risk for TGCT. For screening, a well-defined risk profile based on both genetic and environmental risk factors is needed. Since 2009, several genome wide association studies (GWAS) have been published, reporting on single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with significant associations in or near the genes KITLG, SPRY4, BAK1, DMRT1, TERT, ATF7IP, HPGDS, MAD1L1, RFWD3, TEX14, and PPM1E, likely to be related to TGCT development. Prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal environmental factors also influence the onset of CIS. A noninvasive early detection method for CIS would be highly beneficial in a clinical setting, for which specific miRNA detection in semen seems to be very promising. Further research is needed to develop a well-defined TGCT risk profile, based on gene-environment interactions, combined with noninvasive detection method for CIS. PMID:25791729

  9. The Ter Mutation In The Dead End Gene Causes Germ Cell Loss And Testicular Germ Cell Tumours

    SciTech Connect

    Youngren, Kirsten K.; Coveney, Douglas; Peng, Xiaoning; Bhattacharya, Chitralekha; Schmidt, Laura S.; Nickerson, Michael L.; Lamb, Bruce T.; Deng Jian Min; Behringer, Richard R.; Capel, Blanche; Rubin, Edward M.; Nadeau, Joseph H.; Matin, Angabin

    2005-01-01

    In mice, the Ter mutation causes primordial germ cell (PGC) loss in all genetic backgrounds1. Ter is also a potent modifier of spontaneous testicular germ cell tumour (TGCT) susceptibility in the 129 family of inbred strains, and markedly increases TGCT incidence in 129-Ter/Ter males2 4. In 129-Ter/Ter mice, some of the remaining PGCs transform into undifferentiated pluripotent embryonal carcinoma cells2 6, and after birth differentiate into various cells and tissues that compose TGCTs. Here, we report the positional cloning of Ter, revealing a point mutation that introduces a termination codon in the mouse orthologue (Dnd1) of the zebrafish dead end (dnd) gene. PGC deficiency is corrected both with bacterial artificial chromosomes that contain Dnd1 and with a Dnd1-encoding transgene. Dnd1 is expressed in fetal gonads during the critical period when TGCTs originate. DND1 has an RNA recognition motif and is most similar to the apobec complementation factor, a component of the cytidine t o uridine RNA-editing complex. These results suggest that Ter may adversely affect essential aspects of RNA biology during PGC development. DND1 is the first protein known to have an RNA recognition motif directly implicated as a heritable cause of spontaneous tumorigenesis. TGCT development in the 129-Ter mouse strain models paediatric TGCT in humans. This work will have important implications for our understanding of the genetic control of TGCT pathogenesis and PGC biology.

  10. Leapfrogging: primordial germ cell transplantation permits recovery of CRISPR/Cas9-induced mutations in essential genes.

    PubMed

    Blitz, Ira L; Fish, Margaret B; Cho, Ken W Y

    2016-08-01

    CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing is revolutionizing genetic loss-of-function analysis but technical limitations remain that slow progress when creating mutant lines. First, in conventional genetic breeding schemes, mosaic founder animals carrying mutant alleles are outcrossed to produce F1 heterozygotes. Phenotypic analysis occurs in the F2 generation following F1 intercrosses. Thus, mutant analyses will require multi-generational studies. Second, when targeting essential genes, efficient mutagenesis of founders is often lethal, preventing the acquisition of mature animals. Reducing mutagenesis levels may improve founder survival, but results in lower, more variable rates of germline transmission. Therefore, an efficient approach to study lethal mutations would be useful. To overcome these shortfalls, we introduce 'leapfrogging', a method combining efficient CRISPR mutagenesis with transplantation of mutated primordial germ cells into a wild-type host. Tested using Xenopus tropicalis, we show that founders containing transplants transmit mutant alleles with high efficiency. F1 offspring from intercrosses between F0 animals that carry embryonic lethal alleles recapitulate loss-of-function phenotypes, circumventing an entire generation of breeding. We anticipate that leapfrogging will be transferable to other species. PMID:27385011

  11. Correlation between induction of meiotic delay and aneuploidy in male mouse germ cells

    SciTech Connect

    Adler, I.D.; Gassner, P.; Schriever-Schwemmer, G.; Min, Zhou Ru

    1993-12-31

    No aneuploidy assays are prescribed in any international guidelines for chemical safety testing up to now. The CEC-sponsored Aneuploidy Project has the aim to validate test methods for aneuploidy induction which could be used as screening tests. Furthermore, one of the major goals is to develop an understanding of mechanisms by which aneuploidy is induced. The present paper describes the investigation of meiotic delay and aneuploidy induction with the drug diazepam (DZ), the environmentally important mutagen acrylamide (AA) and the spindle poison colchicine (COL), which is used as a positive control. The time course of events was investigated. It is concluded that the assessment of meiotic delay can be used to preselect chemicals which require evaluation of aneuploidy induction during MMI in male germ cells.

  12. Are There Human Germ-Cell Mutagens? We May Know Soon

    EPA Science Inventory

    The existence of agents that can induce germ-cell mutations in experimental systems has been recognized since 1927 with the discovery of the ability of X-rays to induce such mutations in Drosophila. Since then, various rodent-based assays have been used to identify ~50 germ-cell...

  13. Stem cells and germ cells: microRNA and gene expression signatures.

    PubMed

    Dyce, Paul William; Toms, Derek; Li, Julang

    2010-04-01

    The study of primordial germ cell development in vivo is hampered by their low numbers and inaccessibility. Recent research has shown the ability of embryonic and adult stem cells to differentiate into primordial germ cells and more mature gametes and this generation of germ cells in vitro may be an attractive model for their study. One of the biggest challenges facing in vitro differentiation of stem cells into primordial germ cells is the lack of markers to clearly distinguish the two. As both cell types originate early in embryonic development they share many pluripotent markers such as OCT4, VASA, FRAGILIS, and NANOG. Genome wide microarray profiling has been used to identify transcriptome patterns unique to primordial germ cells. A more thorough analysis of the temporal and quantitative expression of a panel of genes may be more robust in distinguishing these two cell populations. MicroRNAs, short RNA molecules that have been shown to regulate translation through interactions with mRNA transcripts, have also recently come under investigation for the role they may play in pluripotency. Attempts to elucidate key microRNAs responsible for both stem cell and primordial germ cell characteristics have recently been undertaken. Unique microRNAs, either individually or as global profiles, may also help to distinguish differentiated primordial germ cells from stem cells in vitro. This review will examine gene expression and microRNA signatures in stem cells and germ cells as ways to distinguish these closely related cell types. PMID:20183803

  14. BMP signaling is required for the generation of primordial germ cells in an insect

    PubMed Central

    Donoughe, Seth; Nakamura, Taro; Ewen-Campen, Ben; Green, Delbert A.; Henderson, Lory; Extavour, Cassandra G.

    2014-01-01

    Two modes of germ cell formation are known in animals. Specification through maternally inherited germ plasm occurs in many well-characterized model organisms, but most animals lack germ plasm by morphological and functional criteria. The only known alternative mechanism is induction, experimentally described only in mice, which specify germ cells through bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signal-mediated induction of a subpopulation of mesodermal cells. Until this report, no experimental evidence of an inductive germ cell signal for specification has been available outside of vertebrates. Here we provide functional genetic experimental evidence consistent with a role for BMP signaling in germ cell formation in a basally branching insect. We show that primordial germ cells of the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus transduce BMP signals and require BMP pathway activity for their formation. Moreover, increased BMP activity leads to ectopic and supernumerary germ cells. Given the commonality of BMP signaling in mouse and cricket germ cell induction, we suggest that BMP-based germ cell formation may be a shared ancestral mechanism in animals. PMID:24591634

  15. Delayed BMP4 exposure increases germ cell differentiation in mouse embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Talaei-Khozani, Tahereh; Zarei Fard, Nehleh; Bahmanpour, Soghra; Jaberipour, Mansoureh; Hosseini, Ahmah; Esmaeilpour, Tahereh

    2014-01-01

    Fate mapping studies have revealed that bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) signaling has a key role in segregation of primordial germ cells from proximal epiblast. Adding BMP4 to the culture media of embryonic stem (ES) cells could induce expression of germ cell markers; however, to provide a desired number of germ cells has remained a challenge. In the current study, we intended to establish an in vitro system to obtain reliable germ cells derived from ES cells. Differentiation was induced in ES cells via embryoid body (EB) and monolayer culture system. Cells were cultured with BMP4 from the beginning (++BMP4) or after 48 hours (+BMP4) of culturing for five days. The cultures were assessed for alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, expression of Oct4, Mvh and c-kit. In EB culture protocol, the expression of Mvh, Oct4 and ALP activity significantly increased in +BMP4 culture condition, but a significant down-regulation in the expression of germ cell markers was shown in ++BMP4 condition compared with the control group. Parallel differentiation experiments using monolayer culture system indicated the number of putative germ cells did not change. In the current study, we compared two differentiation methods (EB and monolayer) to achieve an optimal germ cell production. The EBs with a short exposure time period to BMP4, showing typical characteristics of germ cells. Therefore, our approach provides a strategy for the production of germline cells from ES cells. PMID:24969978

  16. Applying “Gold Standards” to In vitro-Derived Germ Cells

    PubMed Central

    Handel, Mary Ann; Eppig, John J.; Schimenti, John C.

    2015-01-01

    Germ cells are the ultimate stem cells and reports of their in vitro derivation generate excitement due to potential applications in reproductive medicine. To date there is no firm evidence that meiosis, the hallmark of gametogenesis, can be faithfully replicated outside the gonad. We propose benchmarks for evaluating in vitro derivation of germ cells, facilitating realization of their potential. PMID:24906145

  17. BMP signaling is required for the generation of primordial germ cells in an insect.

    PubMed

    Donoughe, Seth; Nakamura, Taro; Ewen-Campen, Ben; Green, Delbert A; Henderson, Lory; Extavour, Cassandra G

    2014-03-18

    Two modes of germ cell formation are known in animals. Specification through maternally inherited germ plasm occurs in many well-characterized model organisms, but most animals lack germ plasm by morphological and functional criteria. The only known alternative mechanism is induction, experimentally described only in mice, which specify germ cells through bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signal-mediated induction of a subpopulation of mesodermal cells. Until this report, no experimental evidence of an inductive germ cell signal for specification has been available outside of vertebrates. Here we provide functional genetic experimental evidence consistent with a role for BMP signaling in germ cell formation in a basally branching insect. We show that primordial germ cells of the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus transduce BMP signals and require BMP pathway activity for their formation. Moreover, increased BMP activity leads to ectopic and supernumerary germ cells. Given the commonality of BMP signaling in mouse and cricket germ cell induction, we suggest that BMP-based germ cell formation may be a shared ancestral mechanism in animals. PMID:24591634

  18. The role of sex chromosomes in mammalian germ cell differentiation: can the germ cells carrying X and Y chromosomes differentiate into fertile oocytes?

    PubMed Central

    Taketo, Teruko

    2015-01-01

    The sexual differentiation of germ cells into spermatozoa or oocytes is strictly regulated by their gonadal environment, testis or ovary, which is determined by the presence or absence of the Y chromosome, respectively. Hence, in normal mammalian development, male germ cells differentiate in the presence of X and Y chromosomes, and female germ cells do so in the presence of two X chromosomes. However, gonadal sex reversal occurs in humans as well as in other mammalian species, and the resultant XX males and XY females can lead healthy lives, except for a complete or partial loss of fertility. Germ cells carrying an abnormal set of sex chromosomes are efficiently eliminated by multilayered surveillance mechanisms in the testis, and also, though more variably, in the ovary. Studying the molecular basis for sex-specific responses to a set of sex chromosomes during gametogenesis will promote our understanding of meiotic processes contributing to the evolution of sex determining mechanisms. This review discusses the fate of germ cells carrying various sex chromosomal compositions in mouse models, the limitation of which may be overcome by recent successes in the differentiation of functional germ cells from embryonic stem cells under experimental conditions. PMID:25578929

  19. Association between polymorphisms in the aryl hydrocarbon receptor repressor gene and disseminated testicular germ cell cancer

    PubMed Central

    Brokken, Leon J. S.; Lundberg-Giwercman, Yvonne; Meyts, Ewa Rajpert-De; Eberhard, Jakob; Ståhl, Olof; Cohn-Cedermark, Gabriella; Daugaard, Gedske; Arver, Stefan; Giwercman, Aleksander

    2013-01-01

    In the Western world, testicular germ cell cancer (TGCC) is the most common malignancy of young men. The malignant transformation of germ cells is thought to be caused by developmental and hormonal disturbances, probably related to environmental and lifestyle factors because of rapidly increasing incidence of TGCC in some countries. Additionally, there is a strong genetic component that affects susceptibility. However, genetic polymorphisms that have been identified so far only partially explain the risk of TGCC. Many of the persistent environmental pollutants act through the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR). AHR signaling pathway is known to interfere with reproductive hormone signaling, which is supposed to play a role in the pathogenesis and invasive progression of TGCC. The aim of the present study was to identify whether AHR-related polymorphisms were associated with risk as well as histological and clinical features of TGCC in 367 patients and 537 controls. Haplotype-tagging single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped in genes encoding AHR and AHR repressor (AHRR). Binary logistic regression was used to calculate the risk of TGCC, non-seminoma versus seminoma, and metastasis versus localized disease. Four SNPs in AHRR demonstrated a significant allele association with risk to develop metastases (rs2466287: OR = 0.43, 95% CI 0.21–0.90; rs2672725: OR = 0.49, 95% CI: 0.25–0.94; rs6879758: OR = 0.27, 95% CI: 0.08–0.92; rs6896163: OR = 0.34, 95% CI: 0.12–0.98). This finding supports the hypothesis that compounds acting through AHR may play a role in the invasive progression of TGCC, either directly or through modification of reproductive hormone action. PMID:23420531

  20. Intratubular germ cell neoplasia of the human testis: heterogeneous protein expression and relation to invasive potential

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Rod T; Camacho-Moll, Maria; Macdonald, Joni; Anderson, Richard A; Kelnar, Christopher JH; O’Donnell, Marie; Sharpe, Richard M; Smith, Lee B; Grigor, Ken M; Wallace, W Hamish B; Stoop, Hans; Wolffenbuttel, Katja P; Donat, Roland

    2014-01-01

    Testicular germ cell cancer develops from pre-malignant intratubular germ cell neoplasia, unclassified cells that are believed to arise from failure of normal maturation of fetal germ cells from gonocytes (OCT4+/ MAGEA4−) into pre-spermatogonia (OCT4−/MAGEA4+). Intratubular germ cell neoplasia cell subpopulations based on stage of germ cell differentiation have been described, however the importance of these subpopulations in terms of invasive potential has not been reported. We hypothesised that cells expressing an immature (OCT4+/MAGEA4−) germ cell profile would exhibit an increased proliferation rate compared to those with a mature profile (OCT4+/ MAGEA4+). Therefore, we performed triple immunofluorescence and stereology to quantify the different intratubular germ cell neoplasia cell subpopulations, based on expression of germ cell (OCT4, PLAP, AP2γ, MAGEA4, VASA) and proliferation (Ki67) markers, in testis sections from patients with pre-invasive disease, seminoma and non-seminoma. We compared these subpopulations with normal human fetal testis and with seminoma cells. Heterogeneity of protein expression was demonstrated in intratubular germ cell neoplasia cells with respect to gonocyte and spermatogonial markers. It included an embryonic/fetal germ cell subpopulation lacking expression of the definitive intratubular germ cell neoplasia marker OCT4, that did not correspond to a physiological (fetal) germ cell subpopulation. OCT4+/MAGEA4- cells showed a significantly increased rate of proliferation compared with the OCT4+/MAGEA4+ population (12.8 v 3.4%, p<0.0001) irrespective of histological tumour type, reflected in the predominance of OCT4+/MAGEA4− cells in the invasive tumour component. Surprisingly, OCT4+/MAGEA4− cells in patients with pre-invasive disease showed significantly higher proliferation compared to those with seminoma or non-seminoma (18.1 v 10.2 v 7.2%, p<0.05 respectively). In conclusion, this study has demonstrated that OCT4+/MAGEA4

  1. The mouse dead-end gene isoform alpha is necessary for germ cell and embryonic viability.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, Chitralekha; Aggarwal, Sita; Zhu, Rui; Kumar, Madhu; Zhao, Ming; Meistrich, Marvin L; Matin, Angabin

    2007-03-30

    Inactivation of the dead-end (Dnd1) gene in the Ter mouse strain results in depletion of primordial germ cells (PGCs) so that mice become sterile. However, on the 129 mouse strain background, loss of Dnd1 also increases testicular germ cell tumor incidence in parallel to PGC depletion. We report that inactivation of Dnd1 also affects embryonic viability in the 129 strain. Mouse Dnd1 encodes two protein isoforms, DND1-isoform alpha (DND1-alpha) and DND1-isoform beta (DND1-beta). Using isoform-specific antibodies, we determined DND1-alpha is expressed in embryos and embryonic gonads whereas DND1-beta expression is restricted to germ cells of the adult testis. Our data implicate DND1-alpha isoform to be necessary for germ cell viability and therefore its loss in Ter mice results in PGC depletion, germ cell tumor development and partial embryonic lethality in the 129 strain. PMID:17291453

  2. Bisphenol A exposure inhibits germ cell nest breakdown by reducing apoptosis in cultured neonatal mouse ovaries.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Changqing; Wang, Wei; Peretz, Jackye; Flaws, Jodi A

    2015-11-01

    Bisphenol A is a known endocrine disrupting chemical and reproductive toxicant. Previous studies indicate that in utero BPA exposure increases the percentage of germ cells in nests and decreases the percentage of primordial follicles. However, the mechanism by which BPA affects germ cell nest breakdown is unknown. Thus, we hypothesized that BPA inhibits germ cell nest breakdown by interfering with oxidative stress and apoptosis pathways. To test our hypothesis, ovaries from newborn mice were collected and cultured with vehicle (dimethyl sulfoxide, DMSO) or different doses of BPA (0.1, 1, 5, and 10μg/mL). Ovaries then were subjected to histological evaluation of germ cell nests and primordial follicles or to measurements of factors that regulate oxidative stress and apoptosis. Our results indicate that in vitro BPA exposure significantly inhibits germ cell nest breakdown by altering the expression of key ovarian apoptotic genes, but not by interfering with the oxidative stress pathway. PMID:26049153

  3. Germ cells and ova in dysgenetic gonads of a 46-XY female dizygotic twin.

    PubMed

    Cussen, L J; MacMahon, R A

    1979-04-01

    The frequency of germ cell neoplasms in girls with 46-XY gonadal dysgenesis suggests that germ cells may persist in the dysgenetic gonads for many years. A phenotypic female infant with a karyotype of 46-XY in blood, skin, and gonads had a few ova in primordial follicles and numerous germ cells in her dysgenetic gonads at the age of 3 months. At 3 years and 10 months of age her gonads contained no primordial follicle and the only remaining germ cells were in a gonadoblastoma. We propose that germ cells are lost from dysgenetic gonads much more rapidly than from normal gonads, but that the rate of loss in patients with a karyotype of 46-XY may be less than the rate of loss in patients with a karyotype of 45-XO. PMID:433851

  4. Benzo(a)pyrene Induced p53 Mediated Male Germ Cell Apoptosis: Synergistic Protective Effects of Curcumin and Resveratrol

    PubMed Central

    Banerjee, Bhaswati; Chakraborty, Supriya; Ghosh, Debidas; Raha, Sanghamitra; Sen, Parimal C.; Jana, Kuladip

    2016-01-01

    Benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)P) is an environmental toxicant that induces male germ cell apoptosis. Curcumin and resveratrol are phytochemicals with cytoprotective and anti-oxidative properties. At the same time resveratrol is also a natural Aryl hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR) antagonist. Our present study in isolated testicular germ cell population from adult male Wistar rats, highlighted the synergistic protective effect of curcumin and resveratrol against B(a)P induced p53 mediated germ cell apoptosis. Curcumin-resveratrol significantly prevented B(a)P induced decrease in sperm cell count and motility, as well as increased serum testosterone level. Curcumin-resveratrol co-treatment actively protected B(a)P induced testicular germ cell apoptosis. Curcumin-resveratrol co-treatment decreased the expression of pro-apoptotic proteins like cleaved caspase 3, 8 and 9, cleaved PARP, Apaf1, FasL, tBid. Curcumin-resveratrol co-treatment decreased Bax/Bcl2 ratio, mitochondria to cytosolic translocation of cytochrome c and activated the survival protein Akt. Curcumin-resveratrol decreased the expression of p53 dependent apoptotic genes like Fas, FasL, Bax, Bcl2, and Apaf1. B(a)P induced testicular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and oxidative stress were significantly ameliorated with curcumin and resveratrol. Curcumin-resveratrol co-treatment prevented B(a)P induced nuclear translocation of AhR and CYP1A1 (Cytochrome P4501A1) expression. The combinatorial treatment significantly inhibited B(a)P induced ERK 1/2, p38 MAPK and JNK 1/2 activation. B(a)P treatment increased the expression of p53 and its phosphorylation (p53 ser 15). Curcumin-resveratrol co-treatment significantly decreased p53 level and its phosphorylation (p53 ser 15). The study concludes that curcumin-resveratrol synergistically modulated MAPKs and p53, prevented oxidative stress, regulated the expression of pro and anti-apoptotic proteins as well as the proteins involved in B(a)P metabolism thus protected germ

