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Sample records for germ cells pgcs

  1. Effect of microgravity on primordial germ cells (PGCs) in silk chicken offspring ( Gallus gallus domesticus)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Zhenming; Li, Zandong

    2011-08-01

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs), precursors of germline cells, display a variety of antigens during their migration to target gonads. Here, we used silk chicken offspring ( Gallus gallus domesticus) embryos subjected to space microgravity to investigate the influence of microgravity on PGCs. The ShenZhou-3 unmanned spaceship carried nine fertilized silk chicken eggs, named the flight group, returned to Earth after 7 days space flight. And the control group has the same clan with the flight group. PGCs from flight and control group silk chicken offspring embryos were examined during migration by using two antibodies (2C9 and anti-SSEA-1), in combination with the horseradish peroxidase detection system, and using periodic acid-Schiff's solution (PAS) reaction. After incubation for about 30 h, SSEA-1 and 2C9 positive cells were detected in the germinal crescent of flight and control group silk chicken offspring embryos. After incubation of eggs for 2-2.5 days, SSEA-1 and 2C9 positive cells were detected in embryonic blood vessels of flight and control group silk chicken offspring embryos. After incubation of eggs for 5.5 days, PGCs in the dorsal mesentery and gonad could also be identified in flight and control group silk chicken offspring embryos by using SSEA-1 and 2C9 antibodies. Based on location and PAS staining, these cells were identified as PGCs. Meanwhile, at the stage of PGCs migration and then becoming established in the germinal ridges, no difference in SSEA-1 or 2C9 staining was detected between female and male PGCs in flight and control group silk chicken offspring embryos. Although there were differences in the profiles of PGC concentration between male and female embryos during the special circulating stage, changing profile of PGCs concentration was similar in same sex between flight and control group offspring embryos. We concluded that there is little effect on PGCs in offspring embryos of microgravity-treated chicken and that PGC development appears

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. dead end, a novel vertebrate germ plasm component, is required for zebrafish primordial germ cell migration and survival.

    PubMed

    Weidinger, Gilbert; Stebler, Jürg; Slanchev, Krasimir; Dumstrei, Karin; Wise, Clare; Lovell-Badge, Robin; Thisse, Christine; Thisse, Bernard; Raz, Erez

    2003-08-19

    In most animals, primordial germ cell (PGC) specification and development depend on maternally provided cytoplasmic determinants that constitute the so-called germ plasm. Little is known about the role of germ plasm in vertebrate germ cell development, and its molecular mode of action remains elusive. While PGC specification in mammals occurs via different mechanisms, several germ plasm components required for early PGC development in lower organisms are expressed in mammalian germ cells after their migration to the gonad and are involved in gametogenesis. Here we show that the RNA of dead end, encoding a novel putative RNA binding protein, is a component of the germ plasm in zebrafish and is specifically expressed in PGCs throughout embryogenesis; Dead End protein is localized to perinuclear germ granules within PGCs. Knockdown of dead end blocks confinement of PGCs to the deep blastoderm shortly after their specification and results in failure of PGCs to exhibit motile behavior and to actively migrate thereafter. PGCs subsequently die, while somatic development is not effected. We have identified dead end orthologs in other vertebrates including Xenopus, mouse, and chick, where they are expressed in germ plasm and germ-line cells, suggesting a role in germ-line development in these organisms as well. PMID:12932328

  5. 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

  6. 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

  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. 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

  9. Development without germ cells: the role of the germ line in zebrafish sex differentiation.

    PubMed

    Slanchev, Krasimir; Stebler, Jürg; de la Cueva-Méndez, Guillermo; Raz, Erez

    2005-03-15

    The progenitors of the gametes, the primordial germ cells (PGCs) are typically specified early in the development in positions, which are distinct from the gonad. These cells then migrate toward the gonad where they differentiate into sperms and eggs. Here, we study the role of the germ cells in somatic development and particularly the role of the germ line in the sex differentiation in zebrafish. To this end, we ablated the germ cells using two independent methods and followed the development of the experimental fish. First, PGCs were ablated by knocking down the function of dead end, a gene important for the survival of this lineage. Second, a method to eliminate the PGCs using the toxin-antitoxin components of the parD bacterial genetic system was used. Specifically, we expressed a bacterial toxin Kid preferentially in the PGCs and at the same time protected somatic cells by uniformly expressing the specific antidote Kis. Our results demonstrate an unexpected role for the germ line in promoting female development because PGC-ablated fish invariably developed as males. PMID:15728735

  10. Development without germ cells: The role of the germ line in zebrafish sex differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Slanchev, Krasimir; Stebler, Jürg; de la Cueva-Méndez, Guillermo; Raz, Erez

    2005-01-01

    The progenitors of the gametes, the primordial germ cells (PGCs) are typically specified early in the development in positions, which are distinct from the gonad. These cells then migrate toward the gonad where they differentiate into sperms and eggs. Here, we study the role of the germ cells in somatic development and particularly the role of the germ line in the sex differentiation in zebrafish. To this end, we ablated the germ cells using two independent methods and followed the development of the experimental fish. First, PGCs were ablated by knocking down the function of dead end, a gene important for the survival of this lineage. Second, a method to eliminate the PGCs using the toxin–antitoxin components of the parD bacterial genetic system was used. Specifically, we expressed a bacterial toxin Kid preferentially in the PGCs and at the same time protected somatic cells by uniformly expressing the specific antidote Kis. Our results demonstrate an unexpected role for the germ line in promoting female development because PGC-ablated fish invariably developed as males. PMID:15728735

  11. The majority of early primordial germ cells acquire pluripotency by AKT activation.

    PubMed

    Matsui, Yasuhisa; Takehara, Asuka; Tokitake, Yuko; Ikeda, Makiko; Obara, Yuka; Morita-Fujimura, Yuiko; Kimura, Tohru; Nakano, Toru

    2014-12-01

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are undifferentiated germ cells in embryos, the fate of which is to become gametes; however, mouse PGCs can easily be reprogrammed into pluripotent embryonic germ cells (EGCs) in culture in the presence of particular extracellular factors, such as combinations of Steel factor (KITL), LIF and bFGF (FGF2). Early PGCs form EGCs more readily than do later PGCs, and PGCs lose the ability to form EGCs by embryonic day (E) 15.5. Here, we examined the effects of activation of the serine/threonine kinase AKT in PGCs during EGC formation; notably, AKT activation, in combination with LIF and bFGF, enhanced EGC formation and caused ∼60% of E10.5 PGCs to become EGCs. The results indicate that the majority of PGCs at E10.5 could acquire pluripotency with an activated AKT signaling pathway. Importantly, AKT activation did not fully substitute for bFGF and LIF, and AKT activation without both LIF and bFGF did not result in EGC formation. These findings indicate that AKT signal enhances and/or collaborates with signaling pathways of bFGF and of LIF in PGCs for the acquisition of pluripotency. PMID:25359722

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Restricted distribution of mrg-1 mRNA in C. elegans primordial germ cells through germ granule-independent regulation.

    PubMed

    Miwa, Takashi; Takasaki, Teruaki; Inoue, Kunio; Sakamoto, Hiroshi

    2015-11-01

    The chromodomain protein MRG-1 is an essential maternal factor for proper germline development that protects germ cells from cell death in C. elegans. Unlike germ granules, which are exclusively segregated to the germline blastomeres at each cell division from the first cleavage of the embryo, MRG-1 is abundant in all cells in early embryos and is then gradually restricted to the primordial germ cells (PGCs) by the morphogenesis stage. Here, we show that this characteristic spatiotemporal expression pattern is dictated by the mrg-1 3'UTR and is differentially regulated at the RNA level between germline and somatic cells. Asymmetric segregation of germ granules is not necessary to localize MRG-1 to the PGCs. We found that MES-4, an essential chromatin regulator in germ cells, also accumulates in the PGCs in a germ granule-independent manner. We propose that C.elegans PGCs have a novel mechanism to accumulate at least some chromatin-associated proteins that are essential for germline immortality. PMID:26537333

  17. 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

  18. Dnd Is a Critical Specifier of Primordial Germ Cells in the Medaka Fish.

    PubMed

    Hong, Ni; Li, Mingyou; Yuan, Yongming; Wang, Tiansu; Yi, Meisheng; Xu, Hongyan; Zeng, Huaqiang; Song, Jianxing; Hong, Yunhan

    2016-03-01

    Primordial germ cell (PGC) specification occurs early in development. PGC specifiers have been identified in Drosophila, mouse, and human but remained elusive in most animals. Here we identify the RNA-binding protein Dnd as a critical PGC specifier in the medaka fish (Oryzias latipes). Dnd depletion specifically abolished PGCs, and its overexpression boosted PGCs. We established a single-cell culture procedure enabling lineage tracing in vitro. We show that individual blastomeres from cleavage embryos at the 32- and 64-cell stages are capable of PGC production in culture. Importantly, Dnd overexpression increases PGCs via increasing PGC precursors. Strikingly, dnd RNA forms prominent particles that segregate asymmetrically. Dnd concentrates in germ plasm and stabilizes germ plasm RNA. Therefore, Dnd is a critical specifier of fish PGCs and utilizes particle partition as a previously unidentified mechanism for asymmetric segregation. These findings offer insights into PGC specification and manipulation in medaka as a lower vertebrate model. PMID:26852942