  5. Benzo(a)pyrene Induced p53 Mediated Male Germ Cell Apoptosis: Synergistic Protective Effects of Curcumin and Resveratrol.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Bhaswati; Chakraborty, Supriya; Ghosh, Debidas; Raha, Sanghamitra; Sen, Parimal C; Jana, Kuladip

    2016-01-01

    Benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)P) is an environmental toxicant that induces male germ cell apoptosis. Curcumin and resveratrol are phytochemicals with cytoprotective and anti-oxidative properties. At the same time resveratrol is also a natural Aryl hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR) antagonist. Our present study in isolated testicular germ cell population from adult male Wistar rats, highlighted the synergistic protective effect of curcumin and resveratrol against B(a)P induced p53 mediated germ cell apoptosis. Curcumin-resveratrol significantly prevented B(a)P induced decrease in sperm cell count and motility, as well as increased serum testosterone level. Curcumin-resveratrol co-treatment actively protected B(a)P induced testicular germ cell apoptosis. Curcumin-resveratrol co-treatment decreased the expression of pro-apoptotic proteins like cleaved caspase 3, 8 and 9, cleaved PARP, Apaf1, FasL, tBid. Curcumin-resveratrol co-treatment decreased Bax/Bcl2 ratio, mitochondria to cytosolic translocation of cytochrome c and activated the survival protein Akt. Curcumin-resveratrol decreased the expression of p53 dependent apoptotic genes like Fas, FasL, Bax, Bcl2, and Apaf1. B(a)P induced testicular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and oxidative stress were significantly ameliorated with curcumin and resveratrol. Curcumin-resveratrol co-treatment prevented B(a)P induced nuclear translocation of AhR and CYP1A1 (Cytochrome P4501A1) expression. The combinatorial treatment significantly inhibited B(a)P induced ERK 1/2, p38 MAPK and JNK 1/2 activation. B(a)P treatment increased the expression of p53 and its phosphorylation (p53 ser 15). Curcumin-resveratrol co-treatment significantly decreased p53 level and its phosphorylation (p53 ser 15). The study concludes that curcumin-resveratrol synergistically modulated MAPKs and p53, prevented oxidative stress, regulated the expression of pro and anti-apoptotic proteins as well as the proteins involved in B(a)P metabolism thus protected germ

  6. Oct4 is required for primordial germ cell survival

    PubMed Central

    Kehler, James; Tolkunova, Elena; Koschorz, Birgit; Pesce, Maurizio; Gentile, Luca; Boiani, Michele; Lomelí, Hilda; Nagy, Andras; McLaughlin, K John; Schöler, Hans R; Tomilin, Alexey

    2004-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that Oct4 has an essential role in maintaining pluripotency of cells of the inner cell mass (ICM) and embryonic stem cells. However, Oct4 null homozygous embryos die around the time of implantation, thus precluding further analysis of gene function during development. We have used the conditional Cre/loxP gene targeting strategy to assess Oct4 function in primordial germ cells (PGCs). Loss of Oct4 function leads to apoptosis of PGCs rather than to differentiation into a trophectodermal lineage, as has been described for Oct4-deficient ICM cells. These new results suggest a previously unknown function of Oct4 in maintaining viability of mammalian germline. PMID:15486564

  7. Development of interspecies testicular germ-cell transplantation in flatfish.

    PubMed

    Pacchiarini, Tiziana; Sarasquete, Carmen; Cabrita, Elsa

    2014-06-01

    Interspecific testicular germ cell (TGC) transplantation was investigated in two commercial flatfish species. Testes from donor species (Senegalese sole) were evaluated using classical histological techniques (haematoxylin-eosin staining and haematoxylin-light green-orange G-acid fuchsine staining), in situ hybridisation and immunohistochemical analysis. Both Ssvasa1-2 mRNAs and SsVasa protein allowed the characterisation of TGCs, confirming the usefulness of the vasa gene in the detection of Senegalese sole TGCs. Xenogenic transplants were carried out using TGCs from one-year-old Senegalese sole into turbot larvae. Propidium iodide-SYBR-14 and 4',6'-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining showed that 87.98% of the extracted testicular cells were viable for microinjection and that 15.63% of the total recovered cells were spermatogonia. The vasa gene was characterised in turbot recipients using cDNA cloning. Smvasa mRNA was confirmed as a germ cell-specific molecular marker in this species. Smvasa expression analysis during turbot ontogeny was carried out before Senegalese sole TGC transplants into turbot larvae. Turbot larvae at 18 days after hatching (DAH) proved to be susceptible to manipulation procedures. High survival rates (83.75±15.90-100%) were obtained for turbot larvae at 27, 34 and 42 DAH. These data highlight the huge potential of this species for transplantation studies. Quantitative PCR was employed to detect Senegalese sole vasa mRNAs (Ssvasa1-2) in the recipient turbot larvae. The Ssvasa mRNAs showed a significant increase in relative expression in 42-DAH microinjected larvae three weeks after treatment, showing the proliferation of Senegalese sole spermatogonia in transplanted turbot larvae. PMID:23735683

  8. Pediatric Germ Cell Tumors; A 10-year Experience

    PubMed Central

    Khaleghnejad-Tabari, Ahmad; Mirshemirani, Alireza; Rouzrokh, Mohsen; Mohajerzadeh, Leily; Khaleghnejad-Tabari, Nasibeh; Hasas-Yeganeh, Shaghayegh

    2014-01-01

    Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcome of germ cell tumors in patients admitted to our center during a ten year period. Methods: In a retrospective descriptive study, patients with the pathological diagnosis of germ cell tumor (GCT) were included. All records were evaluated and patients followed by personal visit in clinic or phone call. Data regarding age, sex, tumor site, bio-chemical assay, pathology, treatment and outcomes were gathered. For qualitative variables we computed frequency and percentage and for quantitative variables, mean and standard deviation. Survival analysis was performed using Kaplan-Meier. All statistical analyses were performed by SPSS version16.0. Findings : Forty four patients consisted of 32 girls (72.7%) and 12 boys (27.3%). Their median age was 23 months. The most common pathological tumor types were 18 (40.9%) mature teratomas and 14 (31.8%) yolk sac tumors. Extra gonadal tumors were more prevalent (32 cases) and consisted of 21 (47.7%) sacrcoccygeal, 7 (15.9%) retroperitoneal, 2 (4.4%) mediastinal and 2 (4.4%) cervical tumors. In gonadal tumors 9 patients had ovarian and 3 patients testicular involvement. Staging at the time of diagnosis revealed stage one in 23 (52.3%) cases. All patients were treated surgically and the most common procedure was total resection in 41 (93.2%) patients. Fifteen (34.1%) patients received chemotherapy. In follow-up 31 (77.5%) patients were in complete remission, 9 (22.5%) had died, and 4 cases did not appear to follow-up visits. The median survival was 16 months (IQR 4-49 months). The highest mortality rate was found in patients with yolk sac tumors (8 of 13 cases). Conclusion: The patients with extra-gonadal GCT and a high AFP level have the worst prognosis and lower survival rate. Combination of surgery and chemotherapy can lead to a better prognosis. PMID:25755868

  9. Damaging effects of polychlorinated biphenyls on chicken primordial germ cells.

    PubMed

    Fang, Changge; Zhang, Caiqiao; Xia, Guoliang; Yang, Wei

    2002-01-01

    This work describes the effects of a commercial polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) mixture, Aroclor 1254, as well as 17beta-oestradiol (E2) and testosterone on numbers and histomorphological changes of primordial germ cells (PGCs) in gonadal regions of Day 5 Hyline chicken embryos. The oestrogen receptor antagonist, clomiphen, alone or with PCBs was used in an attempt to protect the developing gonad from oestrogen-like effects of chemical PCBs. The results were as follows: (i) PCBs delayed embryonic development independently of dose (1 microg/egg, P<0.05; 10 microg/egg, P<0.01; 100 microg/egg, P<0.001 v. the control) and caused a dose-independent increase in mortality compared with the control group (10 microg/egg, P<0.01; 100 microg/egg, P<0.05); maximal mortality was observed in the 1 microg/egg group (P<0.001); (ii) PCBs decreased PGC numbers dose dependently (P<0.001) and caused a swollen nucleus with hyperchromatism (pyknosis) or cytoplasm vacuolation as signs of gonadal PGC degeneration in all PCB groups, or even complete disappearance in the 100 microg/egg group; (iii) after PCB treatment, the index of gonadal lesion increased significantly with the decrease of gonadal PGC number (1, 10 and 100 microg/egg, P<0.001); (iv) there were no observed effects of E2, testosterone and clomiphen on PGCs in the experiments; and (v) clomiphen failed to block the damaging effects of PCBs. These results suggest that the adverse effects of PCBs on chicken gonadal and germ cell development were initiated during the early stages of incubation through direct toxic effects, rather than through oestrogen-mimicking actions. As PGC numbers in the gonads decrease and the index of gonadal lesion increases, one may expect reproductive function to be compromised. PMID:12219939

  10. Melphalan, Carboplatin, Mannitol, and Sodium Thiosulfate in Treating Patients With Recurrent or Progressive CNS Embryonal or Germ Cell Tumors

    ClinicalTrials.gov

    2016-04-28

    Adult Central Nervous System Germ Cell Tumor; Adult Ependymoblastoma; Adult Medulloblastoma; Adult Pineoblastoma; Adult Supratentorial Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor; Childhood Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor; Childhood Central Nervous System Germ Cell Tumor; Childhood Ependymoblastoma; Medulloepithelioma; Ototoxicity; Recurrent Adult Brain Neoplasm; Recurrent Childhood Central Nervous System Embryonal Neoplasm; Recurrent Childhood Malignant Germ Cell Tumor; Recurrent Childhood Medulloblastoma; Recurrent Childhood Pineoblastoma; Recurrent Childhood Supratentorial Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor

  11. Control over the morphology and segregation of Zebrafish germ cell granules during embryonic development

    PubMed Central

    Strasser, Markus J; Mackenzie, Natalia C; Dumstrei, Karin; Nakkrasae, La-Iad; Stebler, Jürg; Raz, Erez

    2008-01-01

    Background Zebrafish germ cells contain granular-like structures, organized around the cell nucleus. These structures share common features with polar granules in Drosophila, germinal granules in Xenopus and chromatoid bodies in mice germ cells, such as the localization of the zebrafish Vasa, Piwi and Nanos proteins, among others. Little is known about the structure of these granules as well as their segregation in mitosis during early germ-cell development. Results Using transgenic fish expressing a fluorescently labeled novel component of Zebrafish germ cell granules termed Granulito, we followed the morphology and distribution of the granules. We show that whereas these granules initially exhibit a wide size variation, by the end of the first day of development they become a homogeneous population of medium size granules. We investigated this resizing event and demonstrated the role of microtubules and the minus-end microtubule dependent motor protein Dynein in the process. Last, we show that the function of the germ cell granule resident protein the Tudor domain containing protein-7 (Tdrd7) is required for determination of granule morphology and number. Conclusion Our results suggest that Zebrafish germ cell granules undergo a transformation process, which involves germ cell specific proteins as well as the microtubular network. PMID:18507824

  12. Meiotic germ cells antagonize mesonephric cell migration and testis cord formation in mouse gonads

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Humphrey H.-C.; DiNapoli, Leo; Capel, Blanche

    2014-01-01

    Summary The developmental fate of primordial germ cells in the mammalian gonad depends on their environment. In the XY gonad, Sry induces a cascade of molecular and cellular events leading to the organization of testis cords. Germ cells are sequestered inside testis cords by 12.5 dpc where they arrest in mitosis. If the testis pathway is not initiated, germ cells spontaneously enter meiosis by 13.5 dpc, and the gonad follows the ovarian fate. We have previously shown that some testis-specific events, such as mesonephric cell migration, can be experimentally induced into XX gonads prior to 12.5 dpc. However, after that time, XX gonads are resistant to the induction of cell migration. In current experiments, we provide evidence that this effect is dependent on XX germ cells rather than on XX somatic cells. We show that, although mesonephric cell migration cannot be induced into normal XX gonads at 14.5 dpc, it can be induced into XX gonads depleted of germ cells. We also show that when 14.5 dpc XX somatic cells are recombined with XY somatic cells, testis cord structures form normally; however, when XX germ cells are recombined with XY somatic cells, cord structures are disrupted. Sandwich culture experiments suggest that the inhibitory effect of XX germ cells is mediated through short-range interactions rather than through a long-range diffusible factor. The developmental stage at which XX germ cells show a disruptive effect on the male pathway is the stage at which meiosis is normally initiated, based on the immunodetection of meiotic markers. We suggest that at the stage when germ cells commit to meiosis, they reinforce ovarian fate by antagonizing the testis pathway. PMID:14561636

  13. In vivo analysis of germ cell apoptosis reveals the existence of stage-specific 'social' control of germ cell death in the seminiferous epithelium.

    PubMed

    Blanco-Rodríguez, J; Martínez-García, C

    1997-12-01

    It has become clear in recent years that programmed cell death is regulated during development by signals from other cells. Nevertheless, compared to the 'social' control of cell proliferation, relatively little is known about the 'social' control of cell death in other systems. Since in a previous study we showed that induced germ cell apoptosis occurs at specific stages of the spermatogenic cycle, in this study we aimed to ascertain the existence of supracellular control of germ cell death during spermatogenesis. Therefore, the TUNEL technique has been used to analyse whether all of the different germ cell types are induced to die at these specific stages in animals injected intratesticularly with one of several inducers of apoptosis. Our findings suggest that all of the investigated agents trigger apoptosis in all the diverse progenies of germ cells existing at stages I, XII or XIV of the spermatogenic cycle. In contrast, at most other stages the number of apoptotic cells was similar to that found in control animals. These data are consistent with the existence of an intercellular control of germ cell death during spermatogenesis. We conclude that the seminiferous epithelium provides a suitable in vivo model to study the mechanisms underlying the 'social' control of apoptosis. PMID:9568531

  14. Primary Malignant Mixed Germ Cell Tumour with Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Mandible; A Rare Entity

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Arun; Parmar, Harshad; Chacko, Rabin

    2015-01-01

    Germ cell Tumours (GCT) are neoplasm derived from germ cells. GCT usually occurs inside the gonads. Extragonadal GCT’s are rare. Most common GCT associated with head and neck region are the teratomas. Of the few teratomas found in the head and neck, malignant transformation of a teratomatous element is very uncommon, and primary bone involvement within the head and neck is even rare. We present a case of primary malignant mixed germ cell Tumour involving the mandible, the present case presented malignant transformation of the epithelial component showing foci of squamous cell carcinoma within the GCT. PMID:26266228

  15. Chemotherapy for Good-Risk Nonseminomatous Germ Cell Tumors: Current Concepts and Controversies.

    PubMed

    In, Gino; Dorff, Tanya

    2015-08-01

    The rate of diagnosis of germ cell tumors has remained fairly constant. By the International Germ Cell Cancer Consensus Classification, roughly 60% of all metastatic germ cell tumors are classified as good risk. This group of patients has an excellent prognosis, with greater than 90% expectation of cure. Treatment standards have not changed much in recent years. This article focuses on key concepts in the development of the currently accepted first-line regimens and addresses some evolving areas of interest, if not controversy. PMID:26216822

  16. Developmentally regulated expression of APG-1, a member of heat shock protein 110 family in murine male germ cells.

    PubMed

    Kaneko, Y; Kimura, T; Nishiyama, H; Noda, Y; Fujita, J

    1997-04-01

    Apg-1 encodes a heat shock protein belonging to the heat shock protein 110 family, and is inducible by a 32 degrees C to 39 degrees C heat shock. Northern blot analysis of the testis from immature and adult mice, and of the purified germ cells revealed the quantitative change of the apg-1 transcripts during germ cell development. By in situ hybridization histochemistry the expressions of the apg-1 transcripts were detected in germ cells at specific stages of development including spermatocytes and spermatids. Although heat-induction of the apg-1 transcripts was observed in W/Wv mutant testis lacking germ cells, it was not detected in wild-type testis nor in the purified germ cells. Thus, the apg-1 expression is not heat-regulated but developmentally regulated in germ cells, suggesting that APG-1 plays a role in normal development of germ cells. PMID:9144406

  17. The Origin And Migration Of Primordial Germ Cells In Sturgeons

    PubMed Central

    Saito, Taiju; Pšenička, Martin; Goto, Rie; Adachi, Shinji; Inoue, Kunio; Arai, Katsutoshi; Yamaha, Etsuro

    2014-01-01

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs) arise elsewhere in the embryo and migrate into developing gonadal ridges during embryonic development. In several model animals, formation and migration patterns of PGCs have been studied, and it is known that these patterns vary. Sturgeons (genus Acipenser) have great potential for comparative and evolutionary studies of development. Sturgeons belong to the super class Actinoptergii, and their developmental pattern is similar to that of amphibians, although their phylogenetic position is an out-group to teleost fishes. Here, we reveal an injection technique for sturgeon eggs allowing visualization of germplasm and PGCs. Using this technique, we demonstrate that the PGCs are generated at the vegetal pole of the egg and they migrate on the yolky cell mass toward the gonadal ridge. We also provide evidence showing that PGCs are specified by inheritance of maternally supplied germplasm. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the migratory mechanism is well-conserved between sturgeon and other remotely related teleosts, such as goldfish, by a single PGCs transplantation (SPT) assay. The mode of PGCs specification in sturgeon is similar to that of anurans, but the migration pattern resembles that of teleosts. PMID:24505272

  18. Vasculogenesis and angiogenesis in nonseminomatous testicular germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Silván, Unai; Díez-Torre, Alejandro; Bonilla, Zuriñe; Moreno, Pablo; Díaz-Núñez, María; Aréchaga, Juan

    2015-06-01

    Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) comprise the vast majority of all testicular malignancies and are the most common type of cancer among young male adults. The nonseminomatous variant of TGCTs is characterized by the presence of embryonic and extraembryonic tissues together with a population of pluripotent cancer stem cells, the so-called embryonal carcinoma. One of the main causes of the resistance of these tumors to therapy is their ability to invade adjacent tissues and metastasize into distant sites of the body. Both of these tumor processes are highly favored by the neovascularization of the malignant tissue. New vessels can be generated by means of angiogenesis or vasculogenesis, and both have been observed to occur during tumor vascularization. Nevertheless, the precise contribution of each process to the neoplastic vascular bed of TGCTs remains unknown. In addition, another process known as tumor-derived vasculogenesis, in which malignant cells give rise to endothelial cells, has also been reported to occur in a number of tumor types, including experimental TGCTs. The participation and cross talk of these 3 processes in tumor vascularization is of particular interest, given the embryonic origin of teratocarcinomas. Thus, in the present review, we discuss the importance of all 3 vascularization processes in the growth, invasion, and metastasis of testicular teratocarcinomas and summarize the current state of knowledge of the TGCT microenvironment and its relationship with vascularization. Finally, we discuss the importance of vascularization as a therapeutic target for this type of malignancy. PMID:25772688

  19. Testicular structure and germ cells morphology in salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Uribe, Mari Carmen; Mejía-Roa, Víctor

    2014-01-01

    Testes of salamanders or urodeles are paired elongated organs that are attached to the dorsal wall of the body by a mesorchium. The testes are composed of one or several lobes. Each lobe is morphologically and functionally a similar testicular unit. The lobes of the testis are joined by cords covered by a single peritoneal epithelium and subjacent connective tissue. The cords contain spermatogonia. Spermatogonia associate with Sertoli cells to form spermatocysts or cysts. The spermatogenic cells in a cyst undergo their development through spermatogenesis synchronously. The distribution of cysts displays the cephalo-caudal gradient in respect to the stage of spermatogenesis. The formation of cysts at cephalic end of the testis causes their migration along the lobules to the caudal end. Consequently, the disposition in cephalo-caudal regions of spermatogenesis can be observed in longitudinal sections of the testis. The germ cells are spermatogonia, diploid cells with mitotic activity; primary and second spermatocytes characterized by meiotic divisions that develop haploid spermatids; during spermiogenesis the spermatids differentiate to spermatozoa. During spermiation the cysts open and spermatozoa leave the testicular lobules. After spermiation occurs the development of Leydig cells into glandular tissue. This glandular tissue regressed at the end of the reproductive cycle. PMID:26413406

  20. Significance of DNA quantification in testicular germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Codesal, J; Paniagua, R; Regadera, J; Fachal, C; Nistal, M

    1991-01-01

    A cytophotometric quantification of DNA in tumor cells was performed in histological sections of orchidectomy specimens from 36 men with testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT), 7 of them showing more than one tumor type. Among the variants of seminoma (classic and spermatocytic) the lowest DNA content were in spermatocytic seminoma. With respect to non-seminomatous tumors (yolk sac tumor, embryonal carcinoma, teratoma, and choriocarcinoma), choriocarcinomas showed the highest DNA content, and the lowest value was found in teratomas. No significant differences were found between the average DNA content of seminomas (all types) and non-seminomatous tumors (all types). Both embryonal carcinoma and yolk sac tumor showed similar DNA content when they were the sole tumor and when they were found associated with other tumors. In this study, except for the 4 cases of teratoma and the case of spermatocytic seminoma, all TGCT examined did not show modal values of DNA content in the diploid range. Such an elevated frequency of aneuploidism in these tumors may be helpful for their diagnosis. PMID:1666273

  1. [A mixed germ cell tumor that underwent dramatic size changes].