  19. Dnd Is a Critical Specifier of Primordial Germ Cells in the Medaka Fish

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Ni; Li, Mingyou; Yuan, Yongming; Wang, Tiansu; Yi, Meisheng; Xu, Hongyan; Zeng, Huaqiang; Song, Jianxing; Hong, Yunhan

    2016-01-01

    Summary Primordial germ cell (PGC) specification occurs early in development. PGC specifiers have been identified in Drosophila, mouse, and human but remained elusive in most animals. Here we identify the RNA-binding protein Dnd as a critical PGC specifier in the medaka fish (Oryzias latipes). Dnd depletion specifically abolished PGCs, and its overexpression boosted PGCs. We established a single-cell culture procedure enabling lineage tracing in vitro. We show that individual blastomeres from cleavage embryos at the 32- and 64-cell stages are capable of PGC production in culture. Importantly, Dnd overexpression increases PGCs via increasing PGC precursors. Strikingly, dnd RNA forms prominent particles that segregate asymmetrically. Dnd concentrates in germ plasm and stabilizes germ plasm RNA. Therefore, Dnd is a critical specifier of fish PGCs and utilizes particle partition as a previously unidentified mechanism for asymmetric segregation. These findings offer insights into PGC specification and manipulation in medaka as a lower vertebrate model. PMID:26852942

  20. An E-cadherin-mediated hitchhiking mechanism for C. elegans germ cell internalization during gastrulation

    PubMed Central

    Chihara, Daisuke; Nance, Jeremy

    2012-01-01

    Gastrulation movements place endodermal precursors, mesodermal precursors and primordial germ cells (PGCs) into the interior of the embryo. Somatic cell gastrulation movements are regulated by transcription factors that also control cell fate, coupling cell identity and position. By contrast, PGCs in many species are transcriptionally quiescent, suggesting that they might use alternative gastrulation strategies. Here, we show that C. elegans PGCs internalize by attaching to internal endodermal cells, which undergo morphogenetic movements that pull the PGCs into the embryo. We show that PGCs enrich HMR-1/E-cadherin at their surfaces to stick to endoderm. HMR-1 expression in PGCs is necessary and sufficient to ensure internalization, suggesting that HMR-1 can promote PGC-endoderm adhesion through a mechanism other than homotypic trans interactions between the two cell groups. Finally, we demonstrate that the hmr-1 3′ untranslated region promotes increased HMR-1 translation in PGCs. Our findings reveal that quiescent PGCs employ a post-transcriptionally regulated hitchhiking mechanism to internalize during gastrulation, and demonstrate a morphogenetic role for the conserved association of PGCs with the endoderm. PMID:22675206

  1. Differential Expression of Conserved Germ Line Markers and Delayed Segregation of Male and Female Primordial Germ Cells in a Hermaphrodite, the Leech Helobdella

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Sung-Jin; Vallès, Yvonne; Weisblat, David A.

    2014-01-01

    In sexually reproducing animals, primordial germ cells (PGCs) are often set aside early in embryogenesis, a strategy that minimizes the risk of genomic damage associated with replication and mitosis during the cell cycle. Here, we have used germ line markers (piwi, vasa, and nanos) and microinjected cell lineage tracers to show that PGC specification in the leech genus Helobdella follows a different scenario: in this hermaphrodite, the male and female PGCs segregate from somatic lineages only after more than 20 rounds of zygotic mitosis; the male and female PGCs share the same (mesodermal) cell lineage for 19 rounds of zygotic mitosis. Moreover, while all three markers are expressed in both male and female reproductive tissues of the adult, they are expressed differentially between the male and female PGCs of the developing embryo: piwi and vasa are expressed preferentially in female PGCs at a time when nanos is expressed preferentially in male PGCs. A priori, the delayed segregation of male and female PGCs from somatic tissues and from one another increases the probability of mutations affecting both male and female PGCs of a given individual. We speculate that this suite of features, combined with a capacity for self-fertilization, may contribute to the dramatically rearranged genome of Helobdella robusta relative to other animals. PMID:24217283

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  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. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Derivation of Primordial germ cells from Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells is significantly improved by co-culture with human fetal gonadal cells

    PubMed Central

    Park, Tae Sub; Galic, Zoran; Conway, Anne E.; Lindgren, Anne; Van Handel, Benjamin J.; Magnusson, Mattias; Richter, Laura; Teitell, Michael A.; Mikkola, Hanna K.A; Lowry, William E.; Plath, Kathrin; Clark, Amander T

    2012-01-01

    The derivation of germ cells from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) or human induced pluripotent stem (hIPS) cells represents a desirable experimental model and potential strategy for treating infertility. In the current study we developed a triple biomarker assay for identifying and isolating human primordial germ cells (PGCs) by first evaluating human PGC formation during the first trimester in vivo. Next, we applied this technology to characterizing in vitro derived PGCs (iPGCs) from pluripotent cells. Our results show that co-differentiation of hESCs on human fetal gonadal stromal cells significantly improves the efficiency of generating iPGCs. Furthermore, the efficiency was comparable between various pluripotent cell lines regardless of origin from the inner cell mass of human blastocysts (hESCs), or reprogramming of human skin fibroblasts (hIPS). In order to better characterize the iPGCs we performed Real time PCR, microarray and bisulfite sequencing. Our results show that iPGCs at day 7 of differentiation are transcriptionally distinct from the somatic cells, expressing genes associated with pluripotency and germ cell development while repressing genes associated with somatic differentiation (specifically multiple HOX genes). Using bisulfite sequencing, we show that iPGCs initiate imprint erasure from differentially methylated imprinted regions by day 7 of differentiation. However, iPGCs derived from hIPS cells do not initiate imprint erasure as efficiently. In conclusion, our results indicate that triple positive iPGCs derived from pluripotent cells differentiated on hFGS cells correspond to committed first trimester germ cells (before 9 weeks) that have initiated the process of imprint erasure. PMID:19350678

  10. 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

  11. Compensatory proliferation of endogenous chicken primordial germ cells after elimination by busulfan treatment

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are the major population of cells in the developing bilateral embryonic gonads. Little is known about the cellular responses of PGCs after treatment with toxic chemicals such as busulfan during embryo development. In this study, we investigated the elimination, restorative ability, and cell cycle status of endogenous chicken PGCs after busulfan treatment. Methods Busulfan was emulsified in sesame oil by a dispersion-emulsifying system and injected into the chick blastoderm (embryonic stage X). Subsequently, we conducted flow cytometry analysis to evaluate changes in the PGC population and cell cycle status, and immunohistochemistry to examine the germ cell proliferation. Results Results of flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry analyses after busulfan treatment showed that the proportion of male PGCs at embryonic day 9 and female PGCs at embryonic day 7 were increased by approximately 60% when compared with embryonic day 5.5. This result suggests the existence of a compensatory mechanism in PGCs in response to the cytotoxic effects of busulfan. Results of cell cycling analysis showed that the germ cells in the G0/G1 phase were significantly decreased, while S/G2/M-phase germ cells were significantly increased in the treatment group compared with the untreated control group in both 9-day-old male and female embryos. In addition, in the proliferation analysis with 5-ethynyl-2′-deoxyuridine (EdU) incorporation, we found that the proportion of EdU-positive cells among VASA homolog-positive cells in the 9-day embryonic gonads of the busulfan-treated group was significantly higher than in the control group. Conclusions We conclude that PGCs enter a restoration pathway by promoting their cell cycle after experiencing a cytotoxic effect. PMID:24405696

  12. 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

  13. Pluripotent stem cells derived from mouse primordial germ cells by small molecule compounds.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Tohru; Kaga, Yoshiaki; Sekita, Yoichi; Fujikawa, Keita; Nakatani, Tsunetoshi; Odamoto, Mika; Funaki, Soichiro; Ikawa, Masahito; Abe, Kuniya; Nakano, Toru

    2015-01-01

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs) can give rise to pluripotent stem cells known as embryonic germ cells (EGCs) when cultured with basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), stem cell factor (SCF), and leukemia inhibitory factor. Somatic cells can give rise to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by introduction of the reprogramming transcription factors Oct4, Sox2, and Klf4. The effects of Sox2 and Klf4 on somatic cell reprogramming can be reproduced using the small molecule compounds, transforming growth factor-β receptor (TGFβR) inhibitor and Kempaullone, respectively. Here we examined the effects of TGFβR inhibitor and Kempaullone on EGC derivation from PGCs. Treatment of PGCs with TGFβR inhibitor and/or Kempaullone generated pluripotent stem cells under standard embryonic stem cell (ESC) culture conditions without bFGF and SCF, which we termed induced EGCs (iEGCs). The derivation efficiency of iEGCs was dependent on the differentiation stage and sex. DNA methylation levels of imprinted genes in iEGCs were reduced, with the exception of the H19 gene. The promoters of genes involved in germline development were generally hypomethylated in PGCs, but three germline genes showed comparable DNA methylation levels among iEGs, ESCs, and iPSCs. These results show that PGCs can be reprogrammed into pluripotent state using small molecule compounds, and that DNA methylation of these germline genes is not maintained in iEGCs. PMID:25186651

  14. The ability of mouse nuclear transfer embryonic stem cells to differentiate into primordial germ cells

    PubMed Central

    Mansouri, Vahid; Salehi, Mohammad; Nourozian, Mohsen; Fadaei, Fatemeh; Farahani, Reza Mastery; Piryaei, Abbas; Delbari, Ali