    PubMed

    Kuwayama, Kazuyuki; Takai, Hiroki; Nishiyama, Akira; Hirai, Satoshi; Yokosuka, Kimihiko; Toi, Hiroyuki; Hirano, Kazuhiro; Matsubara, Shunji; Uno, Masaaki; Nishimura, Hirotake

    2014-09-01

    This report describes a mixed germ cell tumor that underwent dramatic size changes. A 12-year-old boy presented to our hospital with a headache that had persisted for two months. Initial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed a pineal tumor and hydrocephalus. The patient required external ventricular drainage and underwent two endoscopic biopsies. His evaluation involved a total of nine computed tomography (CT) scans prior to the second biopsy;the tumor size had decreased before the second endoscopic biopsy. The tumor consisted of both a germinoma and a teratoma component. The patient was treated with three courses of carboplatin-etoposide (CBDCA-VP) chemotherapy and whole-ventricle radiotherapy (32.1 Gy). However, during the adjuvant therapy, the tumor size increased, necessitating total tumor resection. We speculate that the tumor's initial size reduction was caused by leakage of the cyst component and exposure to the brain CT irradiation. The tumor's subsequent increase in size was due to the recollection of the cystic components and intracranial growing teratoma syndrome (iGTS). Therefore, frequent brain CTs and angiography should be avoided before definitive pathological diagnosis is achieved. Further, the tumor size should be considered, with surgical resection being performed at the optimal time. PMID:25179200

  2. Hematopoietic activity in putative mouse primordial germ cell populations.

    PubMed

    Scaldaferri, Maria Lucia; Klinger, Francesca Gioia; Farini, Donatella; Di Carlo, Anna; Carsetti, Rita; Giorda, Ezio; De Felici, Massimo

    2015-05-01

    In the present paper, starting from the observation of heterogeneous expression of the GOF-18ΔPE-GFP Pou5f1 (Oct3/4) transgene in putative mouse PGC populations settled in the aorta-gonad-mesonephros (AGM) region, we identified various OCT3/4 positive populations showing distinct expression of PGC markers (BLIMP-1, AP, TG-1, STELLA) and co-expressing several proteins (CD-34, CD-41, FLK-1) and genes (Brachyury, Hox-B4, Scl/Tal-1 and Gata-2) of hematopoietic precursors. Moreover, we found that Oct3/4-GFP(weak) CD-34(weak/high) cells possess robust hematopoietic colony forming activity (CFU) in vitro. These data indicate that the cell population usually considered PGCs moving toward the gonadal ridges encompasses a subset of cells co-expressing several germ cell and hematopoietic markers and possessing hematopoietic activity. These results are discussed within of the current model of germline segregation. PMID:25684074

  3. Interspecific Germline Transmission of Cultured Primordial Germ Cells

    PubMed Central

    van de Lavoir, Marie-Cecile; Collarini, Ellen J.; Leighton, Philip A.; Fesler, Jeffrey; Lu, Daniel R.; Harriman, William D.; Thiyagasundaram, T. S.; Etches, Robert J.

    2012-01-01

    In birds, the primordial germ cell (PGC) lineage separates from the soma within 24 h following fertilization. Here we show that the endogenous population of about 200 PGCs from a single chicken embryo can be expanded one million fold in culture. When cultured PGCs are injected into a xenogeneic embryo at an equivalent stage of development, they colonize the testis. At sexual maturity, these donor PGCs undergo spermatogenesis in the xenogeneic host and become functional sperm. Insemination of semen from the xenogeneic host into females from the donor species produces normal offspring from the donor species. In our model system, the donor species is chicken (Gallus domesticus) and the recipient species is guinea fowl (Numida meleagris), a member of a different avian family, suggesting that the mechanisms controlling proliferation of the germline are highly conserved within birds. From a pragmatic perspective, these data are the basis of a novel strategy to produce endangered species of birds using domesticated hosts that are both tractable and fecund. PMID:22629301

  4. Primary, non-exophytic, optic nerve germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    DiLuna, Michael L; Two, Aimee M; Levy, Gillian H; Patel, Toral; Huttner, Anita J; Duncan, Charles C; Piepmeier, Joseph M

    2009-12-01

    Tumors of the optic chiasm are relatively uncommon and usually associated with phakomatoses such as neurofibromatosis. Even more rare is the presentation of a primary, non-exophytic, isolated optic chiasm germ cell tumor (GCT). These tumors have imaging characteristics nearly indistinguishable from optic chiasmatic gliomas (OCGs). Herein we describe two cases of young men who presented with similar findings of progressive, painless visual loss and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysfunction including diabetes insipidus. Brain imaging was non-diagnostic and suggestive of an OCG. Pathology demonstrated GCTs in each case highlighting the importance of biopsy confirmation of the diagnosis. Both patients underwent a pterional craniotomy and sub-frontal approach to the optic chiasm. The chiasm was diffusely enlarged and discolored in each case without evidence of sellar, suprasellar or perichiasmatic pathology. Pathology demonstrated a malignant mixed GCT in the first patient and a germinoma in the second. This case series highlights the importance of tissue biopsy for patients with progressive symptoms from optic chiasm tumors. Furthermore, this is the first report of a primary, non-exophytic malignant mixed GCT. As the treatment regimens differ widely between optic chiasm GCTs and chiasm gliomas, tissue diagnosis is important. PMID:19554263

  5. Steel factor controls midline cell death of primordial germ cells and is essential for their normal proliferation and migration.

    PubMed

    Runyan, Christopher; Schaible, Kyle; Molyneaux, Kathleen; Wang, Zhuoqiao; Levin, Linda; Wylie, Christopher

    2006-12-01

    During germ-cell migration in the mouse, the dynamics of embryo growth cause many germ cells to be left outside the range of chemoattractive signals from the gonad. At E10.5, movie analysis has shown that germ cells remaining in the midline no longer migrate directionally towards the genital ridges, but instead rapidly fragment and disappear. Extragonadal germ cell tumors of infancy, one of the most common neonatal tumors, are thought to arise from midline germ cells that failed to die. This paper addresses the mechanism of midline germ cell death in the mouse. We show that at E10.5, the rate of apoptosis is nearly four-times higher in midline germ cells than those more laterally. Gene expression profiling of purified germ cells suggests this is caused by activation of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway. We then show that germ cell apoptosis in the midline is activated by down-regulation of Steel factor (kit ligand) expression in the midline between E9.5 and E10.5. This is confirmed by the fact that removal of the intrinsic pro-apoptotic protein Bax rescues the germ-cell apoptosis seen in Steel null embryos. Two interesting things are revealed by this: first, germ-cell proliferation does not take place in these embryos after E9.0; second, migration of germ cells is highly abnormal. These data show first that changing expression of Steel factor is required for normal midline germ cell death, and second, that Steel factor is required for normal proliferation and migration of germ cells. PMID:17107997

  6. The mouse homolog of Drosophila Vasa is required for the development of male germ cells

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Satomi S.; Toyooka, Yayoi; Akasu, Ryuko; Katoh-Fukui, Yuko; Nakahara, Yoko; Suzuki, Rika; Yokoyama, Minesuke; Noce, Toshiaki

    2000-01-01

    Restricted expression of a mouse Vasa homolog gene (Mvh) expression is first detected in primordial germ cells (PGCs) after colonization of the genital ridges. Subsequently, Mvh is maintained until postmeiotic germ cells are formed. Here, we demonstrate that male mice homozygous for a targeted mutation of Mvh exhibit a reproductive deficiency. Male homozygotes produce no sperm in the testes, where premeiotic germ cells cease differentiation by the zygotene stage and undergo apoptotic death. In addition, the proliferation of PGCs that colonize homozygous male gonads is significantly hampered, and OCT-3/4 expression appears to be reduced. These results indicate that the loss of Mvh function causes a deficiency in the proliferation and differentiation of mouse male germ cells. PMID:10766740

  7. Mouse oocytes differentiate through organelle enrichment from sister cyst germ cells.

    PubMed

    Lei, Lei; Spradling, Allan C

    2016-04-01

    Oocytes differentiate in diverse species by receiving organelles and cytoplasm from sister germ cells while joined in germline cysts or syncytia. Mouse primordial germ cells form germline cysts, but the role of cysts in oogenesis is unknown. We find that mouse germ cells receive organelles from neighboring cyst cells and build a Balbiani body to become oocytes, whereas nurselike germ cells die. Organelle movement, Balbiani body formation, and oocyte fate determination are selectively blocked by low levels of microtubule-dependent transport inhibitors. Membrane breakdown within the cyst and an apoptosis-like process are associated with organelle transfer into the oocyte, events reminiscent of nurse cell dumping in Drosophila We propose that cytoplasmic and organelle transport plays an evolutionarily conserved and functionally important role in mammalian oocyte differentiation. PMID:26917595

  8. Autophagy is a cell survival program for female germ cells in the murine ovary.

    PubMed

    Gawriluk, Thomas R; Hale, Amber N; Flaws, Jodi A; Dillon, Christopher P; Green, Douglas R; Rucker, Edmund B

    2011-06-01

    It is estimated that infertility affects 15-20% of couples and can arise from female or male reproductive defects. Mouse models have ascribed roles to over 100 genes in the maintenance of female fertility. Although previous models have determined roles for apoptosis in male and female fertility, we find that compromised autophagy within the perinatal ovary, through the loss of Becn1 or Atg7, results in the premature loss of female germ cells. Becn1(+/-) ovaries have a 56% reduction of germ cells compared with control ovaries at post-natal day 1, whereas Atg7(-/-) ovaries lack discernable germ cells at this stage. Thus autophagy appears to be a cell survival mechanism to maintain the endowment of female germ cells prior to establishing primordial follicle pools in the ovary. PMID:21464117

  9. [Testicular germ cell tumours and early exposures to pesticides: The TESTEPERA pilot study].

    PubMed

    Béranger, Rémi; Blain, Jeffrey; Baudinet, Cédric; Faure, Elodie; Fléchon, Aude; Boyle, Helen; Chasles, Virginie; Charbotel, Barbara; Schüz, Joachim; Fervers, Béatrice

    2014-03-01

    Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT) represent the most frequent cancer in men aged between 15 and 45 years. Current hypotheses are focusing on environmental exposures occurring during prenatal periods. However, very few studies have explored intra-uterine environmental exposure related to TGCT. TESTEPERA is a pilot case-control study aiming to determine the effectiveness of different recruitment approaches in the French context and to verify our ability to collect relevant data on their prenatal periods. Between 2011 and 2012, 150 male subjects were contacted in the Rhône-Alpes region (58 cases from a cancer center and 92 controls from a regional maternity). Participation rate varied from 33% for cases diagnosed in 2008 vs 68% for cases diagnosed in 2010. Participation rate of controls varied depending on modalities of contact (13% for face-to-face recruitment; 0% for contact by phone only; 50% for face-to-face contact with phone reminder). Data collection allowed precise job identification and geolocation of subjects' addresses. Precision of geolocation was dependent upon the level of urbanization (p < 0.001) but not on the time period (p = 0.52). Our results support the feasibility of a case-control study focusing on the relation between TGCT and environmental pesticide exposures during early and later life. PMID:24691186

  10. Improvement of Biocatalysts for Industrial and Environmental Purposes by Saturation Mutagenesis

    PubMed Central

    Valetti, Francesca; Gilardi, Gianfranco

    2013-01-01

    Laboratory evolution techniques are becoming increasingly widespread among protein engineers for the development of novel and designed biocatalysts. The palette of different approaches ranges from complete randomized strategies to rational and structure-guided mutagenesis, with a wide variety of costs, impacts, drawbacks and relevance to biotechnology. A technique that convincingly compromises the extremes of fully randomized vs. rational mutagenesis, with a high benefit/cost ratio, is saturation mutagenesis. Here we will present and discuss this approach in its many facets, also tackling the issue of randomization, statistical evaluation of library completeness and throughput efficiency of screening methods. Successful recent applications covering different classes of enzymes will be presented referring to the literature and to research lines pursued in our group. The focus is put on saturation mutagenesis as a tool for designing novel biocatalysts specifically relevant to production of fine chemicals for improving bulk enzymes for industry and engineering technical enzymes involved in treatment of waste, detoxification and production of clean energy from renewable sources. PMID:24970191

  11. Germ cells of the centipede Strigamia maritima are specified early in embryonic development.

    PubMed

    Green, Jack E; Akam, Michael

    2014-08-15

    We provide the first systematic description of germ cell development with molecular markers in a myriapod, the centipede Strigamia maritima. By examining the expression of Strigamia vasa and nanos orthologues, we find that the primordial germ cells are specified from at least the blastoderm stage. This is a much earlier embryonic stage than previously described for centipedes, or any other member of the Myriapoda. Using these genes as markers, and taking advantage of the developmental synchrony of Strigamia embryos within single clutches, we are able to track the development of the germ cells throughout embryogenesis. We find that the germ cells accumulate at the blastopore; that the cells do not internalize through the hindgut, but rather through the closing blastopore; and that the cells undergo a long-range migration to the embryonic gonad. This is the first evidence for primordial germ cells displaying these behaviours in any myriapod. The myriapods are a phylogenetically important group in the arthropod radiation for which relatively little developmental data is currently available. Our study provides valuable comparative data that complements the growing number of studies in insects, crustaceans and chelicerates, and is important for the correct reconstruction of ancestral states and a fuller understanding of how germ cell development has evolved in different arthropod lineages. PMID:24930702

  12. NANOG promoter methylation and expression correlation during normal and malignant human germ cell development

    PubMed Central

    Nettersheim, Daniel; Bierman, Katharina; Gillis, Ad JM; Steger, Klaus; Looijenga, Leendert HJ

    2011-01-01

    Testicular germ cell tumors are the most frequent malignant tumors in young Caucasian males, with increasing incidence. The actual model of tumorigenesis is based on the theory that a block in maturation of fetal germ cells lead to formation of the intratubular germ cell neoplasia unclassified. Early fetal germ cells and undifferentiated germ cell tumors express pluripotency markers such as the transcription factor NANOG. It has been demonstrated that epigenetic modifications, such as promoter DNA methylation, are able to silence gene expression in normal and cancer cells. Here we show that OCT3/4-SOX2 mediated expression of NANOG can be silenced by methylation of promoter CpG-sites. We found that global methylation of DNA decreased from fetal spermatogonia to mature sperm. In contrast, CpGs in the NANOG promoter were found hypomethylated in spermatogonia and hypermethylated in sperm. This selective repression might reflect the cells need to suppress pluripotency in order to prevent malignant transformation. Finally, methylation of CpGs in the NANOG promoter in germ cell tumors and derived cell lines correlated to differentiation state. PMID:20930529

  13. Germ cells are essential for sexual dimorphism in the medaka gonad

    PubMed Central

    Kurokawa, Hiromi; Saito, Daisuke; Nakamura, Shuhei; Katoh-Fukui, Yuko; Ohta, Kohei; Baba, Takashi; Morohashi, Ken-ichiro; Tanaka, Minoru

    2007-01-01

    To further elucidate the roles of germ cells in the sex differentiation of gonads, we have used the medaka, a teleost fish, to generate mutants that lack germ cells from the onset of gonadogenesis by the morpholino-mediated knockdown of cxcr4. The resulting germ-cell-deficient medaka show female-to-male sex reversal of their secondary sex characteristics, accompanied by increased levels of androgen and reduced levels of estrogen. A failure to maintain granulosa cells or estrogen-producing cells also occurs at early stages of sex differentiation in the cxcr4 morphants, before the initiation of gonadal morphogenesis. In contrast, androgen-producing cells are unaffected in germ-cell-deficient medaka of either sex. In addition, a single tube-like gonad that expresses male-specific genes is formed in these mutants irrespective of the genetic sex. Significantly, each of these mutant phenotypes occurs in a somatic cell-autonomous manner, suggesting that gonadal somatic cells are predisposed toward male development in the absence of germ cells. This highlights the importance of germ cells in the sexual dimorphism of the gonads. PMID:17940041

  14. Chromosome X modulates incidence of testicular germ cell tumors in Ter mice.

    PubMed

    Hammond, Shirley; Zhu, Rui; Youngren, Kirsten K; Lam, Josephine; Anderson, Philip; Matin, Angabin

    2007-12-01

    Germ cell tumor development in humans has been proposed to be part of testicular dysgenesis syndrome (TDS), which manifests as undescended testes, sterility, hypospadias, and, in extreme cases, as germ cell tumors. Males of the Ter mouse strain show interesting parallels to TDS because they either lack germ cells and are sterile or develop testicular germ cell tumors. We found that these defects in Ter mice are due to mutational inactivation of the Dead-end (Dnd1) gene. Here we report that chromosome X modulates germ cell tumor development in Ter mice. We tested whether the X or the Y chromosome influences tumor incidence. We used chromosome substitution strains to generate two new mouse strains: 129-Ter/Ter that carry either a C57BL/6J (B6)-derived chromosome (Chr) X or Y. We found that Ter/Ter males with B6-Chr X, but not B6-Chr Y, showed a significant shift in propensity from testicular tumor development to sterile testes phenotype. Thus, our studies provide unambiguous evidence that genetic factors from Chr X modulate the incidence of germ cell tumors in mice with inactivated Dnd1. PMID:18049836

  15. Recovery from Choriocarcinoma Syndrome Associated with a Metastatic Extragonadal Germ Cell Tumor Hemorrhage

    PubMed Central

    Komori, Koji; Takahari, Daisuke; Kimura, Kenya; Kinoshita, Takashi; Ito, Seiji; Abe, Tetsuya; Senda, Yoshiki; Misawa, Kazunari; Ito, Yuichi; Uemura, Norihisa; Natsume, Seiji; Kawakami, Jiro; Iwata, Yoshinori; Tsutsuyama, Masayuki; Shigeyoshi, Itaru; Akazawa, Tomoyuki; Hayashi, Daisuke; Ouchi, Akira; Shimizu, Yasuhiro

    2016-01-01

    A germ cell tumor is the most common form of malignancy in early male life, and can be classified as either seminomatous or nonseminomatous. Choriocarcinoma, comprised of nonseminomatous germ cells, is the most aggressive type of germ cell tumor and characteristically metastasizes to the retroperitoneal lymph nodes and less frequently to the lungs, liver, bone or brain [Shibuya et al., 2009;48: 551–554]. A 56-year-old man was admitted to another hospital complaining of abdominal distension. Symptoms included anorexia, vomiting, and diarrhea. The patient was diagnosed with an extragonadal germ cell tumor and referred to our hospital to receive chemotherapy. The day after admission, the patient's abdominal distension gradually worsened. An emergency operation revealed venous hemorrhage from the surface of a metastatic extragonadal germ cell tumor between the ligament of Treitz and the inferior mesenteric vein in a horizontal position. Hemostatic treatment was performed with 4-0 proline thread attached to a medicated cotton sponge, rather than using a simple proline thread, and the closure area was manually compressed. Chemotherapy was initiated on postoperative day 10. A metastatic extragonadal germ cell tumor that causes massive hemorrhage and gastrointestinal hemorrhage is very rare, and represents a life-threatening emergency. If the patient's condition carries a substantial risk of bleeding to death, it may be worthwhile to attempt abdominal operations.