    2015-01-01

    Nuclear transfer embryonic stem cells (ntESCs) show stem cell characteristics such as pluripotency but cause no immunological disorders. Although ntESCs are able to differentiate into somatic cells, the ability of ntESCs to differentiate into primordial germ cells (PGCs) has not been examined. In this work, we examined the capacity of mouse ntESCs to differentiate into PGCs in vitro. ntESCs aggregated to form embryoid bodies (EB) in EB culture medium supplemented with bone morphogenetic protein 4(BMP4) as the differentiation factor. The expression level of specific PGC genes was compared at days 4 and 8 using real time PCR. Flow cytometry and immunocytochemical staining were used to detect Mvh as a specific PGC marker. ntESCs expressed particular genes related to different stages of PGC development. Flow cytometry and immunocytochemical staining confirmed the presence of Mvh protein in a small number of cells. There were significant differences between cells that differentiated into PGCs in the group treated with Bmp4 compared to non-treated cells. These findings indicate that ntESCs can differentiate into putative PGCs. Improvement of ntESC differentiation into PGCs may be a reliable means of producing mature germ cells. PMID:26273226

  15. Stochastic specification of primordial germ cells from mesoderm precursors in axolotl embryos.

    PubMed

    Chatfield, Jodie; O'Reilly, Marie-Anne; Bachvarova, Rosemary F; Ferjentsik, Zoltan; Redwood, Catherine; Walmsley, Maggie; Patient, Roger; Loose, Mathew; Johnson, Andrew D

    2014-06-01

    A common feature of development in most vertebrate models is the early segregation of the germ line from the soma. For example, in Xenopus and zebrafish embryos primordial germ cells (PGCs) are specified by germ plasm that is inherited from the egg; in mice, Blimp1 expression in the epiblast mediates the commitment of cells to the germ line. How these disparate mechanisms of PGC specification evolved is unknown. Here, in order to identify the ancestral mechanism of PGC specification in vertebrates, we studied PGC specification in embryos from the axolotl (Mexican salamander), a model for the tetrapod ancestor. In the axolotl, PGCs develop within mesoderm, and classic studies have reported their induction from primitive ectoderm (animal cap). We used an axolotl animal cap system to demonstrate that signalling through FGF and BMP4 induces PGCs. The role of FGF was then confirmed in vivo. We also showed PGC induction by Brachyury, in the presence of BMP4. These conditions induced pluripotent mesodermal precursors that give rise to a variety of somatic cell types, in addition to PGCs. Irreversible restriction of the germ line did not occur until the mid-tailbud stage, days after the somatic germ layers are established. Before this, germline potential was maintained by MAP kinase signalling. We propose that this stochastic mechanism of PGC specification, from mesodermal precursors, is conserved in vertebrates. PMID:24917499

  16. Chicken stem cell factor enhances primordial germ cell proliferation cooperatively with fibroblast growth factor 2

    PubMed Central

    MIYAHARA, Daichi; OISHI, Isao; MAKINO, Ryuichi; KURUMISAWA, Nozomi; NAKAYA, Ryuma; ONO, Tamao; KAGAMI, Hiroshi; TAGAMI, Takahiro

    2015-01-01

    An in vitro culture system of chicken primordial germ cells (PGCs) has been recently developed, but the growth factor involved in the proliferation of PGCs is largely unknown. In the present study, we investigated the growth effects of chicken stem cell factor (chSCF) on the in vitro proliferation of chicken PGCs. We established two feeder cell lines (buffalo rat liver cells; BRL cells) that stably express the putative secreted form of chSCF (chSCF1-BRL) and membrane bound form of chSCF (chSCF2-BRL). Cultured PGC lines were incubated on chSCF1 or chSCF2-BRL feeder cells with fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2), and growth effects of each chSCF isoform were investigated. The in vitro proliferation rate of the PGCs cultured on chSCF2-BRL at 20 days of culture was more than threefold higher than those cultured on chSCF1-BRL cells and more than fivefold higher than those cultured on normal BRL cells. Thus, use of chSCF2-BRL feeder layer was effective for in vitro proliferation of chicken PGCs. However, the acceleration of PGC proliferation on chSCF2-BRL was not observed without FGF2, suggesting that chSCF2 would act as a proliferation co-factor of FGF2. We transferred the PGCs cultured on chSCF2-BRL cells to recipient embryos, generated germline chimeric chickens and assessed the germline competency of cultured PGCs by progeny test. Donor-derived progenies were obtained, and the frequency of germline transmission was 3.39%. The results of this study demonstrate that chSCF2 induces hyperproliferation of chicken PGCs retaining germline competency in vitro in cooperation with FGF2. PMID:26727404

  17. Novel technique for visualizing primordial germ cells in sturgeons (Acipenser ruthenus, A. gueldenstaedtii, A. baerii, and Huso huso).

    PubMed

    Saito, Taiju; Psenicka, Martin

    2015-10-01

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are the origin of all germ cells in developing embryos. In the sturgeon embryo, PGCs develop from the vegetal hemisphere, which mainly acts as an extraembryonic source of nutrition. Current methods for studying sturgeon PGCs require either killing the fish or using costly and time-consuming histological procedures. Here, we demonstrate that visualization of sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus>) PGCs in vivo is feasible by simply labeling the vegetal hemisphere with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-dextran. We injected FITC-dextrans, with molecular weights varying between 10 000 and 2 000 000, into the vegetal pole of 1- to 4-cell stage embryos. At the neurula to tail-bud developmental stages, FITC-positive PGC-like cells appeared ventrally around the developing tail bud in the experimental group that received a high-molecular-weight FITC-dextran. The highest average number of FITC-positive PGC-like cells was observed in embryos injected with FITC-dextran having a molecular weight of 500 000 (FD-500). The pattern of migration of the labeled cells was identical to that of PGCs, clearly indicating that the FITC-positive PGC-like cells were PGCs. Labeled vegetal cells, except for the PGCs, were digested and excreted before the embryos starting feeding. FITC-labeled PGCs were observed in the developing gonads of fish for at least 3 mo after injection. We also found that FD-500 could be used to visualize PGCs in other sturgeon species. To the best of our knowledge, this report is the first to demonstrate in any animal species that PGCs can be visualized in vivo for a long period by the injection of a simple reagent. PMID:26134864

  18. Migratory and adhesive properties of Xenopus laevis primordial germ cells in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Dzementsei, Aliaksandr; Schneider, David; Janshoff, Andreas; Pieler, Tomas

    2013-01-01

    Summary The directional migration of primordial germ cells (PGCs) to the site of gonad formation is an advantageous model system to study cell motility. The embryonic development of PGCs has been investigated in different animal species, including mice, zebrafish, Xenopus and Drosophila. In this study we focus on the physical properties of Xenopus laevis PGCs during their transition from the passive to the active migratory state. Pre-migratory PGCs from Xenopus laevis embryos at developmental stages 17–19 to be compared with migratory PGCs from stages 28–30 were isolated and characterized in respect to motility and adhesive properties. Using single-cell force spectroscopy, we observed a decline in adhesiveness of PGCs upon reaching the migratory state, as defined by decreased attachment to extracellular matrix components like fibronectin, and a reduced adhesion to somatic endodermal cells. Data obtained from qPCR analysis with isolated PGCs reveal that down-regulation of E-cadherin might contribute to this weakening of cell-cell adhesion. Interestingly, however, using an in vitro migration assay, we found that movement of X. laevis PGCs can also occur independently of specific interactions with their neighboring cells. The reduction of cellular adhesion during PGC development is accompanied by enhanced cellular motility, as reflected in increased formation of bleb-like protrusions and inferred from electric cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) as well as time-lapse image analysis. Temporal alterations in cell shape, including contraction and expansion of the cellular body, reveal a higher degree of cellular dynamics for the migratory PGCs in vitro. PMID:24285703

  19. Single cell analysis facilitates staging of Blimp1-dependent primordial germ cells derived from mouse embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Vincent, John J; Li, Ziwei; Lee, Serena A; Liu, Xian; Etter, Marisabel O; Diaz-Perez, Silvia V; Taylor, Sara K; Gkountela, Sofia; Lindgren, Anne G; Clark, Amander T

    2011-01-01

    The cell intrinsic programming that regulates mammalian primordial germ cell (PGC) development in the pre-gonadal stage is challenging to investigate. To overcome this we created a transgene-free method for generating PGCs in vitro (iPGCs) from mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Using labeling for SSEA1 and cKit, two cell surface molecules used previously to isolate presumptive iPGCs, we show that not all SSEA1+/cKit+ double positive cells exhibit a PGC identity. Instead, we determined that selecting for cKit(bright) cells within the SSEA1+ fraction significantly enriches for the putative iPGC population. Single cell analysis comparing SSEA1+/cKit(bright) iPGCs to ESCs and embryonic PGCs demonstrates that 97% of single iPGCs co-express PGC signature genes Blimp1, Stella, Dnd1, Prdm14 and Dazl at similar levels to e9.5-10.5 PGCs, whereas 90% of single mouse ESC do not co-express PGC signature genes. For the 10% of ESCs that co-express PGC signature genes, the levels are significantly lower than iPGCs. Microarray analysis shows that iPGCs are transcriptionally distinct from ESCs and repress gene ontology groups associated with mesoderm and heart development. At the level of chromatin, iPGCs contain 5-methyl cytosine bases in their DNA at imprinted and non-imprinted loci, and are enriched in histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation, yet do not have detectable levels of Mvh protein, consistent with a Blimp1-positive pre-gonadal PGC identity. In order to determine whether iPGC formation is dependent upon Blimp1, we generated Blimp1 null ESCs and found that loss of Blimp1 significantly depletes SSEA1/cKit(bright) iPGCs. Taken together, the generation of Blimp1-positive iPGCs from ESCs constitutes a robust model for examining cell-intrinsic regulation of PGCs during the Blimp1-positive stage of development. PMID:22194959

  20. Tracing of Xenopus tropicalis germ plasm and presumptive primordial germ cells with the Xenopus tropicalis DAZ-like gene.

    PubMed

    Sekizaki, Hiroyuki; Takahashi, Shuji; Tanegashima, Kousuke; Onuma, Yasuko; Haramoto, Yoshikazu; Asashima, Makoto

    2004-02-01

    A gamete is derived initially from a presumptive primordial germ cell (pPGC) and transmits genetic potential to the next generation. Xenopus tropicalis, which is a close relative of Xenopus laevis, has a diploid genome and advantages for genetic and genomic research; however, little is known about the developmental mechanism of its germinal lineage. Here, we identified the Xenopus tropicalis DAZ-like gene (Xtdazl), which encodes RNA-binding proteins homologous to Xdazl in Xenopus laevis and examined the expression patterns of Xtdazl transcripts during embryogenesis. In this work, we showed that Xtdazl mRNA was localized in the germ plasm and was expressed from the previtellogenic oocyte to early tadpole, in testis and ovary. The same localization patterns have been reported in Xenopus laevis germ plasm and pPGCs. These results indicate that Xtdazl mRNA is the first specific marker of germ plasm and pPGCs in Xenopus tropicalis and is very useful to trace Xenopus tropicalis pPGCs, including germ plasm until the early tadpole stage. PMID:14745962

  1. 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

  2. Primordial germ cells: the first cell lineage or the last cells standing?

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Andrew D.; Alberio, Ramiro

    2015-01-01

    Embryos of many animal models express germ line determinants that suppress transcription and mediate early germ line commitment, which occurs before the somatic cell lineages are established. However, not all animals segregate their germ line in this manner. The ‘last cell standing’ model describes primordial germ cell (PGC) development in axolotls, in which PGCs are maintained by an extracellular signalling niche, and germ line commitment occurs after gastrulation. Here, we propose that this ‘stochastic’ mode of PGC specification is conserved in vertebrates, including non-rodent mammals. We postulate that early germ line segregation liberates genetic regulatory networks for somatic development to evolve, and that it therefore emerged repeatedly in the animal kingdom in response to natural selection. PMID:26286941

  3. Primordial germ cells: the first cell lineage or the last cells standing?

    PubMed

    Johnson, Andrew D; Alberio, Ramiro

    2015-08-15

    Embryos of many animal models express germ line determinants that suppress transcription and mediate early germ line commitment, which occurs before the somatic cell lineages are established. However, not all animals segregate their germ line in this manner. The 'last cell standing' model describes primordial germ cell (PGC) development in axolotls, in which PGCs are maintained by an extracellular signalling niche, and germ line commitment occurs after gastrulation. Here, we propose that this 'stochastic' mode of PGC specification is conserved in vertebrates, including non-rodent mammals. We postulate that early germ line segregation liberates genetic regulatory networks for somatic development to evolve, and that it therefore emerged repeatedly in the animal kingdom in response to natural selection. PMID:26286941

  4. Guidance of primordial germ cell migration by the chemokine SDF-1.

    PubMed

    Doitsidou, Maria; Reichman-Fried, Michal; Stebler, Jürg; Köprunner, Marion; Dörries, Julia; Meyer, Dirk; Esguerra, Camila V; Leung, TinChung; Raz, Erez

    2002-11-27

    The signals directing primordial germ cell (PGC) migration in vertebrates are largely unknown. We demonstrate that sdf-1 mRNA is expressed in locations where PGCs are found and toward which they migrate in wild-type as well as in mutant embryos in which PGC migration is abnormal. Knocking down SDF-1 or its receptor CXCR4 results in severe defects in PGC migration. Specifically, PGCs that do not receive the SDF-1 signal exhibit lack of directional movement toward their target and arrive at ectopic positions within the embryo. Finally, we show that the PGCs can be attracted toward an ectopic source of the chemokine, strongly suggesting that this molecule provides a key directional cue for the PGCs. PMID:12464177

  5. 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

  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. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Germline development in amniotes: A paradigm shift in primordial germ cell specification.

    PubMed

    Bertocchini, Federica; Chuva de Sousa Lopes, Susana M

    2016-08-01

    In the field of germline development in amniote vertebrates, primordial germ cell (PGC) specification in birds and reptiles remains controversial. Avians are believed to adopt a predetermination or maternal specification mode of PGC formation, contrary to an inductive mode employed by mammals and, supposedly, reptiles. Here, we revisit and review some key aspects of PGC development that channelled the current subdivision, and challenge the position of birds and reptiles as well as the 'binary' evolutionary model of PGC development in vertebrates. We propose an alternative view on PGC specification where germ plasm plays a role in laying the foundation for the formation of PGC precursors (pPGC), but not necessarily of PGCs. Moreover, inductive mechanisms may be necessary for the transition from pPGCs to PGCs. Within this framework, the implementation of data from birds and reptiles could provide new insights on the evolution of PGC specification in amniotes. PMID:27273724

  11. 17β-Estradiol induces supernumerary primordial germ cells in embryos of the polychaete Platynereis dumerilii.

    PubMed

    Lidke, Anika K; Bannister, Stephanie; Löwer, Andreas M; Apel, David M; Podleschny, Martina; Kollmann, Martin; Ackermann, Christian F; García-Alonso, Javier; Raible, Florian; Rebscher, Nicole

    2014-01-15

    In the polychaete Platynereis dumerilii exactly four primordial germ cells (PGCs) arise in early development and are subject to a transient mitotic arrest until the animals enter gametogenesis. In order to unravel the mechanisms controlling the number of PGCs in Platynereis, we tested whether the steroid 17β-estradiol (E2) is able to induce PGC proliferation, as it had been described in other species. Our data provide strong support for such a mechanism, showing that E2 significantly increases the occurrence of larvae with supernumerary PGCs in Platynereis in a dose dependent manner. E2 responsiveness is restricted to early developmental stages, when the PGCs are specified. During these stages, embryos exhibit high expression levels of the estradiol receptor (ER). The ER transcript localizes to the yolk-free cytoplasm of unfertilized eggs and segregates into the micromeres during cleavage stages. Nuclear ER protein is found asymmetrically distributed between daughter cells. Neither transcript nor protein is detectable in PGCs at larval stages. Addition of the specific estradiol receptor inhibitor ICI-182,780 (ICI) abolishes the proliferative effect of E2, suggesting that it is mediated by ER signaling. Our study reports for the first time an ER mediated proliferative effect of E2 on PGCs in an invertebrate organism. PMID:24287341

  12. Hidden in the crowd: primordial germ cells and somatic stem cells in the mesodermal posterior growth zone of the polychaete Platynereis dumerillii are two distinct cell populations

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background In the polychaete Platynereis, the primordial germ cells (PGCs) emerge from the vasa, piwi, and PL10 expressing mesodermal posterior growth zone (MPGZ) at the end of larval development, suggesting a post-embryonic formation from stem cells. Methods In order to verify this hypothesis, embryos and larvae were pulse labeled with the proliferation marker 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (EdU) at different stages of development. Subsequently, the PGCs were visualized in 7-day-old young worms using antibodies against the Vasa protein. Results Surprisingly, the primordial germ cells of Platynereis incorporate EdU only shortly before gastrulation (6-8 hours post fertilization (hpf)), which coincides with the emergence of four small blastomeres from the mesoblast lineage. We conclude that these so-called 'secondary mesoblast cells' constitute the definitive PGCs in Platynereis. In contrast, the cells of the MPGZ incorporate EdU only from the pre-trochophore stage onward (14 hpf). Conclusion While PGCs and the cells of the MPGZ in Platynereis are indistinguishable in morphology and both express the germline markers vasa, nanos, and piwi, a distinct cluster of PGCs is detectable anterior of the MPGZ following EdU pulse-labeling. Indeed the PGCs form independently from the stem cells of the MPGZ prior to gastrulation. Our data suggest an early PGC formation in the polychaete by preformation rather than by epigenesis. PMID:22512981

  13. The migrations of Drosophila muscle founders and primordial germ cells are interdependent.

    PubMed

    Stepanik, Vincent; Dunipace, Leslie; Bae, Young-Kyung; Macabenta, Frank; Sun, Jingjing; Trisnadi, Nathanie; Stathopoulos, Angelike

    2016-09-01

    Caudal visceral mesoderm (CVM) cells migrate from posterior to anterior of the Drosophila embryo as two bilateral streams of cells to support the specification of longitudinal muscles along the midgut. To accomplish this long-distance migration, CVM cells receive input from their environment, but little is known about how this collective cell migration is regulated. In a screen we found that wunen mutants exhibit CVM cell migration defects. Wunens are lipid phosphate phosphatases known to regulate the directional migration of primordial germ cells (PGCs). PGC and CVM cell types interact while PGCs are en route to the somatic gonadal mesoderm, and previous studies have shown that CVM impacts PGC migration. In turn, we found here that CVM cells exhibit an affinity for PGCs, localizing to the position of PGCs whether mislocalized or trapped in the endoderm. In the absence of PGCs, CVM cells exhibit subtle changes, including more cohesive movement of the migrating collective, and an increased number of longitudinal muscles is found at anterior sections of the larval midgut. These data demonstrate that PGC and CVM cell migrations are interdependent and suggest that distinct migrating cell types can coordinately influence each other to promote effective cell migration during development. PMID:27578182