  16. Recovery from Choriocarcinoma Syndrome Associated with a Metastatic Extragonadal Germ Cell Tumor Hemorrhage.

    PubMed

    Komori, Koji; Takahari, Daisuke; Kimura, Kenya; Kinoshita, Takashi; Ito, Seiji; Abe, Tetsuya; Senda, Yoshiki; Misawa, Kazunari; Ito, Yuichi; Uemura, Norihisa; Natsume, Seiji; Kawakami, Jiro; Iwata, Yoshinori; Tsutsuyama, Masayuki; Shigeyoshi, Itaru; Akazawa, Tomoyuki; Hayashi, Daisuke; Ouchi, Akira; Shimizu, Yasuhiro

    2016-01-01

    A germ cell tumor is the most common form of malignancy in early male life, and can be classified as either seminomatous or nonseminomatous. Choriocarcinoma, comprised of nonseminomatous germ cells, is the most aggressive type of germ cell tumor and characteristically metastasizes to the retroperitoneal lymph nodes and less frequently to the lungs, liver, bone or brain [Shibuya et al., 2009;48: 551-554]. A 56-year-old man was admitted to another hospital complaining of abdominal distension. Symptoms included anorexia, vomiting, and diarrhea. The patient was diagnosed with an extragonadal germ cell tumor and referred to our hospital to receive chemotherapy. The day after admission, the patient's abdominal distension gradually worsened. An emergency operation revealed venous hemorrhage from the surface of a metastatic extragonadal germ cell tumor between the ligament of Treitz and the inferior mesenteric vein in a horizontal position. Hemostatic treatment was performed with 4-0 proline thread attached to a medicated cotton sponge, rather than using a simple proline thread, and the closure area was manually compressed. Chemotherapy was initiated on postoperative day 10. A metastatic extragonadal germ cell tumor that causes massive hemorrhage and gastrointestinal hemorrhage is very rare, and represents a life-threatening emergency. If the patient's condition carries a substantial risk of bleeding to death, it may be worthwhile to attempt abdominal operations. PMID:27403124

  17. Gonadotropins regulate ovarian germ cell mitosis/meiosis decision in the embryonic chicken.

    PubMed

    He, Bin; Mi, Yuling; Zhang, Caiqiao

    2013-05-01

    Gonadotropins are required for gametogenesis but in embryonic gonads this mechanism is not well understood. Here we use chicken embryos to investigate the mechanism that gonadotropins regulate the ovarian germ cell mitosis/meiosis decision. Treatment with follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) delayed germ cell meiosis entry and promoted their proliferation. This action was blocked by an aromatase inhibitor. Treatment with luteinizing hormone (LH) accelerated germ cell meiosis entry and promoted transcription of 3βHSDII to increase progesterone (P4) production. In the cultured ovaries, P4 triggered meiotic initiation in germ cells. MiR181a, which acts to downregulate the NR6A1 transcript to inhibit the meiotic initiation, was upregulated by FSH and downregulated by LH. Collectively, gonadotropins regulate germ cells mitosis and meiotic initiation through steroid hormones and a miR181a-mediated pathway. In particularly, FSH delays germ cell meiosis entry and promotes cell proliferation via estrogen while LH accelerates the meiotic initiation via elevated P4 production. PMID:23422072

  18. Gonadogenesis and slow proliferation of germ cells in juveniles of cultured yellowfin tuna, Thunnus albacares.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Toru; Honryo, Tomoki; Agawa, Yasuo; Sawada, Yoshifumi; Tapia, Ileana; Macìas, Karla A; Cano, Amado; Scholey, Vernon P; Margulies, Daniel; Yagishita, Naoki

    2015-06-01

    To develop techniques for seedling production of yellowfin tuna, the behavior of primordial germ cells (PGCs) and gonadogenesis were examined at 1-30 days post hatching (dph) using morphometric analysis, histological examination, and in situ hybridization. Immediately after hatching, PGCs were located on the dorsal side of the posterior end of the rectum under the peritoneum of the larvae, and at 3 dph they came into contact with stromal cells. PGCs and stromal cells gradually moved forward from the anus prior to 5 dph. At 7-10 dph, germ cells were surrounded by stromal cells and the gonadal primordia were formed. In individuals collected at 12 dph, PGCs were detected by in situ hybridization using a vasa mRNA probe that is a germ-cell-specific detection marker. The proliferation of germ cells in the gonadal primordia began at 7-10 dph. We observed double the number of germ cells at 30 dph (22 ± 3.2 cells), compared to that at 1 dph (11 ± 2.1 cells). Therefore, based on our data and previous reports, the initial germ cell proliferation of yellowfin tuna is relatively slower than that of other fish species. PMID:26051459

  19. Identification of Novel Fusion Genes in Testicular Germ Cell Tumors.

    PubMed

    Hoff, Andreas M; Alagaratnam, Sharmini; Zhao, Sen; Bruun, Jarle; Andrews, Peter W; Lothe, Ragnhild A; Skotheim, Rolf I

    2016-01-01

    Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT) are the most frequently diagnosed solid tumors in young men ages 15 to 44 years. Embryonal carcinomas (EC) comprise a subset of TGCTs that exhibit pluripotent characteristics similar to embryonic stem (ES) cells, but the genetic drivers underlying malignant transformation of ECs are unknown. To elucidate the abnormal genetic events potentially contributing to TGCT malignancy, such as the existence of fusion genes or aberrant fusion transcript expression, we performed RNA sequencing of EC cell lines and their nonmalignant ES cell line counterparts. We identified eight novel fusion transcripts and one gene with alternative promoter usage, ETV6. Four out of nine transcripts were found recurrently expressed in an extended panel of primary TGCTs and additional EC cell lines, but not in normal parenchyma of the testis, implying tumor-specific expression. Two of the recurrent transcripts involved an intrachromosomal fusion between RCC1 and HENMT1 located 80 Mbp apart and an interchromosomal fusion between RCC1 and ABHD12B. RCC1-ABHD12B and the ETV6 transcript variant were found to be preferentially expressed in the more undifferentiated TGCT subtypes. In vitro differentiation of the NTERA2 EC cell line resulted in significantly reduced expression of both fusion transcripts involving RCC1 and the ETV6 transcript variant, indicating that they are markers of pluripotency in a malignant setting. In conclusion, we identified eight novel fusion transcripts that, to our knowledge, are the first fusion genes described in TGCT and may therefore potentially serve as genomic biomarkers of malignant progression. PMID:26659575

  20. Identification of novel fusion genes in testicular germ cell tumors

    PubMed Central

    Hoff, Andreas M.; Alagaratnam, Sharmini; Zhao, Sen; Bruun, Jarle; Andrews, Peter W.; Lothe, Ragnhild A.; Skotheim, Rolf I.

    2015-01-01

    Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT) are the most frequently diagnosed solid tumors in young men ages 15 to 44 years. Embryonal carcinomas (EC) comprise a subset of TGCTs that exhibit pluripotent characteristics similar to embryonic stem (ES) cells, but the genetic drivers underlying malignant transformation of ECs are unknown. To elucidate the abnormal genetic events potentially contributing to TGCT malignancy, such as the existence of fusion genes or aberrant fusion transcript expression, we performed RNA sequencing of EC cell lines and their non-malignant ES cell line counterparts. We identified eight novel fusion transcripts and one gene with alternative promoter usage, ETV6. Four out of nine transcripts were found recurrently expressed in an extended panel of primary TGCTs and additional EC cell lines, but not in normal parenchyma of the testis, implying tumor-specific expression. Two of the recurrent transcripts involved an intrachromosomal fusion between RCC1 and HENMT1 located 80 Mbp apart and an interchromosomal fusion between RCC1 and ABHD12B. RCC1-ABHD12B and the ETV6 transcript variant were found to be preferentially expressed in the more undifferentiated TGCT subtypes. In vitro differentiation of the NTERA2 EC cell line resulted in significantly reduced expression of both fusion transcripts involving RCC1 and the ETV6 transcript variant, indicating that they are markers of pluripotency in a malignant setting. In conclusion, we identified eight novel fusion transcripts that, to our knowledge, are the first fusion genes described in TGCT and may therefore potentially serve as genomic biomarkers of malignant progression. PMID:26659575

  1. The PUF binding landscape in metazoan germ cells

    PubMed Central

    Prasad, Aman; Porter, Douglas F.; Kroll-Conner, Peggy L.; Mohanty, Ipsita; Ryan, Anne R.; Crittenden, Sarah L.; Wickens, Marvin; Kimble, Judith

    2016-01-01

    PUF (Pumilio/FBF) proteins are RNA-binding proteins and conserved stem cell regulators. The Caenorhabditis elegans PUF proteins FBF-1 and FBF-2 (collectively FBF) regulate mRNAs in germ cells. Without FBF, adult germlines lose all stem cells. A major gap in our understanding of PUF proteins, including FBF, is a global view of their binding sites in their native context (i.e., their “binding landscape”). To understand the interactions underlying FBF function, we used iCLIP (individual-nucleotide resolution UV crosslinking and immunoprecipitation) to determine binding landscapes of C. elegans FBF-1 and FBF-2 in the germline tissue of intact animals. Multiple iCLIP peak-calling methods were compared to maximize identification of both established FBF binding sites and positive control target mRNAs in our iCLIP data. We discovered that FBF-1 and FBF-2 bind to RNAs through canonical as well as alternate motifs. We also analyzed crosslinking-induced mutations to map binding sites precisely and to identify key nucleotides that may be critical for FBF–RNA interactions. FBF-1 and FBF-2 can bind sites in the 5′UTR, coding region, or 3′UTR, but have a strong bias for the 3′ end of transcripts. FBF-1 and FBF-2 have strongly overlapping target profiles, including mRNAs and noncoding RNAs. From a statistically robust list of 1404 common FBF targets, 847 were previously unknown, 154 were related to cell cycle regulation, three were lincRNAs, and 335 were shared with the human PUF protein PUM2. PMID:27165521

  2. Endogenous DNA Damage and Risk of Testicular Germ Cell Tumors

    SciTech Connect

    Cook, M B; Sigurdson, A J; Jones, I M; Thomas, C B; Graubard, B I; Korde, L; Greene, M H; McGlynn, K A

    2008-01-18

    Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT) are comprised of two histologic groups, seminomas and nonseminomas. We postulated that the possible divergent pathogeneses of these histologies may be partially explained by variable endogenous DNA damage. To assess our hypothesis, we conducted a case-case analysis of seminomas and nonseminomas using the alkaline comet assay to quantify single-strand DNA breaks and alkali-labile sites. The Familial Testicular Cancer study and the U.S. Radiologic Technologists cohort provided 112 TGCT cases (51 seminomas & 61 nonseminomas). A lymphoblastoid cell line was cultured for each patient and the alkaline comet assay was used to determine four parameters: tail DNA, tail length, comet distributed moment (CDM) and Olive tail moment (OTM). Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were estimated using logistic regression. Values for tail length, tail DNA, CDM and OTM were modeled as categorical variables using the 50th and 75th percentiles of the seminoma group. Tail DNA was significantly associated with nonseminoma compared to seminoma (OR{sub 50th percentile} = 3.31, 95%CI: 1.00, 10.98; OR{sub 75th percentile} = 3.71, 95%CI: 1.04, 13.20; p for trend=0.039). OTM exhibited similar, albeit statistically non-significant, risk estimates (OR{sub 50th percentile} = 2.27, 95%CI: 0.75, 6.87; OR{sub 75th percentile} = 2.40, 95%CI: 0.75, 7.71; p for trend=0.12) whereas tail length and CDM showed no association. In conclusion, the results for tail DNA and OTM indicate that endogenous DNA damage levels are higher in patients who develop nonseminoma compared with seminoma. This may partly explain the more aggressive biology and younger age-of-onset of this histologic subgroup compared with the relatively less aggressive, later-onset seminoma.

  3. The PUF binding landscape in metazoan germ cells.

    PubMed

    Prasad, Aman; Porter, Douglas F; Kroll-Conner, Peggy L; Mohanty, Ipsita; Ryan, Anne R; Crittenden, Sarah L; Wickens, Marvin; Kimble, Judith

    2016-07-01

    PUF (Pumilio/FBF) proteins are RNA-binding proteins and conserved stem cell regulators. The Caenorhabditis elegans PUF proteins FBF-1 and FBF-2 (collectively FBF) regulate mRNAs in germ cells. Without FBF, adult germlines lose all stem cells. A major gap in our understanding of PUF proteins, including FBF, is a global view of their binding sites in their native context (i.e., their "binding landscape"). To understand the interactions underlying FBF function, we used iCLIP (individual-nucleotide resolution UV crosslinking and immunoprecipitation) to determine binding landscapes of C. elegans FBF-1 and FBF-2 in the germline tissue of intact animals. Multiple iCLIP peak-calling methods were compared to maximize identification of both established FBF binding sites and positive control target mRNAs in our iCLIP data. We discovered that FBF-1 and FBF-2 bind to RNAs through canonical as well as alternate motifs. We also analyzed crosslinking-induced mutations to map binding sites precisely and to identify key nucleotides that may be critical for FBF-RNA interactions. FBF-1 and FBF-2 can bind sites in the 5'UTR, coding region, or 3'UTR, but have a strong bias for the 3' end of transcripts. FBF-1 and FBF-2 have strongly overlapping target profiles, including mRNAs and noncoding RNAs. From a statistically robust list of 1404 common FBF targets, 847 were previously unknown, 154 were related to cell cycle regulation, three were lincRNAs, and 335 were shared with the human PUF protein PUM2. PMID:27165521

  4. Humanin protects against chemotherapy-induced stage-specific male germ cell apoptosis in rats.

    PubMed

    Surampudi, P; Chang, I; Lue, Y; Doumit, T; Jia, Y; Atienza, V; Liu, P Y; Swerdloff, R S; Wang, C

    2015-05-01

    Humanin (HN) has cytoprotective action on male germ cells after testicular stress induced by heat and hormonal deprivation. To examine whether HN has protective effects on chemotherapy-induced male germ cell apoptosis, we treated four groups of adult rats with (i) vehicle (control), (ii) HN, (iii) cyclophosphamide (CP); or (iv) HN+CP. To investigate whether the protective effects of HN on germ cells require the presence of Leydig cells, another four groups of rats were pre-treated with ethane dimethanesulfonate (EDS), a Leydig cell toxicant, to eliminate Leydig cells. After 3 days, when Leydig cells were depleted by EDS, we administered: (i) vehicle, (ii) HN, (iii) CP; or (iv) HN+CP to rats. All rats were killed 12 h after the injection of HN and/or CP. Germ cell apoptosis was detected by TUNEL assay and quantified by numerical count. Compared with control and HN (alone), CP significantly increased germ cell apoptosis; HN +CP significantly reduced CP-induced apoptosis at early (I-VI) and late stages (IX-XIV) but not at middle stages (VII-VIII) of the seminiferous epithelial cycle. Pre-treatment with EDS markedly suppressed serum and intratesticular testosterone (T) levels, and significantly increased germ cell apoptosis at the middle (VII-VIII) stages. CP did not further increase germ cell apoptosis in the EDS-pre-treated rats. HN significantly attenuated germ cell apoptosis at the middle stages in EDS pre-treated rats. To investigate whether HN has any direct effects on Leydig cell function, adult Leydig cells were isolated and treated with ketoconazole (KTZ) to block testosterone synthesis. HN was not effective in preventing the reduction of T production by KTZ in vitro. We conclude that HN decreases CP and/or EDS-induced germ cell apoptosis in a stage-specific fashion. HN acts directly on germ cells to protect against EDS-induced apoptosis in the absence of Leydig cells and intratesticular testosterone levels are very low. PMID:25891800

  5. Time series analysis supporting the hypothesis that enhanced cosmic radiation during germ cell formation can increase breast cancer mortality in germ cell cohorts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juckett, D. A.; Rosenberg, Barnett

    Techniques from cancer epidemiology and time series analysis were used to explore the hypothesis that cosmic radiation can induce germ cell changes leading to increases in future breast cancer mortality. A birth cohort time series for female breast cancer mortality was obtained using a model-independent, age-period-cohort analysis on age-specific mortality data for 1940-1990. The birth cohort series contained several oscillatory components, which were isolated and compared to the corresponding frequency components of a cosmic ray surrogate time series - Greenland ice-core 10Be concentrations. A technique, referred to as component wave-train alignment, was used to show that the breast cancer and cosmic ray oscillations were phase-locked approx. 25 years before the time of birth. This is consistent with the time of germ cell formation, which occurs during the fetal development stage of the preceding generation. Evidence is presented that the observable oscillations in the birth cohort series were residues of oscillations of much larger amplitude in the germ cell cohort, which were attenuated by the effect of the broad maternal age distribution. It is predicted that a minimum of 50% of breast cancer risk is associated with germ cell damage by cosmic radiation (priming event), which leads to the development of individuals with a higher risk of breast cancer. It is proposed that the priming event, by preceding other steps of carcinogenesis, works in concert with risk factor exposure during life. The priming event is consistent with epigenetic changes such as imprinting.

  6. Loss of Sertoli-germ cell adhesion determines the rapid germ cell elimination during the seasonal regression of the seminiferous epithelium of the large hairy armadillo Chaetophractus villosus.

    PubMed

    Luaces, Juan Pablo; Rossi, Luis Francisco; Sciurano, Roberta Beatriz; Rebuzzini, Paola; Merico, Valeria; Zuccotti, Maurizio; Merani, Maria Susana; Garagna, Silvia

    2014-03-01

    The armadillo Chaetophractus villosus is a seasonal breeder whose seminiferous epithelium undergoes rapid regression with massive germ cell loss, leaving the tubules with only Sertoli cells and spermatogonia. Here, we addressed the question of whether this regression entails 1) the disassembly of cell junctions (immunolocalization of nectin-3, Cadm1, N-cadherin, and beta-catenin, and transmission electron microscopy [TEM]); 2) apoptosis (immunolocalization of cytochrome c and caspase 3; TUNEL assay); and 3) the involvement of Sertoli cells in germ cell phagocytosis (TEM). We showed a dramatic reduction in the extension of vimentin filaments associated with desmosomelike junctions at the interface between Sertoli and germ cells, and an increased diffusion of the immunosignals of nectin-3, Cadm1, N-cadherin, and beta-catenin. Together, these results suggest loss of Sertoli-germ cell adhesion, which in turn might determine postmeiotic cell sloughing at the beginning of epithelium regression. Then, loss of Sertoli-germ cell adhesion triggers cell death. Cytochrome c is released from mitochondria, but although postmeiotic cells were negative for late apoptotic markers, at advanced regression spermatocytes were positive for all apoptotic markers. Transmission electron microscopy analysis showed cytoplasmic engulfment of cell debris and lipid droplets within Sertoli cells, a sign of their phagocytic activity, which contributes to the elimination of the residual meiocytes still present in the latest regression phases. These findings are novel and add new players to the mechanisms of seminiferous epithelium regression occurring in seasonal breeders, and they introduce the armadillo as an interesting model for studying seasonal spermatogenesis. PMID:24451984

  7. Tumor loci and their interactions on mouse chromosome 19 that contribute to testicular germ cell tumors

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Complex genetic factors underlie testicular germ cell tumor (TGCT) development. One experimental approach to dissect the genetics of TGCT predisposition is to use chromosome substitution strains, such as the 129.MOLF-Chr 19 (M19). M19 carries chromosome (Chr) 19 from the MOLF whereas all other chromosomes are from the 129 strain. 71% of M19 males develop TGCTs in contrast to 5% in 129 strain. To identify and map tumor loci from M19 we generated congenic strains harboring MOLF chromosome 19 segments on 129 strain background and monitored their TGCT incidence. Results We found 3 congenic strains that each harbored tumor promoting loci that had high (14%-32%) whereas 2 other congenics had low (4%) TGCT incidences. To determine how multiple loci influence TGCT development, we created double and triple congenic strains. We found additive interactions were predominant when 2 loci were combined in double congenic strains. Surprisingly, we found an example where 2 loci, both which do not contribute significantly to TGCT, when combined in a double congenic strain resulted in greater than expected TGCT incidence (positive interaction). In an opposite example, when 2 loci with high TGCT incidences were combined, males of the double congenic showed lower than expected TGCT incidence (negative interaction). For the triple congenic strain, depending on the analysis, the overall TGCT incidence could be additive or could also be due to a positive interaction of one region with others. Additionally, we identified loci that promote bilateral tumors or testicular abnormalities. Conclusions The congenic strains each with their characteristic TGCT incidences, laterality of tumors and incidence of testicular abnormalities, are useful for identification of TGCT susceptibility modifier genes that map to Chr 19 and also for studies on the genetic and environmental causes of TGCT development. TGCTs are a consequence of aberrant germ cell and testis development. By defining

  8. A germ cell determinant reveals parallel pathways for germ line development in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Mainpal, Rana; Nance, Jeremy; Yanowitz, Judith L