  14. Obtaining chicken primordial germ cells used for gene transfer: in vitro and in vivo results.

    PubMed

    Chojnacka-Puchta, Luiza; Sawicka, Dorota; Lakota, Paweł; Plucienniczak, Grazyna; Bednarczyk, Marek; Plucienniczak, Andrzej

    2015-11-01

    Recently, several attempts have been made to create a generation of transgenic chickens via chimeric intermediates produced by primordial germ cells (PGCs) transfer. This study aimed to compare the influences of different chicken PGCs isolated from circulating blood (bPGCs) or gonads (gPGCs), purification (ACK, Percoll or trypsin) and transfection methods (electroporation or lipofection) on the expression of transgenes in vitro and the migration of modified donor cells to the recipient gonads. The highest average frequency of pEGFP-N1 plasmid-transfected bPGCs (75.8%) was achieved with Percoll density gradient centrifugation and electroporation. After ammonium chloride-potassium (ACK) treatment and lipofection, in vitro transgene expression was only detected in 35.2% of bPGCs. Chimeric chickens were produced from these purified, transfected and cultured cells, and the transgene was detected in the gonads of 44 and 42% of the recipient embryos that had been injected with bPGCs and gPGCs, respectively. These data confirmed that the combination of PGC purification via Percoll centrifugation and electroporation was an effective method for producing transgenic chickens. Subsequently, we used this method with expression vectors for gene hIFNα 2a/hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg) under the control of the ovalbumin promoter to generate G0 transgenic chickens. Consequently, we observed that 4.9% of the hens and 3.5% of the roosters carried the hIFNα 2a gene, whereas 16.7% of the hens and 2.4% of the roosters carried the HBsAg gene, thus undisputedly confirming the exceptional effectiveness of the applied methods. PMID:25737138

  15. 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 ...

  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. 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

  18. 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

  19. Primordial germ cells in an oligochaete annelid are specified according to the birth rank order in the mesodermal teloblast lineage.

    PubMed

    Kato, Yukie; Nakamoto, Ayaki; Shiomi, Inori; Nakao, Hajime; Shimizu, Takashi

    2013-07-15

    The primordial germ cells (PGCs) in the oligochaete annelid Tubifex tubifex are descentants of the mesodermal (M) teloblast and are located in the two midbody segments X and XI in which they serve as germline precursors forming the testicular gonad and the ovarian gonad, respectively. During embryogenesis, vasa-expressing cells (termed presumptive PGCs or pre-PGCs) emerge in a variable set of midbody segments including the genital segments (X and XI); at the end of embryogenesis, pre-PGCs are confined to the genital segments, where they become PGCs in the juvenile. Here, using live imaging of pre-PGCs, we have demonstrated that during Tubifex embryogenesis, pre-PGCs (defined by Vasa expression) stay in segments where they have emerged, suggesting that it is unlikely that pre-PGCs move intersegmentally during embryogenesis. Thus, it is apparent that pre-PGCs derived from the 10th and 11th M teloblast-derived primary m blast cells (designated m10 and m11) that give rise, respectively, to segments X and XI are specified in situ as PGCs and that those born in other segments become undetectable at the end of embryogenesis. To address the mechanisms for this segment-specific development of PGCs, we have performed a set of cell-transplantation experiments as well as cell-ablation experiments. When m10 and m11 that are normally located in the mid region of the embryo were placed in positions near the anterior end of the host embryo, these cells formed two consecutive segments, which exhibited Vasa-positive PGC-like cells at early juvenile stage. This suggests that in terms of PGC generation, the fates of m10 and m11 remain unchanged even if they are placed in ectopic positions along the anteroposterior axis. Nor was the fate of m10 and m11 changed even if mesodermal blast cell chains preceding or succeeding m10 and m11 were absent. In a previous study, it was shown that PGC development in segments X and XI occurs normally in the absence of the overlying ectoderm. All this

  20. Expression of low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 (Lrp4) gene in the mouse germ cells.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, Yasuka L; Tanaka, Satomi S; Kasa, Miyuki; Yasuda, Kunio; Tam, Patrick P L; Matsui, Yasuhisa

    2006-08-01

    The low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 gene (Lrp4) was identified by subtractive screening of cDNAs of the migratory primordial germ cells (PGCs) of E8.5-9.5 embryo and E3.5 blastocysts. Lrp4 is expressed in PGCs in the hindgut and the dorsal mesentery of E9.5 embryos, and in germ cells in the genital ridges of male and female E10.5-13.5 embryos. Lrp4 is also expressed in spermatogonia of the neonatal and adult testes and in the immature oocytes and follicular cells of the adult ovary. The absence of Lrp4 expression in the blastocyst, embryonic stem cells and embryonic germ cells suggests the Lrp4 is a molecular marker that distinguishes the germ cells from embryo-derived pluripotent stem cells. PMID:16434236

  1. Cryopreservation of primordial germ cells by rapid cooling of whole zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos.

    PubMed

    Higaki, Shogo; Mochizuki, Kentaro; Akashi, Yuichiro; Yamaha, Etsuro; Katagiri, Seiji; Takahashi, Yoshiyuki

    2010-04-01

    The feasibility of cryopreservation of zebrafish (Danio rerio) primordial germ cells (PGCs) by rapid cooling (i.e., vitrification) of dechorionated whole embryos at the 14- to 20-somite stage was investigated. Initially, we examined the glass-forming properties and embryo toxicities of six cryoprotectants: methanol (MeOH), ethylene glycol (EG), glycerol (GC), dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), propylene glycol (PG) and 1,3-butylene glycol (1,3-BG). According to the results of glass-forming and embryo toxicity tests, pretreatment solution (PS) containing 2 or 3 M cryoprotectant and vitrification solution (VS) containing 5 M cryoprotectant and 0.5 M sucrose were prepared using each cryoprotectant. Dechorionated embryos, the PGCs of which were visualized by injection of green fluorescence protein-nos1 3'UTR mRNA, were cooled rapidly by plunging into liquid nitrogen after serial exposure to PS and VS. All embryos cooled with MeOH, PG and 1,3-BG showed ice formation during cooling, and few embryos had live PGCs after warming. Most embryos cooled with GC did not show ice formation; however, few embryos had live PGCs. All embryos cooled with EG and most embryos cooled with DMSO had live PGCs when the embryos did not show ice formation during cooling. Based on the number of live PGCs in fresh embryos, the maximum survival rates of PGCs recovered from embryos cooled with EG and DMSO were estimated to be about 40 and 20%, respectively. The present study indicates that rapid cooling of dechorionated whole embryos, especially using EG-based solutions, could be utilized as a simple and promising tool for cryopreservation of PGCs. PMID:19996550

  2. Genome-Wide Profiling of Pluripotent Cells Reveals a Unique Molecular Signature of Human Embryonic Germ Cells

    PubMed Central

    Pashai, Nikta; Hao, Haiping; All, Angelo; Gupta, Siddharth; Chaerkady, Raghothama; De Los Angeles, Alejandro; Gearhart, John D.; Kerr, Candace L.

    2012-01-01

    Human embryonic germ cells (EGCs) provide a powerful model for identifying molecules involved in the pluripotent state when compared to their progenitors, primordial germ cells (PGCs), and other pluripotent stem cells. Microarray and Principal Component Analysis (PCA) reveals for the first time that human EGCs possess a transcription profile distinct from PGCs and other pluripotent stem cells. Validation with qRT-PCR confirms that human EGCs and PGCs express many pluripotency-associated genes but with quantifiable differences compared to pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs), induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSCs), and embryonal carcinoma cells (ECCs). Analyses also identified a number of target genes that may be potentially associated with their unique pluripotent states. These include IPO7, MED7, RBM26, HSPD1, and KRAS which were upregulated in EGCs along with other pluripotent stem cells when compared to PGCs. Other potential target genes were also found which may contribute toward a primed ESC-like state. These genes were exclusively up-regulated in ESCs, IPSCs and ECCs including PARP1, CCNE1, CDK6, AURKA, MAD2L1, CCNG1, and CCNB1 which are involved in cell cycle regulation, cellular metabolism and DNA repair and replication. Gene classification analysis also confirmed that the distinguishing feature of EGCs compared to ESCs, ECCs, and IPSCs lies primarily in their genetic contribution to cellular metabolism, cell cycle, and cell adhesion. In contrast, several genes were found upregulated in PGCs which may help distinguish their unipotent state including HBA1, DMRT1, SPANXA1, and EHD2. Together, these findings provide the first glimpse into a unique genomic signature of human germ cells and pluripotent stem cells and provide genes potentially involved in defining different states of germ-line pluripotency. PMID:22737227

  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. FGF, Insulin, and SMAD Signaling Cooperate for Avian Primordial Germ Cell Self-Renewal

    PubMed Central

    Whyte, Jemima; Glover, James D.; Woodcock, Mark; Brzeszczynska, Joanna; Taylor, Lorna; Sherman, Adrian; Kaiser, Pete; McGrew, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Precise self-renewal of the germ cell lineage is fundamental to fertility and reproductive success. The early precursors for the germ lineage, primordial germ cells (PGCs), survive and proliferate in several embryonic locations during their migration to the embryonic gonad. By elucidating the active signaling pathways in migratory PGCs in vivo, we were able to create culture conditions that recapitulate this embryonic germ cell environment. In defined medium conditions without feeder cells, the growth factors FGF2, insulin, and Activin A, signaling through their cognate-signaling pathways, were sufficient for self-renewal of germline-competent PGCs. Forced expression of constitutively active MEK1, AKT, and SMAD3 proteins could replace their respective upstream growth factors. Unexpectedly, we found that BMP4 could replace Activin A in non-clonal growth conditions. These defined medium conditions identify the key molecular pathways required for PGC self-renewal and will facilitate efforts in biobanking of chicken genetic resources and genome editing. PMID:26677769

  5. 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

  6. Improvement of Chicken Primordial Germ Cell Maintenance In Vitro by Blockade of the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Endogenous Activity.

    PubMed

    Pérez Sáez, Juan M; Bussmann, Leonardo E; Barañao, J Lino; Bussmann, Ursula A

    2016-06-01

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are the undifferentiated progenitors of gametes. Germline competent PGCs can be developed as a cell-based system for genetic modification in chickens, which provides a valuable tool for transgenic technology with both research and industrial applications. This implies manipulation of PGCs, which, in recent years, encouraged a lot of research focused on the study of PGCs and the way of improving their culture. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that besides mediating toxic responses to environmental contaminants plays pivotal physiological roles in various biological processes. Since a novel compound that acts as an antagonist of this receptor has been reported to promote expansion of hematopoietic stem cells, we conducted the present study with the aim of determining whether addition of an established AHR antagonist to the standard culture medium used nowadays for in vitro chicken PGCs culture improves ex vivo expansion. We have found that addition of α-naphthoflavone in culture medium promotes the amplification of undifferentiated cells and that this effect is exerted by the blockade of AHR action. Our results constitute the first report of the successful use of a readily available AHR antagonist to improve avian PGCs expansion, and they further extend the knowledge of the effects of AHR modulation in undifferentiated cells. PMID:27253627

  7. Neurl4 contributes to germ cell formation and integrity in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Jennifer; Macdonald, Paul M.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Primordial germ cells (PGCs) form at the posterior pole of the Drosophila embryo, and then migrate to their final destination in the gonad where they will produce eggs or sperm. Studies of the different stages in this process, including assembly of germ plasm in the oocyte during oogenesis, specification of a subset of syncytial embryonic nuclei as PGCs, and migration, have been informed by genetic analyses. Mutants have defined steps in the process, and the identities of the affected genes have suggested biochemical mechanisms. Here we describe a novel PGC phenotype. When Neurl4 activity is reduced, newly formed PGCs frequently adopt irregular shapes and appear to bud off vesicles. PGC number is also reduced, an effect exacerbated by a separate role for Neurl4 in germ plasm formation during oogenesis. Like its mammalian homolog, Drosophila Neurl4 protein is concentrated in centrosomes and downregulates centrosomal protein CP110. Reducing CP110 activity suppresses the abnormal PGC morphology of Neurl4 mutants. These results extend prior analyses of Neurl4 in cultured cells, revealing a heightened requirement for Neurl4 in germ-line cells in Drosophila. PMID:26116656

  8. 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

  9. Topology of the germ plasm and development of primordial germ cells in inverted amphibian eggs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wakahara, M.; Neff, A. W.; Malacinski, G. M.

    1984-01-01

    Inverted Xenopus eggs have reduced numbers of primordial germ cells (PGCs). The extent of the reduction varies from spawning to spawning. Histologic examination revealed that PGC counts were lowest in inverted eggs which displayed the greatest amount of shift in the vegetal mass of large yolk platelets, although the germ plasm itself always remained localized in the egg's original vegetal hemisphere. Even at blastulation the germ plasm continued to be localized in the egg's original vegetal hemisphere. In many cases, however, it was confined to the periphery of the embryo, which probably accounts for the reduced PGC number in some tadpoles. In other cases it may have been dispersed and therefore not detectable in histologic analyses. Although the altered site of involution in inverted embryos did not influence PGC development, subsequent cell movement patterns apparently did. Those embryos which displayed the largest degree of pattern reversal at the tail-bud stage also exhibited the most extreme reduction in PGC numbers. A brief cold shock (4 degrees C, 10 min) prior to first cleavage leads to a further reduction in PGC numbers in inverted embryos, probably as a result of the displacement of the germ plasm away from its original vegetal pole location.

  10. Primordial germ cells in the dorsal mesentery of the chicken embryo demonstrate left–right asymmetry and polarized distribution of the EMA1 epitope

    PubMed Central

    Hen, Gideon; Friedman-Einat, Miriam; Sela-Donenfeld, Dalit

    2014-01-01

    Despite the importance of the chicken as a model system, our understanding of the development of chicken primordial germ cells (PGCs) is far from complete. Here we characterized the morphology of PGCs at different developmental stages, their migration pattern in the dorsal mesentery of the chicken embryo, and the distribution of the EMA1 epitope on PGCs. The spatial distribution of PGCs during their migration was characterized by immunofluorescence on whole-mounted chicken embryos and on paraffin sections, using EMA1 and chicken vasa homolog antibodies. While in the germinal crescent PGCs were rounded and only 25% of them were labeled by EMA1, often seen as a concentrated cluster on the cell surface, following extravasation and migration in the dorsal mesentery PGCs acquired an elongated morphology, and 90% exhibited EMA1 epitope, which was concentrated at the tip of the pseudopodia, at the contact sites between neighboring PGCs. Examination of PGC migration in the dorsal mesentery of Hamburger and Hamilton stage 20–22 embryos demonstrated a left–right asymmetry, as migration of cells toward the genital ridges was usually restricted to the right, rather than the left, side of the mesentery. Moreover, an examination of another group of cells that migrate through the dorsal mesentery, the enteric neural crest cells, revealed a similar preference for the right side of the mesentery, suggesting that the migratory pathway of PGCs is dictated by the mesentery itself. Our findings provide new insights into the migration pathway of PGCs in the dorsal mesentery, and suggest a link between EMA1, PGC migration and cell–cell interactions. These findings may contribute to a better understanding of the mechanism underlying migration of PGCs in avians. PMID:24697411

  11. [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

  12. Primordial germ cell migration in the yellowtail kingfish (Seriola lalandi) and identification of stromal cell-derived factor 1.

    PubMed

    Fernández, J A; Bubner, E J; Takeuchi, Y; Yoshizaki, G; Wang, T; Cummins, S F; Elizur, A

    2015-03-01

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are progenitors of the germ cell lineage, giving rise to either spermatogonia or oogonia after the completion of gonadal differentiation. Currently, there is little information on the mechanism of PGCs migration leading to the formation of the primordial gonad in perciform fish. Yellowtail kingfish (Seriola lalandi) (YTK) (order Perciforms) inhabit tropical and temperate waters in the southern hemisphere. Fundamental details into the molecular basis of larval development in this species can be easily studied in Australia, as they are commercially cultured and readily available. In this study, histological analysis of YTK larvae revealed critical time points for the migration of PGCs to the genital ridge, resulting in the subsequent development of the primordial gonad. In YTK larvae at 3, 5, 7 and 10 days post hatch (DPH), PGCs were not yet enclosed by somatic cells, indicating the primordial gonad had not yet started to form. While at 15, 18 and 20 DPH PGCs had already settled at the genital ridge and started to become enclosed by somatic cells indicating the primordial gonad had started to develop. A higher number of PGCs were observed in the larvae at 15 and 18 DPH indicating PGCs proliferation, which corresponds with them becoming enclosed by the somatic cells. Directional migration of PGCs toward the genital ridge is a critical event in the subsequent development of a gonad. In zebrafish, mouse and chicken, stromal-cell derived factor (SDF1) signalling is one of the key molecules for PGC migration. We subsequently isolated from YTK the SDF1 (Slal-SDF1) gene, which encodes for a 98-residue precursor protein with a signal peptide at the N-terminus. There is spatial conservation between fish species of four cysteine residues at positions C9, C11, C34 and C49, expected to form disulphide bonds and stabilize the SDF structure. In YTK, Slal-SDF1 gene expression analyses shows that this gene is expressed in larvae from 1 to 22 DPH and

  13. Germ Cell Segregation from the Drosophila Soma Is Controlled by an Inhibitory Threshold Set by the Arf-GEF Steppke

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Donghoon M.; Wilk, Ronit; Hu, Jack; Krause, Henry M.; Harris, Tony J. C.