    2015-10-15

    Despite the central importance of germ cells for transmission of genetic material, our understanding of the molecular programs that control primordial germ cell (PGC) specification and differentiation are limited. Here, we present findings that X chromosome NonDisjunction factor-1 (XND-1), known for its role in regulating meiotic crossover formation, is an early determinant of germ cell fates in Caenorhabditis elegans. xnd-1 mutant embryos display a novel 'one PGC' phenotype as a result of G2 cell cycle arrest of the P4 blastomere. Larvae and adults display smaller germ lines and reduced brood size consistent with a role for XND-1 in germ cell proliferation. Maternal XND-1 proteins are found in the P4 lineage and are exclusively localized to the nucleus in PGCs, Z2 and Z3. Zygotic XND-1 turns on shortly thereafter, at the ∼300-cell stage, making XND-1 the earliest zygotically expressed gene in worm PGCs. Strikingly, a subset of xnd-1 mutants lack germ cells, a phenotype shared with nos-2, a member of the conserved Nanos family of germline determinants. We generated a nos-2 null allele and show that nos-2; xnd-1 double mutants display synthetic sterility. Further removal of nos-1 leads to almost complete sterility, with the vast majority of animals without germ cells. Sterility in xnd-1 mutants is correlated with an increase in transcriptional activation-associated histone modification and aberrant expression of somatic transgenes. Together, these data strongly suggest that xnd-1 defines a new branch for PGC development that functions redundantly with nos-2 and nos-1 to promote germline fates by maintaining transcriptional quiescence and regulating germ cell proliferation. PMID:26395476

  9. Mixed germ cell tumor of the testicle with ravdomuosarcomatous component: a case report

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Introduction Testicular tumors can be classified as seminomatous and non-seminomatous germ-cell tumor (NSGCT) types. Mixed germ cell tumors contain more than one germ cell component and are much more common than any of the pure histologic forms representing 32%-60% of all germ cell tumors. The composition of these tumors varies. Here we present a rare case of a mixed germ cell tumor composed of seminoma, Yolk sack tumor and teratoma containing a sarcoma component of somatic type malignancy. Case presentation A 32-year-old Caucasian male presented with history of right-sided scrotal swelling since 6 months. Backache was present since 2 months and a history of right epididimitis was also present since 8 months. Alpha-Fetoprotein, beta-HCG and LDH values were found abmormal. USG of the scrotum revealed a large right testis swelling characterized by scarce cystic elements and calcifications. CT scan of the abdomen showed nodular metastasis involving the interaortocaval, precaval, and right para-aortic lymph nodes. The block of enlarged lymph nodes infiltrated the psoas muscle. The patient underwent right-sided high orchidectomy and was given chemotherapy of the BEP regimen. After the 2nd cycle the patient discontinued the chemotherapy and when he came for follow-up after a gap of 3 months, despite the normalisation in tumor markers values, the retroperitoneal mass was relapsed. CT scan of the chest showed multiple lung metastases. Conclusion More than 50% of germ-cell tumors include more than 2 basic germ-cell tumor types, with the exception of spermatocytic seminoma. About 90% of the patients with nonseminomatous tumors can achieve complete cure with aggressive chemotherapy and most of them can be cured. Although prognosis of testicular tumors depends largely on clinical stage, histological type and adhesion to the treatment influence the prognosis as well. PMID:20062623

  10. HMGA2 expression distinguishes between different types of postpubertal testicular germ cell tumour.

    PubMed

    Kloth, Lars; Gottlieb, Andrea; Helmke, Burkhard; Wosniok, Werner; Löning, Thomas; Burchardt, Käte; Belge, Gazanfer; Günther, Kathrin; Bullerdiek, Jörn

    2015-10-01

    The group of postpubertal testicular germ cell tumours encompasses lesions with highly diverse differentiation - seminomas, embryonal carcinomas, yolk sac tumours, teratomas and choriocarcinomas. Heterogeneous differentiation is often present within individual tumours and the correct identification of the components is of clinical relevance. HMGA2 re-expression has been reported in many tumours, including testicular germ cell tumours. This is the first study investigating HMGA2 expression in a representative group of testicular germ cell tumours with the highly sensitive method of quantitative real-time PCR as well as with immunohistochemistry. The expression of HMGA2 and HPRT was measured using quantitative real-time PCR in 59 postpubertal testicular germ cell tumours. Thirty specimens contained only one type of tumour and 29 were mixed neoplasms. With the exception of choriocarcinomas, at least two pure specimens from each subgroup of testicular germ cell tumour were included. In order to validate the quantitative real-time PCR data and gather information about the localisation of the protein, additional immunohistochemical analysis with an antibody specific for HMGA2 was performed in 23 cases. Expression of HMGA2 in testicular germ cell tumours depended on the histological differentiation. Seminomas and embryonal carcinomas showed no or very little expression, whereas yolk sac tumours strongly expressed HMGA2 at the transcriptome as well as the protein level. In teratomas, the expression varied and in choriocarcinomas the expression was moderate. In part, these results contradict data from previous studies but HMGA2 seems to represent a novel marker to assist pathological subtyping of testicular germ cell tumours. The results indicate a critical role in yolk sac tumours and some forms of teratoma. PMID:27499908

  11. Germ Cell-Specific Excision of loxP-Flanked Transgenes in Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss.

    PubMed

    Katayama, Naoto; Kume, Sachi; Hattori-Ihara, Shoko; Sadaie, Sakiko; Hayashi, Makoto; Yoshizaki, Goro

    2016-04-01

    Cre/loxP-mediated DNA excision in germ cell lineages could contribute substantially to the study of germ cell biology in salmonids, which are emerging as a model species in this field. However, a cell type-specific Cre/loxPsystem has not been successfully developed for any salmonid species. Therefore, we examined the feasibility of Cre/loxP-mediated, germ cell-specific gene excision and transgene activation in rainbow trout. Double-transgenic (wTg) progeny were obtained by mating a transgenic male carryingcrewith a transgenic female carrying thehsc-LRLGgene;crewas driven by rainbow troutvasaregulatory regions and thehsc-LRLGgene was made up of the rainbow troutheat-shock-cognate71promoter, theDsRedgene flanked by twoloxPsites, and theEgfpgene. PCR analysis, fluorescence imaging, and histological analysis revealed that excision of theloxP-flanked sequence and activation ofEgfpoccurred only in germ cells of wTg fish. However, progeny tests revealed that the excision efficiency ofloxP-flanked sequence in germ cells was low (≤3.27%). In contrast, the other wTg fish derived from two differentcre-transgenic males frequently excised theloxP-flanked sequence in germ cells (≤89.25%). Thus, we showed for the first time successful germ cell-specific transgene manipulation via the Cre/loxPsystem in rainbow trout. We anticipate that this technology will be suitable for studies of cell function through cell targeting, cell-linage tracing, and generating cell type-specific conditional gene knockouts and separately for developing sterile rainbow trout in aquaculture. PMID:26911430

  12. Light and electron microscopic analyses of Vasa expression in adult germ cells of the fish medaka.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Yongming; Li, Mingyou; Hong, Yunhan

    2014-07-15

    Germ cells of diverse animal species have a unique membrane-less organelle called germ plasm (GP). GP is usually associated with mitochondria and contains RNA binding proteins and mRNAs of germ genes such as vasa. GP has been described as the mitochondrial cloud (MC), intermitochondrial cement (IC) and chromatoid body (CB). The mechanism underlying varying GP structures has remained incompletely understood. Here we report the analysis of GP through light and electron microscopy by using Vasa as a marker in adult male germ cells of the fish medaka (Oryzias latipes). Immunofluorescence light microscopy revealed germ cell-specific Vasa expression. Vasa is the most abundant in mitotic germ cells (oogonia and spermatogonia) and reduced in meiotic germ cells. Vasa in round spermatids exist as a spherical structure reminiscent of CB. Nanogold immunoelectron microscopy revealed subcellular Vasa redistribution in male germ cells. Vasa in spermatogonia concentrates in small areas of the cytoplasm and is surrounded by mitochondria, which is reminiscent of MC. Vasa is intermixed with mitochondria to form IC in primary spermatocytes, appears as the free cement (FC) via separation from mitochondria in secondary spermatocyte and becomes condensed in CB at the caudal pole of round spermatids. During spermatid morphogenesis, Vasa redistributes and forms a second CB that is a ring-like structure surrounding the dense fiber of the flagellum in the midpiece. These structures resemble those described for GP in various species. Thus, Vasa identifies GP and adopts varying structures via dynamic reorganization at different stages of germ cell development. PMID:24814190

  13. Dazl is a target RNA suppressed by mammalian NANOS2 in sexually differentiating male germ cells.

    PubMed

    Kato, Yuzuru; Katsuki, Takeo; Kokubo, Hiroki; Masuda, Aki; Saga, Yumiko

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionally conserved Nanos RNA-binding proteins play crucial roles in germ cell development. While a mammalian Nanos family protein, NANOS2, is required for sexual differentiation of male (XY) germ cells in mice, the underlying mechanisms and the identities of its target RNAs in vivo remain elusive. Using comprehensive microarray analysis and a bacterial artificial chromosome transgenic system, here we identify Dazl, a germ cell-specific gene encoding an RNA-binding protein implicated in translation, as a crucial target of NANOS2. Importantly, removal of the Dazl 3'-untranslated region in XY germ cells stabilizes the Dazl mRNA, resulting in elevated meiotic gene expression, abnormal resumption of the cell cycle and impaired processing-body formation, reminiscent of Nanos2-knockout phenotypes. Furthermore, our data suggest that NANOS2 acts as an antagonist of the DAZL protein. We propose a dual system of NANOS2-mediated suppression of Dazl expression as a pivotal molecular mechanism promoting sexual differentiation of XY germ cells. PMID:27072294

  14. Ascorbic acid protects against cadmium-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress and germ cell apoptosis in testes.

    PubMed

    Ji, Yan-Li; Wang, Zhen; Wang, Hua; Zhang, Cheng; Zhang, Ying; Zhao, Mei; Chen, Yuan-Hua; Meng, Xiu-Hong; Xu, De-Xiang

    2012-11-01

    Cadmium (Cd) is a testicular toxicant which induces endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and germ cell apoptosis in testes. This study investigated the effects of ascorbic acid on Cd-evoked ER stress and germ cell apoptosis in testes. Male mice were intraperitoneally injected with CdCl(2) (2.0 mg/kg). As expected, a single dose of Cd induced testicular germ cell apoptosis. Interestingly, Cd-triggered testicular germ cell apoptosis was almost completely inhibited in mice treated with ascorbic acid. Interestingly, ascorbic acid significantly attenuated Cd-induced upregulation of GRP78 in testes. In addition, ascorbic acid significantly attenuated Cd-triggered testicular IRE1α and eIF2α phosphorylation and XBP-1 activation, indicating that this antioxidant counteracts Cd-induced unfolded protein response (UPR) in testes. Finally, ascorbic acid significantly attenuated Cd-evoked upregulation of CHOP and JNK phosphorylation, two components in ER stress-mediated apoptotic pathway. In conclusion, ascorbic acid protects mice from Cd-triggered germ cell apoptosis via inhibiting ER stress and UPR in testes. PMID:22569276

  15. Retroperitoneal metastatic germ cell tumor presenting as a psoas abscess: a diagnostic pitfall.

    PubMed

    Dieker, Carrie A; De Las Casas, Luis E; Davis, Brian R

    2013-07-01

    Most testicular neoplasms are germ cell tumors, the vast majority of which represent seminomas. Most seminomas present localized to the testis, whereas nonseminomatous germ cell tumors more often present with lymph node metastases. Psoas abscesses generally arise from a contiguous intra-abdominal or pelvic infectious process, an adjacent focus of osteomyelitis or septic emboli from distant infectious foci. In this study, the case of a 24-year-old man who presented with a right psoas mass presumptively diagnosed as an abscess secondary to fever and leukocytosis is presented. The patient had a history of right testicular seminoma, and normal serum levels of alpha-fetoprotein and human chorionic gonadotropin. Surgical exploration and biopsy demonstrated seminoma metastasis. This case represents an extremely unusual clinical presentation of metastatic germ cell tumor presenting as a psoas abscess. This unique case represents an unusual presentation of a recurrent germ cell tumor mimicking a psoas abscess. Awareness of possible metastatic testicular germ cell neoplasm as a psoas abscess could prevent diagnosis delay before retroperitoneal tumor debulking. PMID:23360792

  16. Dazl is a target RNA suppressed by mammalian NANOS2 in sexually differentiating male germ cells

    PubMed Central

    Kato, Yuzuru; Katsuki, Takeo; Kokubo, Hiroki; Masuda, Aki; Saga, Yumiko

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionally conserved Nanos RNA-binding proteins play crucial roles in germ cell development. While a mammalian Nanos family protein, NANOS2, is required for sexual differentiation of male (XY) germ cells in mice, the underlying mechanisms and the identities of its target RNAs in vivo remain elusive. Using comprehensive microarray analysis and a bacterial artificial chromosome transgenic system, here we identify Dazl, a germ cell-specific gene encoding an RNA-binding protein implicated in translation, as a crucial target of NANOS2. Importantly, removal of the Dazl 3′-untranslated region in XY germ cells stabilizes the Dazl mRNA, resulting in elevated meiotic gene expression, abnormal resumption of the cell cycle and impaired processing-body formation, reminiscent of Nanos2-knockout phenotypes. Furthermore, our data suggest that NANOS2 acts as an antagonist of the DAZL protein. We propose a dual system of NANOS2-mediated suppression of Dazl expression as a pivotal molecular mechanism promoting sexual differentiation of XY germ cells. PMID:27072294

  17. Ovarian malignant germ cell tumors: cellular classification and clinical and imaging features.

    PubMed

    Shaaban, Akram M; Rezvani, Maryam; Elsayes, Khaled M; Baskin, Henry; Mourad, Amr; Foster, Bryan R; Jarboe, Elke A; Menias, Christine O

    2014-01-01

    Ovarian malignant germ cell tumors (OMGCTs) are heterogeneous tumors that are derived from the primitive germ cells of the embryonic gonad. OMGCTs are rare, accounting for about 2.6% of all ovarian malignancies, and typically manifest in adolescence, usually with abdominal pain, a palpable mass, and elevated serum tumor marker levels, which may serve as an adjunct in the initial diagnosis, monitoring during therapy, and posttreatment surveillance. Dysgerminoma, the most common malignant germ cell tumor, usually manifests as a solid mass. Immature teratomas manifest as a solid mass with scattered foci of fat and calcifications. Yolk sac tumors usually manifest as a mixed solid and cystic mass. Capsular rupture or the bright dot sign, a result of increased vascularity and the formation of small vascular aneurysms, may be present. Embryonal carcinomas and polyembryomas rarely manifest in a pure form and are more commonly part of a mixed germ cell tumor. Some OMGCTs have characteristic features that allow a diagnosis to be confidently made, whereas others have nonspecific features, which make them difficult to diagnose. However, imaging features, the patient's age at presentation, and tumor markers may help establish a reasonable differential diagnosis. Malignant ovarian germ cell tumors spread in the same manner as epithelial ovarian neoplasms but are more likely to involve regional lymph nodes. Preoperative imaging may depict local extension, peritoneal disease, and distant metastases. Suspicious areas may be sampled during surgery. Because OMGCTs are almost always unilateral and are chemosensitive, fertility-sparing surgery is the standard of care. PMID:24819795

  18. Ovarian mixed germ cell tumor with yolk sac and teratomatous components in a dog.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Nicholas A; Manivel, J Carlos; Olson, Erik J

    2013-05-01

    Mixed germ cell tumors of the ovary have rarely been reported in veterinary species. A 3-year-old intact female Labrador Retriever dog was presented for lethargy, abdominal distention, and a midabdominal mass. An exploratory laparotomy revealed a large (23 cm in diameter) left ovarian tumor and multiple small (2-3 cm in diameter) pale tan masses on the peritoneum and abdominal surface of the diaphragm. Histological examination of the left ovary revealed a mixed germ cell tumor with a yolk sac component with rare Schiller-Duval bodies and a teratomatous component comprised primarily of neural differentiation. The abdominal metastases were solely comprised of the yolk sac component. The yolk sac component was diffusely immunopositive for cytokeratin with scattered cells reactive for α-fetoprotein and placental alkaline phosphatase. Within the teratomatous component, the neuropil was diffusely immunopositive for S100, neuron-specific enolase, and neurofilaments with a few glial fibrillary acidic protein immunopositive cells. Ovarian germ cell tumors may be pure and consist of only 1 germ cell element or may be mixed and include more than 1 germ cell element, such as teratoma and yolk sac tumor. PMID:23604259

  19. Vasa Identifies Germ Cells and Critical Stages of Oogenesis in the Asian Seabass

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Hongyan; Lim, Menghuat; Dwarakanath, Manali; Hong, Yunhan

    2014-01-01

    Germ cells produce sperm and eggs for reproduction and fertility. The Asian seabass (Lates calcarifer), a protandrous marine fish, undergoes male-female sex reversal and thus offers an excellent model to study the role of germ cells in sex differentiation and sex reversal. Here we report the cloning and expression of vasa as a first germ cell marker in this organism. A 2241-bp cDNA was cloned by PCR using degenerate primers of conserved sequences and gene-specific primers. This cDNA contains a polyadenylation signal and a full open reading frame for 645 amino acid residues, which was designated as Lcvasa for the seabass vasa, as its predicted protein is homologous to Vasa proteins. The Lcvasa RNA is maternally supplied and specific to gonads in adulthood. By chromogenic and fluorescent in situ hybridization we revealed germ cell-specific Lcvasa expression in both the testis and ovary. Importantly, Lcvasa shows dynamic patterns of temporospatial expression and subcellular distribution during gametogenesis. At different stages of oogenesis, for example, Lcvasa undergoes nuclear-cytoplasmic redistribution and becomes concentrated preferentially in the Balbiani body of stage-II~III oocytes. Thus, the vasa RNA identifies both female and male germ cells in the Asian seabass, and its expression and distribution delineate critical stages of gametogenesis. PMID:24550690

  20. Mixed Germ Cell Tumour in an Infertile Male Having Unilateral Cryptorchidism: A Rare Case Report.

    PubMed

    Singla, Anand; Kaur, Navneet; Sandhu, Gunjeet; Nagori, Rupesh

    2016-02-01

    Mixed germ cell tumours with multiple components occur more frequently than the pure varieties of germ cell tumours. Embryonal carcinoma and teratoma together form the most common components of the mixed germ cell tumour but the yolk sac tumour is usually seen as a minor component in patients presenting with mixed germ cell tumour. We report a rare case of 27-year-old Hepatitis C positive male presenting with pain in left lower abdomen with associated history of same sided undescended testis and infertility. Right sided testis lying in scrotal sac appeared normal on ultrasonography but patient was azoospermic. He had raised levels of serum markers, alpha feto protein and beta HCG. Examination showed a large mass in left lower abdomen involving the sigmoid colon with the absence of left testis in left scrotum which was confirmed on CT scan. Excision of the mass was done and histopathology examination revealed it as a malignant mixed germ cell tumour composed predominantly of a yolk sac tumour, with minor component as seminoma and embryonal carcinoma in an undescended testis. Following this, the level of serum markers came down. The patient is now undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy and is doing well. PMID:27042527

  1. Mixed Germ Cell Tumour in an Infertile Male Having Unilateral Cryptorchidism: A Rare Case Report

    PubMed Central

    Kaur, Navneet; Sandhu, Gunjeet; Nagori, Rupesh

    2016-01-01

    Mixed germ cell tumours with multiple components occur more frequently than the pure varieties of germ cell tumours. Embryonal carcinoma and teratoma together form the most common components of the mixed germ cell tumour but the yolk sac tumour is usually seen as a minor component in patients presenting with mixed germ cell tumour. We report a rare case of 27-year-old Hepatitis C positive male presenting with pain in left lower abdomen with associated history of same sided undescended testis and infertility. Right sided testis lying in scrotal sac appeared normal on ultrasonography but patient was azoospermic. He had raised levels of serum markers, alpha feto protein and beta HCG. Examination showed a large mass in left lower abdomen involving the sigmoid colon with the absence of left testis in left scrotum which was confirmed on CT scan. Excision of the mass was done and histopathology examination revealed it as a malignant mixed germ cell tumour composed predominantly of a yolk sac tumour, with minor component as seminoma and embryonal carcinoma in an undescended testis. Following this, the level of serum markers came down. The patient is now undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy and is doing well. PMID:27042527

  2. Germ cell differentiation in the marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) during fetal and neonatal life closely parallels that in the human

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, R.T.; Cowan, G.; Morris, K.D.; Anderson, R.A.; Fraser, H.M.; Mckenzie, K.J.; Wallace, W.H.B.; Kelnar, C.J.H.; Saunders, P.T.K.; Sharpe, R.M.

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND Testicular germ cell tumours (TGCT) are thought to originate from fetal germ cells that fail to differentiate normally, but no animal model for these events has been described. We evaluated the marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) as a model by comparing perinatal germ cell differentiation with that in humans. METHODS Immunohistochemical profiling was used to investigate germ cell differentiation (OCT4, NANOG, AP-2γ, MAGE-A4, VASA, NANOS-1) and proliferation (Ki67) in fetal and neonatal marmoset testes in comparison with the human and, to a lesser extent, the rat. RESULTS In marmosets and humans, differentiation of gonocytes into spermatogonia is associated with the gradual loss of pluripotency markers such as OCT4 and NANOG, and the expression of germ cell-specific proteins such as VASA. This differentiation occurs asynchronously within individual cords during fetal and early postnatal life. This contrasts with rapid and synchronous germ cell differentiation within and between cords in the rat. Similarly, germ cell proliferation in the marmoset and human occurs throughout perinatal life, in contrast to rats in which proliferation ceases during this period. CONCLUSIONS The marmoset provides a good model for normal human germ cell differentiation and proliferation. The perinatal marmoset may be a useful model in which to establish factors that lead to failure of normal germ cell differentiation and the origins of TGCT. PMID:18694875

  3. AIP1-mediated actin disassembly is required for postnatal germ cell migration and spermatogonial stem cell niche establishment

    PubMed Central

    Xu, J; Wan, P; Wang, M; Zhang, J; Gao, X; Hu, B; Han, J; Chen, L; Sun, K; Wu, J; Wu, X; Huang, X; Chen, J

    2015-01-01

    In mammals, spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) arise from early germ cells called gonocytes, which are derived from primordial germ cells during embryogenesis and remain quiescent until birth. After birth, these germ cells migrate from the center of testicular cord, through Sertoli cells, and toward the basement membrane to form the SSC pool and establish the SSC niche architecture. However, molecular mechanisms underlying germ cell migration and niche establishment are largely unknown. Here, we show that the actin disassembly factor actin interacting protein 1 (AIP1) is required in both germ cells and Sertoli cells to regulate this process. Germ cell-specific or Sertoli cell-specific deletion of Aip1 gene each led to significant defects in germ cell migration after postnatal day 4 or 5, accompanied by elevated levels of actin filaments (F-actin) in the affected cells. Furthermore, our data demonstrated that interaction between germ cells and Sertoli cells, likely through E-cadherin-mediated cell adhesion, is critical for germ cells' migration toward the basement membrane. At last, Aip1 deletion in Sertoli cells decreased SSC self-renewal, increased spermatogonial differentiation, but did not affect the expression and secretion levels of growth factors, suggesting that the disruption of SSC function results from architectural changes in the postnatal niche. PMID:26181199

  4. Germ cell-specific expression of Cre recombinase using the VASA promoter in the pig.

    PubMed

    Song, Yuning; Lai, Liangxue; Li, Li; Huang, Yongye; Wang, Anfeng; Tang, Xiaochun; Pang, Daxin; Li, Zhanjun; Ouyang, Hongsheng

    2016-01-01

    The Cre-loxP system is a powerful tool for genetic analysis of distinct cell lineages and tissue-specific gene knockout in animal models. VASA is specifically expressed in reproductive tissues, and is known to play important roles in spermatogenesis and germ-cell growth. In this study, Cre recombinase transgenic pigs under the control of the VASA promoter were generated by somatic cell nuclear transfer. Germ cell-specific expression of Cre recombinase in VASA-Cre transgenic pigs was shown by western blotting and immunohistochemistry. VASA-Cre transgenic pigs will be a useful tool for germ cell-specific gene knockout and a disease model for disorders of the reproductive system. PMID:27047735

  5. Germ cell differentiation and synaptonemal complex formation are disrupted in CPEB knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Tay, J; Richter, J D

    2001-08-01

    CPEB is a sequence-specific RNA binding protein that regulates translation during vertebrate oocyte maturation. Adult female CPEB knockout mice contained vestigial ovaries that were devoid of oocytes; ovaries from mid-gestation embryos contained oocytes that were arrested at the pachytene stage. Male CPEB null mice also contained germ cells arrested at pachytene. The germ cells from the knockout mice harbored fragmented chromatin, suggesting a possible defect in homologous chromosome adhesion or synapsis. Two CPE-containing synaptonemal complex protein mRNAs, which interact with CPEB in vitro and in vivo, contained shortened poly(A) tails and mostly failed to sediment with polysomes in the null mice. Synaptonemal complexes were not detected in these animals. CPEB therefore controls germ cell differentiation by regulating the formation of the synaptonemal complex. PMID:11702780

  6. Effects of relaxin in a co-culture of Sertoli and germ cells.

    PubMed

    Pimenta, Maristela T; Porto, Catarina S; Lazari, Maria F M

    2013-01-01

    Spermatogenesis is controlled by FSH, testosterone and paracrine factors produced by Sertoli cells. The knockout of relaxin decreases sperm maturation in mice. Studies from our laboratory have shown that relaxin and its receptor RXFP1 are expressed in rat Sertoli cells, and exogenous relaxin stimulates Sertoli cell proliferation. Relaxin receptors are also detected in the rat germ cells at specific stages of development. Relaxin could therefore affect spermatogenesis either indirectly, by stimulating Sertoli cell proliferation, or directly, by affecting germ cells. The aim of the present study was to explore a role of relaxin at specific stages of spermatogenesis using a co-culture of rat Sertoli and germ cells. Relaxin seems to increase the number of pre-meiotic and meiotic cells. PMID:24640566

  7. Is the Blood-Brain Barrier Relevant in Metastatic Germ Cell Tumor?

    SciTech Connect

    Azar, Jose M. Schneider, Bryan P.; Einhorn, Lawrence H.

    2007-09-01

    Purpose: Germ cell tumors are uniquely chemosensitive and curable, even with advanced metastatic disease. Central nervous system recurrence can terminate a complete remission in other chemosensitive tumors, such as small cell lung cancer, because of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). We propose to document that the BBB is also relevant in germ cell tumors despite their dramatic chemosensitivity. Methods and Materials: We present five cases illustrating the concept of the BBB in patients with metastatic testicular cancer treated with chemotherapy. Results: In our large series of patients with metastatic testicular cancer treated with chemotherapy, we identified 5 unique patients. These patients were rendered free of disease only to experience relapse in the brain alone. This included 1 patient who initially had good-risk metastatic disease by means of the International Germ Cell Collaborative Group staging system at the onset of chemotherapy. Conclusions: The BBB is relevant in patients with metastatic testicular cancer.

  8. Germ cell development in the postnatal testis: the key to prevent malignancy in cryptorchidism?

    PubMed Central

    Hutson, John M.; Li, Ruili; Southwell, Bridget R.; Petersen, Bodil L.; Thorup, Jorgen; Cortes, Dina

    2013-01-01

    To permit normal postnatal germ cell development, the mammalian testis undergoes a complex, multi-staged process of descent to the scrotum. Failure of any part of this process leads to congenital cryptorchidism, wherein the malpositioned testis finds itself at the wrong temperature after birth, which leads to secondary germ cell loss and later infertility and risk of cancer. Recent studies suggest that neonatal gonocytes transform into the putative spermatogenic stem cells between 3 and 9 months, and this initial postnatal step is deranged in cryptorchid testes. In addition, it is thought the abnormality high temperature may also impair apoptosis of remaining gonocytes, allowing some to persist to become the possible source of carcinoma in situ and malignancy after puberty. The biology of postnatal germ cell development is of intense interest, as it is likely to be the key to the optimal timing for orchidopexy. PMID:23316184

  9. New perspective on molecular markers as promising therapeutic targets in germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Chieffi, Paolo

    2016-05-01

    Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) are the most frequent solid malignant tumors in men 20-40 years of age and the most frequent cause of death from solid tumors in this age group. TGCTs comprise two major histologic groups: seminomas and non-seminomas germ cell tumors (NSGCTs). NSGCTs can be further divided into embryonal carcinoma, Teratoma, yolk sac tumor, and choriocarcinoma. Seminomas and NSGCTs present significant differences in clinical features, therapy, and prognosis, and both show characteristics of the Primordial Germ Cells (PGCs). Many discovered biomarkers including HMGA1, GPR30, Aurora-B, estrogen receptor β, and others have given further advantages to discriminate between histological subgroups and could represent useful therapeutic targets. PMID:27195201

  10. New perspective on molecular markers as promising therapeutic targets in germ cell tumors

    PubMed Central

    Chieffi, Paolo

    2016-01-01

    Summary Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) are the most frequent solid malignant tumors in men 20–40 years of age and the most frequent cause of death from solid tumors in this age group. TGCTs comprise two major histologic groups: seminomas and non-seminomas germ cell tumors (NSGCTs). NSGCTs can be further divided into embryonal carcinoma, Teratoma, yolk sac tumor, and choriocarcinoma. Seminomas and NSGCTs present significant differences in clinical features, therapy, and prognosis, and both show characteristics of the Primordial Germ Cells (PGCs). Many discovered biomarkers including HMGA1, GPR30, Aurora-B, estrogen receptor β, and others have given further advantages to discriminate between histological subgroups and could represent useful therapeutic targets. PMID:27195201

  11. Heterozygosity for a Bub1 mutation causes female-specific germ cell aneuploidy in mice

    SciTech Connect

    Leland, Shawn; Nagarajan, Prabakaran; Polyzos, Aris; Thomas, Sharon; Samaan, George; Donnell, Robert; Marchetti, Francesco; Venkatachalam, Sundaresan

    2009-06-24

    Aneuploidy, the most common chromosomal abnormality at birth and the main ascertained cause of pregnancy loss in humans, originates primarily from chromosome segregation errors during oogenesis. Here we report that heterozygosity for a mutation in the mitotic checkpoint kinase gene, Bub1, induces aneuploidy in female germ cells of mice, and that the effect increases with advancing maternal age. Analysis of Bub1 heterozygous oocytes showed that aneuploidy occurred primarily during the first meiotic division and involved premature sister chromatid separation. Furthermore, aneuploidy was inherited in zygotes and resulted in the loss of embryos after implantation. The incidence of aneuploidy in zygotes was sufficient to explain the reduced litter size in matings with Bub1 heterozygous females. No effects were seen in germ cells from heterozygous males. These findings show that Bub1 dysfunction is linked to inherited aneuploidy in female germ cells and may contribute to the maternal age-related increase in aneuploidy and pregnancy loss.

  12. Melatonin alleviates cadmium-induced cellular stress and germ cell apoptosis in testes.

    PubMed

    Ji, Yan-Li; Wang, Hua; Meng, Can; Zhao, Xian-Feng; Zhang, Cheng; Zhang, Ying; Zhao, Mei; Chen, Yuan-Hua; Meng, Xiu-Hong; Xu, De-Xiang

    2012-01-01

    Increasing evidence demonstrates that melatonin has an anti-apoptotic effect in somatic cells. However, whether melatonin can protect against germ cell apoptosis remains obscure. Cadmium (Cd) is a testicular toxicant and induces germ cell apoptosis. In this study, we investigated the effects of melatonin on Cd-evoked germ cell apoptosis in testes. Male ICR mice were intraperitoneally (i.p.) injected with melatonin (5 mg/kg) every 8 hr, beginning at 8 hr before CdCl(2) (2.0 mg/kg, i.p.). As expected, acute Cd exposure resulted in germ cell apoptosis in testes, as determined by terminal dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) staining. Melatonin significantly alleviated Cd-induced testicular germ cell apoptosis. An additional experiment showed that spliced form of XBP-1, the target of the IRE-1 pathway, was significantly increased in testes of mice injected with CdCl(2). GRP78, an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperone, and CHOP, a downstream target of the PERK pathway, were upregulated in testes of Cd-treated mice. In addition, acute Cd exposure significantly increased testicular eIF2α and JNK phosphorylation, indicating that the unfolded protein response (UPR) pathway was activated by CdCl(2). Interestingly, melatonin almost completely inhibited Cd-induced ER stress and the UPR in testes. In addition, melatonin obviously attenuated Cd-induced heme oxygenase (HO)-1 expression and protein nitration in testes. Taken together, these results suggest that melatonin alleviates Cd-induced cellular stress and germ cell apoptosis in testes. Melatonin may be useful as pharmacological agents to protect against Cd-induced testicular toxicity. PMID:21793897

  13. Protective effect of quercetin on cadmium-induced oxidative toxicity on germ cells in male mice.

    PubMed

    Bu, Tongliang; Mi, Yuling; Zeng, Weidong; Zhang, Caiqiao

    2011-03-01

    Cadmium is a toxic heavy metal that is widely distributed in the environment. As a critical process, oxidative toxicity mediates the morphological and functional damages in germ cells after cadmium exposure. In this study, the protective effect of quercetin on cadmium-induced oxidative toxicity was investigated in mouse testicular germ cells. After oral administration of cadmium chloride at 4 mg/kg body weight for 2 weeks, damages in spermatozoa occurred in the early stage of spermatogenesis. Cadmium treatment significantly decreased the testicular antioxidant system, including decreases in the glutathione (GSH) level, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and GSH peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities. Moreover, exposure to cadmium resulted in an increase of hydrogen peroxide production and lipid peroxidation in testes. In addition, cadmium provoked germ cell apoptosis by upregulating expression of the proapoptotic proteins Bax and caspase-3 and downregulating expression of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-XL. However, combined administration of a common flavonoid quercetin at 75 mg/kg body weight significantly attenuated cadmium-induced germ cell apoptosis by suppressing the hydrogen peroxide production and lipid peroxidation in testicular tissue. Simultaneous supplementation of quercetin markedly restored the decrease in GSH level and SOD and GSH-Px activities elicited by cadmium treatment. Additionally, quercetin protected germ cells from cadmium-induced apoptosis by downregulating the expression of Bax and caspase-3 and upregulating Bcl-XL expression. These results indicate that quercetin, due to its antioxidative and antiapoptotic characters, may manifest effective protective action against cadmium-induced oxidative toxicity in mouse testicular germ cells. PMID:21337715

  14. Systemic mastocytosis in a patient with ovarian germ cell carcinoma and mast cell leukemia

    SciTech Connect

    Sun, G.; Hajianpour, M.J.; Hajianpour, A.K.

    1994-09-01

    We report a 12-year-old female with a history of mixed germ cell carcinoma of the right ovary who developed a generalized skin rash after oophorectomy and chemotherapy. She also presented with periodic episodes of flushing, anemia, tachycardia, shortness of breath, high fever, hepatosplenomegaly, nausea, abdominal cramping with diarrhea, and a papuloerythematous skin rash. There was no evidence of secondary carcinoma. Skin biopsy revealed nonspecific inflammatory cells with negative staining for mast cells. Peripheral blood smear showed an increased number of mast cells, thrombocytopenia and normal white cells count. Bone marrow showed hypercellularity with 38% of the nucleated cells being mast cells. Bone marrow chromosome analysis revealed hyperdiploidy in 30% of the cells: 58-64,XX, +1, +2, +5, +6, +7, +8, +14, +16, +18, +19, +19, +20, +21, +22. She expired two months after the occurrence of systemic mastocytosis. Systemic mastocytosis has been reported in association with hematopoietic disorders and with germ cell tumors. The association between mediastinal germ cell tumors and hematological malignancies has also been observed. To our knowledge, combination of most cell leukemia, systemic mastocytosis, and ovarian germ cell carcinoma has not been observed. It is know that mutations at the locus of either proto-oncogene c-kit receptor or its ligand, mast/stem cell factor (SCF) may impair the development of three stem cell populations: hematopoietic stem cells, germ cells and melanoblasts. There have been also extensive investigations on the expression and modulation of the SCF/c-kit interaction in various malignancies. Further molecular studies in patients with germ cell tumor/hematopoietic malignancy syndrome are required to delineate underlying mechanisms.

  15. Dynamics of 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine during germ cell reprogramming.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, Shinpei; Hong, Kwonho; Liu, Rui; Inoue, Azusa; Shen, Li; Zhang, Kun; Zhang, Yi

    2013-03-01

    Previous studies have revealed that mouse primordial germ cells (PGCs) undergo genome-wide DNA methylation reprogramming to reset the epigenome for totipotency. However, the precise 5-methylcytosine (5mC) dynamics and its relationship with the generation of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) are not clear. Here we analyzed the dynamics of 5mC and 5hmC during PGC reprograming and germ cell development. Unexpectedly, we found a specific period (E8.5-9.5) during which both 5mC and 5hmC levels are low. Subsequently, 5hmC levels increase reaching its peak at E11.5 and gradually decrease until E13.5 likely by replication-dependent dilution. Interestingly, 5hmC is enriched in chromocenters during this period. While this germ cell-specific 5hmC subnuclear localization pattern is maintained in female germ cells even in mature oocytes, such pattern is gradually lost in male germ cells as mitotic proliferation resumes during the neonatal stage. Pericentric 5hmC plays an important role in silencing major satellite repeat, especially in female PGCs. Global transcriptome analysis by RNA-seq revealed that the great majority of differentially expressed genes from E9.5 to 13.5 are upregulated in both male and female PGCs. Although only female PGCs enter meiosis during the prenatal stage, meiosis-related and a subset of imprinted genes are significantly upregulated in both male and female PGCs at E13.5. Thus, our study not only reveals the dynamics of 5mC and 5hmC during PGC reprogramming and germ cell development, but also their potential role in epigenetic reprogramming and transcriptional regulation of meiotic and imprinted genes. PMID:23399596

  16. The chemokine SDF1/CXCL12 and its receptor CXCR4 regulate mouse germ cell migration and survival.

    PubMed

    Molyneaux, Kathleen A; Zinszner, Hélène; Kunwar, Prabhat S; Schaible, Kyle; Stebler, Jürg; Sunshine, Mary Jean; O'Brien, William; Raz, Erez; Littman, Dan; Wylie, Chris; Lehmann, Ruth

    2003-09-01

    In mouse embryos, germ cells arise during gastrulation and migrate to the early gonad. First, they emerge from the primitive streak into the region of the endoderm that forms the hindgut. Later in development, a second phase of migration takes place in which they migrate out of the gut to the genital ridges. There, they co-assemble with somatic cells to form the gonad. In vitro studies in the mouse, and genetic studies in other organisms, suggest that at least part of this process is in response to secreted signals from other tissues. Recent genetic evidence in zebrafish has shown that the interaction between stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF1) and its G-protein-coupled receptor CXCR4, already known to control many types of normal and pathological cell migrations, is also required for the normal migration of primordial germ cells. We show that in the mouse, germ cell migration and survival requires the SDF1/CXCR4 interaction. First, migrating germ cells express CXCR4, whilst the body wall mesenchyme and genital ridges express the ligand SDF1. Second, the addition of exogenous SDF1 to living embryo cultures causes aberrant germ cell migration from the gut. Third, germ cells in embryos carrying targeted mutations in CXCR4 do not colonize the gonad normally. However, at earlier stages in the hindgut, germ cells are unaffected in CXCR4(-/-) embryos. Germ cell counts at different stages suggest that SDF1/CXCR4 interaction also mediates germ cell survival. These results show that the SDF1/CXCR4 interaction is specifically required for the colonization of the gonads by primordial germ cells, but not for earlier stages in germ cell migration. This demonstrates a high degree of evolutionary conservation of part of the mechanism, but also an area of evolutionary divergence. PMID:12900445

  17. The transcriptional repressor Blimp-1 acts downstream of BMP signaling to generate primordial germ cells in the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Taro; Extavour, Cassandra G

    2016-01-15

    Segregation of the germ line from the soma is an essential event for transmission of genetic information across generations in all sexually reproducing animals. Although some well-studied systems such as Drosophila and Xenopus use maternally inherited germ determinants to specify germ cells, most animals, including mice, appear to utilize zygotic inductive cell signals to specify germ cells during later embryogenesis. Such inductive germ cell specification is thought to be an ancestral trait of Bilateria, but major questions remain as to the nature of an ancestral mechanism to induce germ cells, and how that mechanism evolved. We previously reported that BMP signaling-based germ cell induction is conserved in both the mouse Mus musculus and the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus, which is an emerging model organism for functional studies of induction-based germ cell formation. In order to gain further insight into the functional evolution of germ cell specification, here we examined the Gryllus ortholog of the transcription factor Blimp-1 (also known as Prdm1), which is a widely conserved bilaterian gene known to play a crucial role in the specification of germ cells in mice. Our functional analyses of the Gryllus Blimp-1 ortholog revealed that it is essential for Gryllus primordial germ cell development, and is regulated by upstream input from the BMP signaling pathway. This functional conservation of the epistatic relationship between BMP signaling and Blimp-1 in inductive germ cell specification between mouse and cricket supports the hypothesis that this molecular mechanism regulated primordial germ cell specification in a last common bilaterian ancestor. PMID:26786211

  18. Extragonadal germ cell tumor presenting in a woman with systemic lupus erythematosus: a case report

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Introduction Germ cell tumor of the pituitary gland is a very rare occurrence. Case presentation We describe the case of a 28-year-old Malaysian Malay woman with lupus nephritis who complained of a three month headache and blurring of vision. She was found to have a pituitary mass, which was later proven to be a germ cell tumor. As of writing this case report, her disease is in remission. Conclusion The disruption of the pituitary gonad axis could affect the disease activity by reducing immunoregulatory control. PMID:20338049

  19. Ghrelin modulates testicular germ cells apoptosis and proliferation in adult normal rats

    SciTech Connect

    Kheradmand, Arash; Dezfoulian, Omid; Alirezaei, Masoud; Rasoulian, Bahram

    2012-03-09

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Spermatogenesis is closely associated with the balance between germ cells proliferation and apoptosis. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Numerous studies have documented the direct action of ghrelin in the modulation of apoptosis in different cell types. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Ghrelin may be considered as a modulator of spermatogenesis in normal adult rats. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Ghrelin may be potentially implicated for abnormal spermatogenesis in some testicular germ cell tumors. -- Abstract: Under normal condition in the most mammals, spermatogenesis is closely associated with the balance between germ cells proliferation and apoptosis. The present study was designed to determine the effects of ghrelin treatment on in vivo quality and quantity expression of apoptosis and proliferation specific indices in rat testicular germ cells. Twenty eight adult normal rats were subdivided into equal control and treatment groups. Treatment group received 3 nmol of ghrelin as subcutaneous injection for 30 consecutive days or vehicle to the control animals. The rats from each group (n = 7) were killed on days 10 and 30 and their testes were taken for immunocytochemical evaluation and caspase-3 assay. Immunohistochemical analysis indicated that the accumulations of Bax and PCNA peptides are generally more prominent in spermatocytes and spermatogonia of both groups. Likewise, the mean percentage of immunoreactive spermatocytes against Bax increased (P < 0.01) in the ghrelin-treated group on day 10, while despite of 30% increment in the Bax level of spermatocytes in the treated rats on day 30, however, it was not statistically significant. During the experimental period, only a few spermatogonia represented Bax expression and the changes of Bax immunolabling cells were negligible upon ghrelin treatment. Likewise, there were immunostaining cells against Bcl-2 in each germ cell neither in the control nor in the treated animals. In fact

  20. Radical Resection of a Late-Relapsed Testicular Germ Cell Tumour: Hepatectomy, Cavotomy, and Thrombectomy

    PubMed Central

    Ní Leidhin, C.; Redmond, C. E.; Cahalane, A. M.; Heneghan, H. M.; Motyer, R.; Ryan, E. R.; Hoti, E.