    2015-01-01

    Germline cells segregate from the soma to maintain their totipotency, but the cellular mechanisms of this segregation are unclear. The Drosophila melanogaster embryo forms a posterior group of primordial germline cells (PGCs) by their division from the syncytial soma. Extended plasma membrane furrows enclose the PGCs in response to the germ plasm protein Germ cell-less (Gcl) and Rho1–actomyosin activity. Recently, we found that loss of the Arf-GEF Steppke (Step) leads to similar Rho1-dependent plasma membrane extensions but from pseudocleavage furrows of the soma. Here, we report that the loss of step also leads to premature formation of a large cell group at the anterior pole of the embryo . These anterior cells lacked germ plasm, but budded and formed at the same time as posterior PGCs, and then divided asynchronously as PGCs also do. With genetic analyses we found that Step normally activates Arf small G proteins and antagonizes Rho1–actomyosin pathways to inhibit anterior cell formation. A uniform distribution of step mRNA around the one-cell embryo cortex suggested that Step restricts cell formation through a global control mechanism. Thus, we examined the effect of Step on PGC formation at the posterior pole. Reducing Gcl or Rho1 levels decreased PGC numbers, but additional step RNAi restored their numbers. Reciprocally, GFP–Step overexpression induced dosage- and Arf-GEF-dependent loss of PGCs, an effect worsened by reducing Gcl or actomyosin pathway activity. We propose that a global distribution of Step normally sets an inhibitory threshold for Rho1 activity to restrict early cell formation to the posterior. PMID:25971667

  14. Perchlorate Exposure Reduces Primordial Germ Cell Number in Female Threespine Stickleback

    PubMed Central

    Petersen, Ann M.; Earp, Nathanial C.; Redmond, Mandy E.; Postlethwait, John H.; von Hippel, Frank A.; Buck, C. Loren; Cresko, William A.

    2016-01-01

    Perchlorate is a common aquatic contaminant that has long been known to affect thyroid function in vertebrates, including humans. More recently perchlorate has been shown to affect primordial sexual differentiation in the aquatic model fishes zebrafish and threespine stickleback, but the mechanism has been unclear. Stickleback exposed to perchlorate from fertilization have increased androgen levels in the embryo and disrupted reproductive morphologies as adults, suggesting that perchlorate could disrupt the earliest stages of primordial sexual differentiation when primordial germ cells (PGCs) begin to form the gonad. Female stickleback have three to four times the number of PGCs as males during the first weeks of development. We hypothesized that perchlorate exposure affects primordial sexual differentiation by reducing the number of germ cells in the gonad during an important window of stickleback sex determination at 14–18 days post fertilization (dpf). We tested this hypothesis by quantifying the number of PGCs at 16 dpf in control and 100 mg/L perchlorate-treated male and female stickleback. Perchlorate exposure from the time of fertilization resulted in significantly reduced PGC number only in genotypic females, suggesting that the masculinizing effects of perchlorate observed in adult stickleback may result from early changes to the number of PGCs at a time critical for sex determination. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence of a connection between an endocrine disruptor and reduction in PGC number prior to the first meiosis during sex determination. These findings suggest that a mode of action of perchlorate on adult reproductive phenotypes in vertebrates, including humans, such as altered fecundity and sex reversal or intersex gonads, may stem from early changes to germ cell development. PMID:27383240

  15. Primordial germ cell migration in the chick and mouse embryo: the role of the chemokine SDF-1/CXCL12.

    PubMed

    Stebler, Jürg; Spieler, Derek; Slanchev, Krasimir; Molyneaux, Kathleen A; Richter, Ulrike; Cojocaru, Vlad; Tarabykin, Victor; Wylie, Chris; Kessel, Michael; Raz, Erez

    2004-08-15

    As in many other animals, the primordial germ cells (PGCs) in avian and reptile embryos are specified in positions distinct from the positions where they differentiate into sperm and egg. Unlike in other organism however, in these embryos, the PGCs use the vascular system as a vehicle to transport them to the region of the gonad where they exit the blood vessels and reach their target. To determine the molecular mechanisms governing PGC migration in these species, we have investigated the role of the chemokine stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1/CXCL12) in guiding the cells towards their target in the chick embryo. We show that sdf-1 mRNA is expressed in locations where PGCs are found and towards which they migrate at the time they leave the blood vessels. Ectopically expressed chicken SDF-1alpha led to accumulation of PGCs at those positions. This analysis, as well as analysis of gene expression and PGC behavior in the mouse embryo, suggest that in both organisms, SDF-1 functions during the second phase of PGC migration, and not at earlier phases. These findings suggest that SDF-1 is required for the PGCs to execute the final migration steps as they transmigrate through the blood vessel endothelium of the chick or the gut epithelium of the mouse. PMID:15282153

  16. 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

  17. PRMT5 Protects Genomic Integrity during Global DNA Demethylation in Primordial Germ Cells and Preimplantation Embryos

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Shinseog; Günesdogan, Ufuk; Zylicz, Jan J.; Hackett, Jamie A.; Cougot, Delphine; Bao, Siqin; Lee, Caroline; Dietmann, Sabine; Allen, George E.; Sengupta, Roopsha; Surani, M. Azim

    2014-01-01

    Summary Primordial germ cells (PGCs) and preimplantation embryos undergo epigenetic reprogramming, which includes comprehensive DNA demethylation. We found that PRMT5, an arginine methyltransferase, translocates from the cytoplasm to the nucleus during this process. Here we show that conditional loss of PRMT5 in early PGCs causes complete male and female sterility, preceded by the upregulation of LINE1 and IAP transposons as well as activation of a DNA damage response. Similarly, loss of maternal-zygotic PRMT5 also leads to IAP upregulation. PRMT5 is necessary for the repressive H2A/H4R3me2s chromatin modification on LINE1 and IAP transposons in PGCs, directly implicating this modification in transposon silencing during DNA hypomethylation. PRMT5 translocates back to the cytoplasm subsequently, to participate in the previously described PIWI-interacting RNA (piRNA) pathway that promotes transposon silencing via de novo DNA remethylation. Thus, PRMT5 is directly involved in genome defense during preimplantation development and in PGCs at the time of global DNA demethylation. PMID:25457166

  18. 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

  19. Conceptual links between DNA methylation reprogramming in the early embryo and primordial germ cells.

    PubMed

    Seisenberger, Stefanie; Peat, Julian R; Reik, Wolf

    2013-06-01

    DNA methylation is a carrier of important regulatory information that undergoes global reprogramming in the mammalian germ line, including pre-implantation embryos and primordial germ cells (PGCs). A flurry of recent studies have employed technical advances to generate global profiles of methylation and hydroxymethylation in these cells, unravelling the dynamics of methylation erasure at single locus resolution. Active demethylation in the zygote, involving extensive oxidation, is followed by passive loss over early cell divisions. Certain gamete-contributed methylation marks appear to have evolved non-canonical mechanisms for targeted maintenance of methylation in the face of these processes. These protected sequences include the imprinting control regions (ICRs) required for parental imprinting but also a surprising number of other regions. Such targeted maintenance mechanisms may also operate at certain sequences during early PGC migration when global passive demethylation occurs. In later gonadal PGCs, imprints must be reset and this may be achieved through the targeting of active mechanisms including oxidation. Thus, emerging evidence paints a complex picture whereby active and passive demethylation pathways operate synergistically and in parallel to ensure robust erasure in the early embryo and PGCs. PMID:23510682

  20. Exome Sequencing of Bilateral Testicular Germ Cell Tumors Suggests Independent Development Lineages12

    PubMed Central

    Brabrand, Sigmund; Johannessen, Bjarne; Axcrona, Ulrika; Kraggerud, Sigrid M.; Berg, Kaja G.; Bakken, Anne C.; Bruun, Jarle; Fosså, Sophie D.; Lothe, Ragnhild A.; Lehne, Gustav; Skotheim, Rolf I.

    2015-01-01

    Intratubular germ cell neoplasia, the precursor of testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs), is hypothesized to arise during embryogenesis from developmentally arrested primordial germ cells (PGCs) or gonocytes. In early embryonal life, the PGCs migrate from the yolk sac to the dorsal body wall where the cell population separates before colonizing the genital ridges. However, whether the malignant transformation takes place before or after this separation is controversial. We have explored the somatic exome-wide mutational spectra of bilateral TGCT to provide novel insight into the in utero critical time frame of malignant transformation and TGCT pathogenesis. Exome sequencing was performed in five patients with bilateral TGCT (eight tumors), of these three patients in whom both tumors were available (six tumors) and two patients each with only one available tumor (two tumors). Selected loci were explored by Sanger sequencing in 71 patients with bilateral TGCT. From the exome-wide mutational spectra, no identical mutations in any of the three bilateral tumor pairs were identified. Exome sequencing of all eight tumors revealed 87 somatic non-synonymous mutations (median 10 per tumor; range 5-21), some in already known cancer genes such as CIITA, NEB, platelet-derived growth factor receptor α (PDGFRA), and WHSC1. SUPT6H was found recurrently mutated in two tumors. We suggest independent development lineages of bilateral TGCT. Thus, malignant transformation into intratubular germ cell neoplasia is likely to occur after the migration of PGCs. We reveal possible drivers of TGCT pathogenesis, such as mutated PDGFRA, potentially with therapeutic implications for TGCT patients. PMID:25748235

  1. Exome sequencing of bilateral testicular germ cell tumors suggests independent development lineages.

    PubMed

    Brabrand, Sigmund; Johannessen, Bjarne; Axcrona, Ulrika; Kraggerud, Sigrid M; Berg, Kaja G; Bakken, Anne C; Bruun, Jarle; Fosså, Sophie D; Lothe, Ragnhild A; Lehne, Gustav; Skotheim, Rolf I

    2015-02-01

    Intratubular germ cell neoplasia, the precursor of testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs), is hypothesized to arise during embryogenesis from developmentally arrested primordial germ cells (PGCs) or gonocytes. In early embryonal life, the PGCs migrate from the yolk sac to the dorsal body wall where the cell population separates before colonizing the genital ridges. However, whether the malignant transformation takes place before or after this separation is controversial. We have explored the somatic exome-wide mutational spectra of bilateral TGCT to provide novel insight into the in utero critical time frame of malignant transformation and TGCT pathogenesis. Exome sequencing was performed in five patients with bilateral TGCT (eight tumors), of these three patients in whom both tumors were available (six tumors) and two patients each with only one available tumor (two tumors). Selected loci were explored by Sanger sequencing in 71 patients with bilateral TGCT. From the exome-wide mutational spectra, no identical mutations in any of the three bilateral tumor pairs were identified. Exome sequencing of all eight tumors revealed 87 somatic non-synonymous mutations (median 10 per tumor; range 5-21), some in already known cancer genes such as CIITA, NEB, platelet-derived growth factor receptor α (PDGFRA), and WHSC1. SUPT6H was found recurrently mutated in two tumors. We suggest independent development lineages of bilateral TGCT. Thus, malignant transformation into intratubular germ cell neoplasia is likely to occur after the migration of PGCs. We reveal possible drivers of TGCT pathogenesis, such as mutated PDGFRA, potentially with therapeutic implications for TGCT patients. PMID:25748235

  2. Germline Gene Editing in Chickens by Efficient CRISPR-Mediated Homologous Recombination in Primordial Germ Cells

    PubMed Central

    Dimitrov, Lazar; Pedersen, Darlene; Ching, Kathryn H.; Yi, Henry; Collarini, Ellen J.; Izquierdo, Shelley; van de Lavoir, Marie-Cecile; Leighton, Philip A.