    2014-01-01

    Up to 3.2% of patients with testicular germ cell tumours represent with late-relapsing disease. Aggressive surgical resection confers the greatest chance of cure in this patient group. We present the case of a late and extensively relapsed nonseminomatous germ cell tumour with thrombus present along the entire length of the inferior vena cava, as well as in the right hepatic vein. Techniques practised in liver transplantation were used to achieve complete resection of the tumour thrombus. This case illustrates the enhanced potential for tumour resection through a fusion of principles derived from surgical oncology and liver transplantation. PMID:25587480

  1. Radical resection of a late-relapsed testicular germ cell tumour: hepatectomy, cavotomy, and thrombectomy.

    PubMed

    Ní Leidhin, C; Redmond, C E; Cahalane, A M; Heneghan, H M; Motyer, R; Ryan, E R; Hoti, E

    2014-01-01

    Up to 3.2% of patients with testicular germ cell tumours represent with late-relapsing disease. Aggressive surgical resection confers the greatest chance of cure in this patient group. We present the case of a late and extensively relapsed nonseminomatous germ cell tumour with thrombus present along the entire length of the inferior vena cava, as well as in the right hepatic vein. Techniques practised in liver transplantation were used to achieve complete resection of the tumour thrombus. This case illustrates the enhanced potential for tumour resection through a fusion of principles derived from surgical oncology and liver transplantation. PMID:25587480

  2. l(3)malignant brain tumor and three novel genes are required for Drosophila germ-cell formation.

    PubMed Central

    Yohn, Christopher B; Pusateri, Leslie; Barbosa, Vitor; Lehmann, Ruth

    2003-01-01

    To identify genes involved in the process of germ-cell formation in Drosophila, a maternal-effect screen using the FLP/FRT-ovoD method was performed on chromosome 3R. In addition to expected mutations in the germ-cell determinant oskar and in other genes known to be involved in the process, several novel mutations caused defects in germ-cell formation. Mutations in any of three genes [l(3)malignant brain tumor, shackleton, and out of sync] affect the synchronous mitotic divisions and nuclear migration of the early embryo. The defects in nuclear migration or mitotic synchrony result in a reduction in germ-cell formation. Mutations in another gene identified in this screen, bebra, do not cause mitotic defects, but appear to act upstream of the localization of oskar. Analysis of our mutants demonstrates that two unique and independent processes must occur to form germ cells-germ-plasm formation and nuclear division/migration. PMID:14704174

  3. Intensive chemotherapy as salvage treatment for solid tumors: focus on germ cell cancer

    PubMed Central

    Selle, F.; Gligorov, J.; Richard, S.; Khalil, A.; Alexandre, I.; Avenin, D.; Provent, S.; Soares, D.G.; Lotz, J.P.

    2014-01-01

    Germ cell tumors present contrasting biological and molecular features compared to many solid tumors, which may partially explain their unusual sensitivity to chemotherapy. Reduced DNA repair capacity and enhanced induction of apoptosis appear to be key factors in the sensitivity of germ cell tumors to cisplatin. Despite substantial cure rates, some patients relapse and subsequently die of their disease. Intensive doses of chemotherapy are used to counter mechanisms of drug resistance. So far, high-dose chemotherapy with hematopoietic stem cell support for solid tumors is used only in the setting of testicular germ cell tumors. In that indication, high-dose chemotherapy is given as the first or late salvage treatment for patients with either relapsed or progressive tumors after initial conventional salvage chemotherapy. High-dose chemotherapy is usually given as two or three sequential cycles using carboplatin and etoposide with or without ifosfamide. The administration of intensive therapy carries significant side effects and can only be efficiently and safely conducted in specialized referral centers to assure optimum patient care outcomes. In breast and ovarian cancer, most studies have demonstrated improvement in progression-free survival (PFS), but overall survival remained unchanged. Therefore, most of these approaches have been dropped. In germ cell tumors, clinical trials are currently investigating novel therapeutic combinations and active treatments. In particular, the integration of targeted therapies constitutes an important area of research for patients with a poor prognosis. PMID:25493378

  4. ANEUPLOIDIES AND MICRONUCLEI IN THE GERM CELLS OF MALE MICE OF ADVANCED AGE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The objective of this research was to determine whether the frequencies of chromosomally defective germ cells increased with age in male laboratory mice. wo types of chromosomal abnormalities were characterized: (1) testicular spermatid aneuploidy (TSA) as measured by a new metho...

  5. TOPAZ1, a Novel Germ Cell-Specific Expressed Gene Conserved during Evolution across Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Baillet, Adrienne; Le Bouffant, Ronan; Volff, Jean Nicolas; Luangpraseuth, Alix; Poumerol, Elodie; Thépot, Dominique; Pailhoux, Eric; Livera, Gabriel; Cotinot, Corinne; Mandon-Pépin, Béatrice

    2011-01-01

    Background We had previously reported that the Suppression Subtractive Hybridization (SSH) approach was relevant for the isolation of new mammalian genes involved in oogenesis and early follicle development. Some of these transcripts might be potential new oocyte and granulosa cell markers. We have now characterized one of them, named TOPAZ1 for the Testis and Ovary-specific PAZ domain gene. Principal Findings Sheep and mouse TOPAZ1 mRNA have 4,803 bp and 4,962 bp open reading frames (20 exons), respectively, and encode putative TOPAZ1 proteins containing 1,600 and 1653 amino acids. They possess PAZ and CCCH domains. In sheep, TOPAZ1 mRNA is preferentially expressed in females during fetal life with a peak during prophase I of meiosis, and in males during adulthood. In the mouse, Topaz1 is a germ cell-specific gene. TOPAZ1 protein is highly conserved in vertebrates and specifically expressed in mouse and sheep gonads. It is localized in the cytoplasm of germ cells from the sheep fetal ovary and mouse adult testis. Conclusions We have identified a novel PAZ-domain protein that is abundantly expressed in the gonads during germ cell meiosis. The expression pattern of TOPAZ1, and its high degree of conservation, suggests that it may play an important role in germ cell development. Further characterization of TOPAZ1 may elucidate the mechanisms involved in gametogenesis, and particularly in the RNA silencing process in the germ line. PMID:22069478

  6. Ectopic Expression of Testis Germ Cell Proteins in Cancer and Its Potential Role in Genomic Instability

    PubMed Central

    Nielsen, Aaraby Yoheswaran; Gjerstorff, Morten Frier

    2016-01-01

    Genomic instability is a hallmark of human cancer and an enabling factor for the genetic alterations that drive cancer development. The processes involved in genomic instability resemble those of meiosis, where genetic material is interchanged between homologous chromosomes. In most types of human cancer, epigenetic changes, including hypomethylation of gene promoters, lead to the ectopic expression of a large number of proteins normally restricted to the germ cells of the testis. Due to the similarities between meiosis and genomic instability, it has been proposed that activation of meiotic programs may drive genomic instability in cancer cells. Some germ cell proteins with ectopic expression in cancer cells indeed seem to promote genomic instability, while others reduce polyploidy and maintain mitotic fidelity. Furthermore, oncogenic germ cell proteins may indirectly contribute to genomic instability through induction of replication stress, similar to classic oncogenes. Thus, current evidence suggests that testis germ cell proteins are implicated in cancer development by regulating genomic instability during tumorigenesis, and these proteins therefore represent promising targets for novel therapeutic strategies. PMID:27275820

  7. The Magea gene cluster regulates male germ cell apoptosis without affecting the fertility in mice.

    PubMed

    Hou, Siyuan; Xian, Li; Shi, Peiliang; Li, Chaojun; Lin, Zhaoyu; Gao, Xiang

    2016-01-01

    While apoptosis is essential for male germ cell development, improper activation of apoptosis in the testis can affect spermatogenesis and cause reproduction defects. Members of the MAGE-A (melanoma antigen family A) gene family are frequently clustered in mammalian genomes and are exclusively expressed in the testes of normal animals but abnormally activated in a wide variety of cancers. We investigated the potential roles of these genes in spermatogenesis by generating a mouse model with a 210-kb genomic deletion encompassing six members of the Magea gene cluster (Magea1, Magea2, Magea3, Magea5, Magea6 and Magea8). Male mice carrying the deletion displayed smaller testes from 2 months old with a marked increase in apoptotic germ cells in the first wave of spermatogenesis. Furthermore, we found that Magea genes prevented stress-induced spermatogenic apoptosis after N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) treatment during the adult stage. Mechanistically, deletion of the Magea gene cluster resulted in a dramatic increase in apoptotic germ cells, predominantly spermatocytes, with activation of p53 and induction of Bax in the testes. These observations demonstrate that the Magea genes are crucial in maintaining normal testicular size and protecting germ cells from excessive apoptosis under genotoxic stress. PMID:27226137

  8. Ectopic Expression of Testis Germ Cell Proteins in Cancer and Its Potential Role in Genomic Instability.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Aaraby Yoheswaran; Gjerstorff, Morten Frier

    2016-01-01

    Genomic instability is a hallmark of human cancer and an enabling factor for the genetic alterations that drive cancer development. The processes involved in genomic instability resemble those of meiosis, where genetic material is interchanged between homologous chromosomes. In most types of human cancer, epigenetic changes, including hypomethylation of gene promoters, lead to the ectopic expression of a large number of proteins normally restricted to the germ cells of the testis. Due to the similarities between meiosis and genomic instability, it has been proposed that activation of meiotic programs may drive genomic instability in cancer cells. Some germ cell proteins with ectopic expression in cancer cells indeed seem to promote genomic instability, while others reduce polyploidy and maintain mitotic fidelity. Furthermore, oncogenic germ cell proteins may indirectly contribute to genomic instability through induction of replication stress, similar to classic oncogenes. Thus, current evidence suggests that testis germ cell proteins are implicated in cancer development by regulating genomic instability during tumorigenesis, and these proteins therefore represent promising targets for novel therapeutic strategies. PMID:27275820

  9. bFGF signaling-mediated reprogramming of porcine primordial germ cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yu; Ma, Jing; Li, Hai; Lv, Jiawei; Wei, Renyue; Cong, Yimei; Liu, Zhonghua

    2016-05-01

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs) have the ability to be reprogrammed into embryonic germ cells (EGCs) in vitro and are an alternative source of embryonic stem cells. Other than for the mouse, the systematic characterization of mammalian PGCs is still lacking, especially the process by which PGCs convert to pluripotency. This hampers the understanding of germ cell development and the derivation of authenticated EGCs from other species. We observed the morphological development of the genital ridge from Bama miniature pigs and found primary sexual differentiation in the E28 porcine embryo, coinciding with Blimp1 nuclear exclusion in PGCs. To explore molecular events involved in porcine PGC reprogramming, transcriptome data of porcine EGCs and fetal fibroblasts (FFs) were assembled and 1169 differentially expressed genes were used for Gene Ontology analysis. These genes were significantly enriched in cell-surface receptor-linked signal transduction, in agreement with the activation of LIF/Stat3 signaling and FGF signaling during the derivation of porcine EG-like cells. Using a growth-factor-defined culture system, we explored the effects of bFGF on the process and found that bFGF not only functioned at the very beginning of PGC dedifferentiation by impeding Blimp1 nuclear expression via a PI3K/AKT-dependent pathway but also maintained the viability of cultured PGCs thereafter. These results provide further insights into the development of germ cells from livestock and the mechanism of porcine PGC reprogramming. PMID:26613602

  10. Implications of Sertoli cell induced germ cell apoptosis to testicular pathology

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, Caitlin J; Richburg, John H

    2014-01-01

    After exposure to toxicants, degenerating germ cells represents the most common testicular histopathological alteration, regardless of the mechanism of toxicity. Therefore, deciphering the primary toxicant cellular target and mechanism of action can be extremely difficult. However, most testicular toxicants display a cell-specific and a stage-specific pattern of damage, which is the best evidence for identifying the primary cellular target (i.e. germ cell, Sertoli cell, peritubular myoid cell, or Leydig cell). Some toxicant-induced Sertoli cell injury presents with germ cell apoptosis occurring primarily in spermatocytes in rats in stages XI-XIV, I and II. Although some toxicants result in spermatid degeneration and apoptosis, it is still unclear if spermatid apoptosis is a result of Sertoli cell-selective apoptosis or a direct effect of toxicants on spermatids, therefore if this is seen as the earliest change, one cannot infer the mechanism of apoptosis. This review summarizes some of the distinguishing features of Sertoli cell-induced germ cell apoptosis and the associated mechanisms of cell death to provide the toxicologist observing similar cell death, with evidence about a potential mode of action. PMID:26413394

  11. The Magea gene cluster regulates male germ cell apoptosis without affecting the fertility in mice

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Siyuan; Xian, Li; Shi, Peiliang; Li, Chaojun; Lin, Zhaoyu; Gao, Xiang

    2016-01-01

    While apoptosis is essential for male germ cell development, improper activation of apoptosis in the testis can affect spermatogenesis and cause reproduction defects. Members of the MAGE-A (melanoma antigen family A) gene family are frequently clustered in mammalian genomes and are exclusively expressed in the testes of normal animals but abnormally activated in a wide variety of cancers. We investigated the potential roles of these genes in spermatogenesis by generating a mouse model with a 210-kb genomic deletion encompassing six members of the Magea gene cluster (Magea1, Magea2, Magea3, Magea5, Magea6 and Magea8). Male mice carrying the deletion displayed smaller testes from 2 months old with a marked increase in apoptotic germ cells in the first wave of spermatogenesis. Furthermore, we found that Magea genes prevented stress-induced spermatogenic apoptosis after N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) treatment during the adult stage. Mechanistically, deletion of the Magea gene cluster resulted in a dramatic increase in apoptotic germ cells, predominantly spermatocytes, with activation of p53 and induction of Bax in the testes. These observations demonstrate that the Magea genes are crucial in maintaining normal testicular size and protecting germ cells from excessive apoptosis under genotoxic stress. PMID:27226137

  12. Positive mRNA Translational Control in Germ Cells by Initiation Factor Selectivity

    PubMed Central

    Friday, Andrew J.; Keiper, Brett D.

    2015-01-01

    Ultimately, the production of new proteins in undetermined cells pushes them to new fates. Other proteins hold a stem cell in a mode of self-renewal. In germ cells, these decision-making proteins are produced largely from translational control of preexisting mRNAs. To date, all of the regulation has been attributed to RNA binding proteins (RBPs) that repress mRNAs in many models of germ cell development (Drosophila, mouse, C. elegans, and Xenopus). In this review, we focus on the selective, positive function of translation initiation factors eIF4E and eIF4G, which recruit mRNAs to ribosomes upon derepression. Evidence now shows that the two events are not separate but rather are coordinated through composite complexes of repressors and germ cell isoforms of eIF4 factors. Strikingly, the initiation factor isoforms are themselves mRNA selective. The mRNP complexes of translation factors and RBPs are built on specific populations of mRNAs to prime them for subsequent translation initiation. Simple rearrangement of the partners causes a dormant mRNP to become synthetically active in germ cells when and where they are required to support gametogenesis. PMID:26357652

  13. DAZL limits pluripotency, differentiation, and apoptosis in developing primordial germ cells.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hsu-Hsin; Welling, Maaike; Bloch, Donald B; Muñoz, Javier; Mientjes, Edwin; Chen, Xinjie; Tramp, Cody; Wu, Jie; Yabuuchi, Akiko; Chou, Yu-Fen; Buecker, Christa; Krainer, Adrian; Willemsen, Rob; Heck, Albert J; Geijsen, Niels

    2014-11-11

    The scarcity of primordial germ cells (PGCs) in the developing mammalian embryo hampers robust biochemical analysis of the processes that underlie early germ cell formation. Here, we demonstrate that DAZL, a germ cell-specific RNA binding protein, is a robust PGC marker during in vitro germ cell development. Using Dazl-GFP reporter ESCs, we demonstrate that DAZL plays a central role in a large mRNA/protein interactive network that blocks the translation of core pluripotency factors, including Sox2 and Sall4, as well as of Suz12, a polycomb family member required for differentiation of pluripotent cells. Thus, DAZL limits both pluripotency and somatic differentiation in nascent PGCs. In addition, we observed that DAZL associates with mRNAs of key Caspases and similarly inhibits their translation. This elegant fail-safe mechanism ensures that, whereas loss of DAZL results in prolonged expression of pluripotency factors, teratoma formation is avoided due to the concomitant activation of the apoptotic cascade. PMID:25418731

  14. Premeiotic germ cell defect in seminiferous tubules of Atm-null testis

    SciTech Connect

    Takubo, Keiyo . E-mail: keiyot@gmail.com; Hirao, Atsushi; Ohmura, Masako; Azuma, Masaki; Arai, Fumio; Nagamatsu, Go; Suda, Toshio . E-mail: sudato@sc.itc.keio.ac.jp

    2006-12-29

    Lifelong spermatogenesis is maintained by coordinated sequential processes including self-renewal of stem cells, proliferation of spermatogonial cells, meiotic division, and spermiogenesis. It has been shown that ataxia telangiectasia-mutated (ATM) is required for meiotic division of the seminiferous tubules. Here, we show that, in addition to its role in meiosis, ATM has a pivotal role in premeiotic germ cell maintenance. ATM is activated in premeiotic spermatogonial cells and the Atm-null testis shows progressive degeneration. In Atm-null testicular cells, differing from bone marrow cells of Atm-null mice, reactive oxygen species-mediated p16{sup Ink4a} activation does not occur in Atm-null premeiotic germ cells, which suggests the involvement of different signaling pathways from bone marrow defects. Although Atm-null bone marrow undergoes p16{sup Ink4a}-mediated cellular senescence program, Atm-null premeiotic germ cells exhibited cell cycle arrest and apoptotic elimination of premeiotic germ cells, which is different from p16{sup Ink4a}-mediated senescence.

  15. Boule Is Present in Fish and Bisexually Expressed in Adult and Embryonic Germ Cells of Medaka

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Hongyan; Li, Zhendong; Li, Mingyou; Wang, Li; Hong, Yunhan

    2009-01-01

    Background The DAZ family genes boule, daz and dazl encode RNA binding proteins essential for fertility of diverse animals including human. dazl has bisexual expression in both mitotic and meiotic germ cells, whereas daz has male premeiotic expression, and boule is largely a unisexual meiotic regulator. Although boule has been proposed as the ancestor for dazl/daz by gene duplication, it has been identified only in invertebrates and mammals. It has, however, remained unclear when and how the DAZ family has evolved in vertebrates. Methodology and Principal Findings This study was aimed at identifying and characterizing the DAZ family genes in fish as the basal vertebrate. We show that boule and dazl coexist in medaka and stickleback. Similar to the medaka dazl (Odazl), the medaka boule (Obol) is maternally supplied and segregates with primordial germ cells. Surprisingly, Obol is expressed in adult germ cells at pre-meiotic and meiotic stages of spermatogenesis and oogenesis. However, the maximal meiotic Obol expression in spermatocytes contrasts with the predominant pre-meiotic Odazl expression in spermatogonia, and the diffuse cytoplasmic Obol distribution in early oocytes contrasts with the Odazl concentration in the Balbinani's body. Conclusions The identification of fish boule and dazl genes provides direct evidence for the early gene duplication during vertebrate evolution. Our finding that Obol exhibits bisexual expression in both embryonic and adult germ cells considerably extends the diversity of boule expression patterns and offers a new insight into the evolutions of DAZ family members, expression patterns and functions in animal fertility. PMID:19564913

  16. Human Hemochromatosis Protein (HFE) Immunoperoxidase Stain Highlights Choriocarcinoma within Mixed Germ Cell Tumors.

    PubMed

    Cox, Jesse L; Talmon, Geoffrey A; Koepsell, Scott A

    2016-01-01

    Identification of choriocarcinoma within a germ cell tumor can have major implications for the subsequent staging and treatment of testicular neoplasms. Immunoperoxidase staining greatly enhances the speed and sensitivity of identifying occult, though clinically significant, tumor components. In mixed germ cell tumors, staining for beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG) has been historically used to assess for the presence and burden of choriocarcinoma. However, current β-hCG stains produce variable, intense staining of trophoblastic elements and surrounding tissues, clouding the assessment of true-positive staining. Human hemochromatosis protein (HFE) is a membrane bound mediator of iron transport expressed at high levels within placenta. Additionally, previous reports have demonstrated that choriocarcinoma cell lines express HFE, although in vivo expression had not been examined. To address whether HFE can stain trophoblastic elements, HFE immunohistochemistry was conducted in choriocarcinoma (n = 4), mixed germ cell tumors (n = 11), seminoma (n = 4), and placenta (n = 11). HFE consistently demonstrated cytoplasmic and membranous staining, highlighting both syncytiotrophoblasts and cytotrophoblasts within choriocarcinoma and placenta. Staining of intratumoral white blood cells was observed within seminomas and mixed germ cell tumors, corroborating prior reports stating that HFE highlights monocytes and macrophages. Taken together, HFE may serve as an alternative target from β-hCG for immunoperoxidase studies when highlighting choriocarcinoma. PMID:27034532

  17. Human Hemochromatosis Protein (HFE) Immunoperoxidase Stain Highlights Choriocarcinoma within Mixed Germ Cell Tumors

    PubMed Central

    Talmon, Geoffrey A.; Koepsell, Scott A.

    2016-01-01

    Identification of choriocarcinoma within a germ cell tumor can have major implications for the subsequent staging and treatment of testicular neoplasms. Immunoperoxidase staining greatly enhances the speed and sensitivity of identifying occult, though clinically significant, tumor components. In mixed germ cell tumors, staining for beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG) has been historically used to assess for the presence and burden of choriocarcinoma. However, current β-hCG stains produce variable, intense staining of trophoblastic elements and surrounding tissues, clouding the assessment of true-positive staining. Human hemochromatosis protein (HFE) is a membrane bound mediator of iron transport expressed at high levels within placenta. Additionally, previous reports have demonstrated that choriocarcinoma cell lines express HFE, although in vivo expression had not been examined. To address whether HFE can stain trophoblastic elements, HFE immunohistochemistry was conducted in choriocarcinoma (n = 4), mixed germ cell tumors (n = 11), seminoma (n = 4), and placenta (n = 11). HFE consistently demonstrated cytoplasmic and membranous staining, highlighting both syncytiotrophoblasts and cytotrophoblasts within choriocarcinoma and placenta. Staining of intratumoral white blood cells was observed within seminomas and mixed germ cell tumors, corroborating prior reports stating that HFE highlights monocytes and macrophages. Taken together, HFE may serve as an alternative target from β-hCG for immunoperoxidase studies when highlighting choriocarcinoma. PMID:27034532

  18. DDX4 (VASA) is conserved in germ cell development in marsupials and monotremes.

    PubMed

    Hickford, Danielle E; Frankenberg, Stephen; Pask, Andrew J; Shaw, Geoff; Renfree, Marilyn B

    2011-10-01

    DDX4 (VASA) is an RNA helicase expressed in the germ cells of all animals. To gain greater insight into the role of this gene in mammalian germ cell development, we characterized DDX4 in both a marsupial (the tammar wallaby) and a monotreme (the platypus). DDX4 is highly conserved between eutherian, marsupial, and monotreme mammals. DDX4 protein is absent from tammar fetal germ cells but is present from Day 1 postpartum in both sexes. The distribution of DDX4 protein during oogenesis and spermatogenesis in the tammar is similar to eutherians. Female tammar germ cells contain DDX4 protein throughout all stages of postnatal oogenesis. In males, DDX4 is in gonocytes, and during spermatogenesis it is present in spermatocytes and round spermatids. A similar distribution of DDX4 occurs in the platypus during spermatogenesis. There are several DDX4 isoforms in the tammar, resulting from both pre- and posttranslational modifications. DDX4 in marsupials and monotremes has multiple splice variants and polyadenylation motifs. Using in silico analyses of genomic databases, we found that these previously unreported splice variants also occur in eutherians. In addition, several elements implicated in the control of Ddx4 expression in the mouse, including RGG (arginine-glycine-glycine) and dimethylation of arginine motifs and CpG islands within the Ddx4 promoter, are also highly conserved. Collectively these data suggest that DDX4 is essential for the regulation of germ cell proliferation and differentiation across all three extant mammalian groups-eutherians, marsupials, and monotremes. PMID:21653890

  19. Germ cell specification and ovary structure in the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The segregation of the germline from somatic tissues is an essential process in the development of all animals. Specification of the primordial germ cells (PGCs) takes place via different strategies across animal phyla; either specified early in embryogenesis by the inheritance of maternal determinants in the cytoplasm of the oocyte ('preformation') or selected later in embryonic development from undifferentiated precursors by a localized inductive signal ('epigenesis'). Here we investigate the specification and development of the germ cells in the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis, a member of the poorly-characterized superphyla Lophotrochozoa, by isolating the Brachionus homologues of the conserved germ cell markers vasa and nanos, and examining their expression using in situ hybridization. Results Bpvasa and Bpnos RNA expression have very similar distributions in the Brachionus ovary, showing ubiquitous expression in the vitellarium, with higher levels in the putative germ cell cluster. Bpvas RNA expression is present in freshly laid eggs, remaining ubiquitous in embryos until at least the 96 cell stage after which expression narrows to a small cluster of cells at the putative posterior of the embryo, consistent with the developing ovary. Bpnos RNA expression is also present in just-laid eggs but expression is much reduced by the four-cell stage and absent by the 16-cell stage. Shortly before hatching of the juvenile rotifer from the egg, Bpnos RNA expression is re-activated, located in a subset of posterior cells similar to those expressing Bpvas at the same stage. Conclusions The observed expression of vasa and nanos in the developing B. plicatilis embryo implies an epigenetic origin of primordial germ cells in Rotifer. PMID:20849649

  20. Why do primordial germ cells migrate through an embryo and what does it mean for biological evolution?

    PubMed

    Olovnikov, A M

    2013-10-01

    An explanation of the role of primordial germ cell (PGC) migration during embryogenesis is proposed. According to the hypothesis, various PGCs during their migrations through an early embryo are contacting with anlagen of organs and acquiring nonidentical organ specificities. An individual PGC gets such an organ specificity, which corresponds to specificity of the first anlage with which this PGC has the first contact. As a result, the cellular descendants of PGCs (oocytes or spermatocytes) will express nonidentical organ-specific receptors, hence becoming functionally heterogeneous. Therefore, each clone of germ cells becomes capable of recognizing specifically the molecular signals that correspond only to "its" organ of the body. Such signals are produced by the body's organ when it functions in an extreme mode. Signals from the "exercising" organ of the body are delivered to the gonad only via the brain retransmitter, which is composed of neurons grouped as virtual organs of a homunculus. Homunculi are so-called somatotopic maps of the skeletomotor and other parts of the body represented in the brain. Signals, as complexes of regulatory RNAs and proteins, are transported from the "exercising" organ of the body to the corresponding virtual organ of the homunculus where they are processed and then forwarded to the gonad. The organ-specific signal will be selectively recognized by certain gametocytes according to their organ specificity, and then it will initiate the directed epimutation in the gametocyte genome. The nonrandomness of the gene order in chromosomes, that is the synteny and genetic map, is controlled by the so-called creatron that consolidates the soma and germline into a united system, providing the possibility of evolutionary responses of an organism to environmental influences. PMID:24237154

  1. Fatty acid synthase overexpression in adult testicular germ cell tumors: potential role in the progression of non-seminomatous germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Miyai, Kosuke; Iwaya, Keiichi; Asano, Tomohiko; Tamai, Seiichi; Matsubara, Osamu; Tsuda, Hitoshi

    2014-02-01

    Overexpression of fatty acid synthase (FASN), which is a key enzyme responsible for the endogenous synthesis of fatty acids, and its association with multistep progression have been demonstrated in various human malignant tumors. We aimed to clarify the potential role of FASN overexpression in the development and progression of adult testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs). From the primary sites of a cohort of 113 TGCT cases, we obtained 221 histological components: 53 intratubular germ cell neoplasias, unclassified (IGCNUs), 84 seminomas, 32 embryonal carcinomas, seven choriocarcinomas, 21 yolk sac tumors, and 24 teratomas. Samples were analyzed for overexpression of FASN by immunohistochemistry. Intensities of immunoreactivity and the fraction of positive cells were classified into each four categories (intensity, 0 to 3; fraction, 0-10 % = 1, 11-50 % = 2, 51-80 % = 3, and >80 % = 4). The overall score was determined by multiplication of both scores and overall scores greater than 6 were considered FASN overexpression. On a component basis, FASN overexpression was detected in 8 % of seminomas but not in IGCNUs (0 %) and was detected frequently in non-seminomatous germ cell tumors (NSGCTs) (88 % of embryonal carcinomas, all choriocarcinomas, 81 % of yolk sac tumors, and 54 % of teratomas). There were no cases of a mixed tumor (i.e., a tumor with multiple histological components) that overexpressed FASN in seminoma components but not in co-existing NSGCT components, suggesting sequential progression. Our immunohistochemical data suggest that FASN overexpression occurs as a late event during the progression from IGCNUs/seminomas to NSGCTs. PMID:24337182

  2. Fas expression correlates with human germ cell degeneration in meiotic and post-meiotic arrest of spermatogenesis.

    PubMed

    Francavilla, Sandro; D'Abrizio, Piera; Cordeschi, Giuliana; Pelliccione, Fiore; Necozione, Stefano; Ulisse, Salvatore; Properzi, Giuliana; Francavilla, Felice

    2002-03-01

    Degeneration of human male germ cells was analysed by means of light (LM) and transmission electron (TEM) microscopy. The frequency of degenerating cells was correlated with that of Fas-expressing germ cells in human testes with normal spermatogenesis (n = 10), complete early maturation arrest (EMA) (n = 10) or incomplete late maturation arrest (LMA; n = 10) of spermatogenesis. LM analysis of testis sections with normal spermatogenesis indicated that degenerating germ cells were localized in the adluminal compartment of the seminiferous epithelium. TEM showed that apoptotic cells were mostly primary spermatocytes and, to a lesser extent, round or early elongating spermatids. Apoptotic germ cells appeared to be eliminated either in the seminiferous lumen or by Sertoli cell phagocytosis. An increased number of degenerating cells was observed in testes with LMA as compared with normal testes and testes with EMA of spermatogenesis (P < 0.001, Wilcoxon's rank sum test). Comparison of these results with those obtained from immunohistochemistry experiments demonstrated a tight correlation between the number of apoptotic cells and the number of Fas-expressing germ cells (P = 0.001, Spearman's rank = 0.69). These findings suggest that altered meiotic and post-meiotic germ cell maturation might be associated with an up-regulation of Fas gene expression capable of triggering apoptotic elimination of defective germ cells. PMID:11870228

  3. Meiotic onset is reliant on spatial distribution but independent of germ cell number in the mouse ovary.

    PubMed

    Arora, Ripla; Abby, Emilie; Ross, Adam D J; Cantu, Andrea V; Kissner, Michael D; Castro, Vianca; Ho, Hsin-Yi Henry; Livera, Gabriel; Laird, Diana J

    2016-07-01

    Mouse ovarian germ cells enter meiosis in a wave that propagates from anterior to posterior, but little is known about contribution of germ cells to initiation or propagation of meiosis. In a Ror2 mutant with diminished germ cell number and migration, we find that overall timing of meiotic initiation is delayed at the population level. We use chemotherapeutic depletion to exclude a profoundly reduced number of germ cells as a cause for meiotic delay. We rule out sex reversal or failure to specify somatic support cells as contributors to the meiotic phenotype. Instead, we find that anomalies in the distribution of germ cells as well as gonad shape in mutants contribute to aberrant initiation of meiosis. Our analysis supports a model of meiotic initiation via diffusible signal(s), excludes a role for germ cells in commencing the meiotic wave and furnishes the first phenotypic demonstration of the wave of meiotic entry. Finally, our studies underscore the importance of considering germ cell migration defects while studying meiosis to discern secondary effects resulting from positioning versus primary meiotic entry phenotypes. PMID:27199373

  4. LIN-35/Rb Causes Starvation-Induced Germ Cell Apoptosis via CED-9/Bcl2 Downregulation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Láscarez-Lagunas, L. I.; Silva-García, C. G.; Dinkova, T. D.

    2014-01-01

    Apoptosis is an important mechanism for maintaining germ line health. In Caenorhabditis elegans, germ cell apoptosis occurs under normal conditions to sustain gonad homeostasis and oocyte quality. Under stress, germ cell apoptosis can be triggered via different pathways, including the following: (i) the CEP-1/p53 pathway, which induces germ cell apoptosis when animals are exposed to DNA damage; (ii) the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MAPKK) pathway, which triggers germ cell apoptosis when animals are exposed to heat shock, oxidative stress, or osmotic stress; and (iii) an unknown mechanism that triggers germ cell apoptosis during starvation. Here, we address how starvation induces germ cell apoptosis. Using polysomal profiling, we found that starvation for 6 h reduces the translationally active ribosomes, which differentially affect the mRNAs of the core apoptotic machinery and some of its regulators. During starvation, lin-35/Rb mRNA increases its expression, resulting in the accumulation of this protein. As a consequence, LIN-35 downregulates the expression of the antiapoptotic gene ced-9/Bcl-2. We observed that the reduced translation of ced-9/Bcl-2 mRNA during food deprivation together with its downregulation drastically affects its protein accumulation. We propose that CED-9/Bcl-2 downregulation via LIN-35/Rb triggers germ cell apoptosis in C. elegans in response to starvation. PMID:24752899

  5. Activation of the germ-cell potential of human bone marrow-derived cells by a chemical carcinogen

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Chunfang; Ma, Zhan; Xu, Songtao; Hou, Jun; Hu, Yao; Yu, Yinglu; Liu, Ruilai; Chen, Zhihong; Lu, Yuan

    2014-01-01

    Embryonic/germ cell traits are common in malignant tumors and are thought to be involved in malignant tumor behaviors. The reasons why tumors show strong embryonic/germline traits (displaced germ cells or gametogenic programming reactivation) are controversial. Here, we show that a chemical carcinogen, 3-methyl-cholanthrene (3-MCA), can trigger the germ-cell potential of human bone marrow-derived cells (hBMDCs). 3-MCA promoted the generation of germ cell-like cells from induced hBMDCs that had undergone malignant transformation, whereas similar results were not observed in the parallel hBMDC culture at the same time point. The malignant transformed hBMDCs spontaneously and more efficiently generated into germ cell-like cells even at the single-cell level. The germ cell-like cells from induced hBMDCs were similar to natural germ cells in many aspects, including morphology, gene expression, proliferation, migration, further development, and teratocarcinoma formation. Therefore, our results demonstrate that a chemical carcinogen can reactivate the germline phenotypes of human somatic tissue-derived cells, which might provide a novel idea to tumor biology and therapy. PMID:24998261

  6. Impact of Non-Pulmonary Visceral Metastases in the Prognosis and Practice of Metastatic Testicular Germ Cell Tumors

    PubMed Central

    Rossi, Lorena; Martignano, Filippo; Gallà, Valentina; Maugeri, Antonio; Schepisi, Giuseppe

    2016-01-01

    Non-pulmonary visceral metastases, in bones, brain and liver, represent nearly the 10% of metastatic sites of advanced germ cell tumors and are associated with poor prognosis. This review article summarizes major evidences on the impact of different visceral sites on the prognosis, treatment and clinical outcome of patients with germ cell tumors. The clinic-biological mechanisms by which these metastatic sites are associated with poor clinical outcome remain unclear. The multimodality treatment showed a potential better survival, in particular in patients with relapsed disease. Patients with advanced germ cell tumors with visceral metastases should be referred to centers with high expertise in the clinical management of such disease. PMID:27471579

  7. Impact of Non-Pulmonary Visceral Metastases in the Prognosis and Practice of Metastatic Testicular Germ Cell Tumors.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Lorena; Martignano, Filippo; Gallà, Valentina; Maugeri, Antonio; Schepisi, Giuseppe

    2016-04-15

    Non-pulmonary visceral metastases, in bones, brain and liver, represent nearly the 10% of metastatic sites of advanced germ cell tumors and are associated with poor prognosis. This review article summarizes major evidences on the impact of different visceral sites on the prognosis, treatment and clinical outcome of patients with germ cell tumors. The clinic-biological mechanisms by which these metastatic sites are associated with poor clinical outcome remain unclear. The multimodality treatment showed a potential better survival, in particular in patients with relapsed disease. Patients with advanced germ cell tumors with visceral metastases should be referred to centers with high expertise in the clinical management of such disease. PMID:27471579

  8. Surgical Technique: Endoscopic Endonasal Transphenoidal Resection of a Large Suprasellar Mixed Germ Cell Tumor

    PubMed Central

    Chakravarthy, Vikram; Hanna, George; DeLos Reyes, Kennethy

    2016-01-01

    The endoscopic endonasal transphenoidal approach has proven to be a very versatile surgical approach for the resection of small midline skull base tumors. This is due to its minimally invasive nature, the potentially fewer neurological complications, and lower morbidity in comparison to traditional craniotomies. This surgical approach has been less commonly utilized for large midline tumors such as suprasellar germ cell tumors, due to numerous reasons including the surgeon’s comfort with the surgical approach, a higher chance of postoperative cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak, limited visualization due to arterial/venous bleeding, and limited working space. We present our surgical technique in the case of a large suprasellar and third ventricular mixed germ cell tumor that was resected via an endoscopic endonasal approach with favorable neurological outcome and no postoperative CSF leak. PMID:27014537

  9. Murine somatic cell nuclear transfer using reprogrammed donor cells expressing male germ cell-specific genes.

    PubMed

    Kang, Hoin; Park, Jong Im; Roh, Sangho

    2016-01-01

    In vivo-matured mouse oocytes were enucleated, and a single murine embryonic fibroblast (control or reprogrammed by introducing extracts from murine testis tissue, which showed expression of male germ cell-specific genes) was injected into the cytoplasm of the oocytes. The rate of blastocyst development and expression levels of Oct-4, Eomes and Cdx-2 were not significantly different in both experimental groups. However, the expression levels of Nanog, Sox9 and Glut-1 were significantly increased when reprogrammed cells were used as donor nuclei. Increased expression of Nanog can be supportive of complete reprogramming of somatic cell nuclear transfer murine embryos. The present study suggested that donor cells expressing male germ cell-specific genes can be reconstructed and can develop into embryos with normal high expression of developmentally essential genes. PMID:26369430

  10. Metastable primordial germ cell-like state induced from mouse embryonic stem cells by Akt activation

    SciTech Connect

    Yamano, Noriko; Kimura, Tohru; Watanabe-Kushima, Shoko; Shinohara, Takashi; Nakano, Toru

    2010-02-12

    Specification to primordial germ cells (PGCs) is mediated by mesoderm-induction signals during gastrulation. We found that Akt activation during in vitro mesodermal differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) generated self-renewing spheres with differentiation states between those of ESCs and PGCs. Essential regulators for PGC specification and their downstream germ cell-specific genes were expressed in the spheres, indicating that the sphere cells had commenced differentiation to the germ lineage. However, the spheres did not proceed to spermatogenesis after transplantation into testes. Sphere cell transfer to the original feeder-free ESC cultures resulted in chaotic differentiation. In contrast, when the spheres were cultured on mouse embryonic fibroblasts or in the presence of ERK-cascade and GSK3 inhibitors, reversion to the ESC-like state was observed. These results indicate that Akt signaling promotes a novel metastable and pluripotent state that is intermediate to those of ESCs and PGCs.