    2016-01-01

    The CRISPR/Cas9 system has been applied in a large number of animal and plant species for genome editing. In chickens, CRISPR has been used to knockout genes in somatic tissues, but no CRISPR-mediated germline modification has yet been reported. Here we use CRISPR to target the chicken immunoglobulin heavy chain locus in primordial germ cells (PGCs) to produce transgenic progeny. Guide RNAs were co-transfected with a donor vector for homology-directed repair of the double-strand break, and clonal populations were selected. All of the resulting drug-resistant clones contained the correct targeting event. The targeted cells gave rise to healthy progeny containing the CRISPR-targeted locus. The results show that gene-edited chickens can be obtained by modifying PGCs in vitro with the CRISPR/Cas9 system, opening up many potential applications for efficient genetic modification in birds. PMID:27099923

  3. Germline Gene Editing in Chickens by Efficient CRISPR-Mediated Homologous Recombination in Primordial Germ Cells.

    PubMed

    Dimitrov, Lazar; Pedersen, Darlene; Ching, Kathryn H; Yi, Henry; Collarini, Ellen J; Izquierdo, Shelley; van de Lavoir, Marie-Cecile; Leighton, Philip A

    2016-01-01

    The CRISPR/Cas9 system has been applied in a large number of animal and plant species for genome editing. In chickens, CRISPR has been used to knockout genes in somatic tissues, but no CRISPR-mediated germline modification has yet been reported. Here we use CRISPR to target the chicken immunoglobulin heavy chain locus in primordial germ cells (PGCs) to produce transgenic progeny. Guide RNAs were co-transfected with a donor vector for homology-directed repair of the double-strand break, and clonal populations were selected. All of the resulting drug-resistant clones contained the correct targeting event. The targeted cells gave rise to healthy progeny containing the CRISPR-targeted locus. The results show that gene-edited chickens can be obtained by modifying PGCs in vitro with the CRISPR/Cas9 system, opening up many potential applications for efficient genetic modification in birds. PMID:27099923

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Expression of BLIMP1/PRMT5 and concurrent histone H2A/H4 arginine 3 dimethylation in fetal germ cells, CIS/IGCNU and germ cell tumors

    PubMed Central

    Eckert, Dawid; Biermann, Katharina; Nettersheim, Daniel; Gillis, Ad JM; Steger, Klaus; Jäck, Hans-Martin; Müller, Annette M; Looijenga, Leendert HJ; Schorle, Hubert

    2008-01-01

    Background Most testicular germ cell tumors arise from intratubular germ cell neoplasia unclassified (IGCNU, also referred to as carcinoma in situ), which is thought to originate from a transformed primordial germ cell (PGC)/gonocyte, the fetal germ cell. Analyses of the molecular profile of IGCNU and seminoma show similarities to the expression profile of fetal germ cells/gonocytes. In murine PGCs, expression and interaction of Blimp1 and Prmt5 results in arginine 3 dimethylation of histone H2A and H4. This imposes epigenetic modifications leading to transcriptional repression in mouse PGCs enabling them to escape the somatic differentiation program during migration, while expressing markers of pluripotency. Results In the present study, we show that BLIMP1 and PRMT5 were expressed and arginine dimethylation of histones H2A and H4 was detected in human male gonocytes at weeks 12–19 of gestation, indicating a role of this mechanism in human fetal germ cell development as well. Moreover, BLIMP1/PRMT5 and histone H2A and H4 arginine 3 dimethylation was present in IGCNU and most seminomas, while downregulated in embryonal carcinoma (EC) and other nonseminomatous tumors. Conclusion These data reveal similarities in marker expression and histone modification between murine and human PGCs. Moreover, we speculate that the histone H2A and H4 arginine 3 dimethylation might be the mechanism by which IGCNU and seminoma maintain the undifferentiated state while loss of these histone modifications leads to somatic differentiation observed in nonseminomatous tumors. PMID:18992153

  8. Erasure of DNA methylation, genomic imprints, and epimutations in a primordial germ-cell model derived from mouse pluripotent stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Miyoshi, Norikatsu; Stel, Jente M.; Shioda, Keiko; Qu, Na; Odahima, Junko; Mitsunaga, Shino; Zhang, Xiangfan; Nagano, Makoto; Hochedlinger, Konrad; Isselbacher, Kurt J.; Shioda, Toshi

    2016-01-01

    The genome-wide depletion of 5-methylcytosines (5meCs) caused by passive dilution through DNA synthesis without daughter strand methylation and active enzymatic processes resulting in replacement of 5meCs with unmethylated cytosines is a hallmark of primordial germ cells (PGCs). Although recent studies have shown that in vitro differentiation of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) to PGC-like cells (PGCLCs) mimics the in vivo differentiation of epiblast cells to PGCs, how DNA methylation status of PGCLCs resembles the dynamics of 5meC erasure in embryonic PGCs remains controversial. Here, by differential detection of genome-wide 5meC and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmeC) distributions by deep sequencing, we show that PGCLCs derived from mouse PSCs recapitulated the process of genome-wide DNA demethylation in embryonic PGCs, including significant demethylation of imprint control regions (ICRs) associated with increased mRNA expression of the corresponding imprinted genes. Although 5hmeCs were also significantly diminished in PGCLCs, they retained greater amounts of 5hmeCs than intragonadal PGCs. The genomes of both PGCLCs and PGCs selectively retained both 5meCs and 5hmeCs at a small number of repeat sequences such as GSAT_MM, of which the significant retention of bisulfite-resistant cytosines was corroborated by reanalysis of previously published whole-genome bisulfite sequencing data for intragonadal PGCs. PSCs harboring abnormal hypermethylation at ICRs of the Dlk1-Gtl2-Dio3 imprinting cluster diminished these 5meCs upon differentiation to PGCLCs, resulting in transcriptional reactivation of the Gtl2 gene. These observations support the usefulness of PGCLCs in studying the germline epigenetic erasure including imprinted genes, epimutations, and erasure-resistant loci, which may be involved in transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. PMID:27486249

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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...

  12. Genome-wide analysis of the maternal-to-zygotic transition in Drosophila primordial germ cells

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background During the maternal-to-zygotic transition (MZT) vast changes in the embryonic transcriptome are produced by a combination of two processes: elimination of maternally provided mRNAs and synthesis of new transcripts from the zygotic genome. Previous genome-wide analyses of the MZT have been restricted to whole embryos. Here we report the first such analysis for primordial germ cells (PGCs), the progenitors of the germ-line stem cells. Results We purified PGCs from Drosophila embryos, defined their proteome and transcriptome, and assessed the content, scale and dynamics of their MZT. Transcripts encoding proteins that implement particular types of biological functions group into nine distinct expression profiles, reflecting coordinate control at the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels. mRNAs encoding germ-plasm components and cell-cell signaling molecules are rapidly degraded while new transcription produces mRNAs encoding the core transcriptional and protein synthetic machineries. The RNA-binding protein Smaug is essential for the PGC MZT, clearing transcripts encoding proteins that regulate stem cell behavior, transcriptional and posttranscriptional processes. Computational analyses suggest that Smaug and AU-rich element binding proteins function independently to control transcript elimination. Conclusions The scale of the MZT is similar in the soma and PGCs. However, the timing and content of their MZTs differ, reflecting the distinct developmental imperatives of these cell types. The PGC MZT is delayed relative to that in the soma, likely because relief of PGC-specific transcriptional silencing is required for zygotic genome activation as well as for efficient maternal transcript clearance. PMID:22348290

  13. Insulin-like growth factor receptor 1b is required for zebrafish primordial germ cell migration and survival

    PubMed Central

    Schlueter, Peter J.; Sang, Xianpeng; Duan, Cunming; Wood, Antony W.

    2007-01-01

    Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling is a critical regulator of somatic growth during fetal and adult development, primarily through its stimulatory effects on cell proliferation and survival. IGF signaling is also required for development of the reproductive system, although its precise role in this regard remains unclear. We have hypothesized that IGF signaling is required for embryonic germline development, which requires the specification and proliferation of primordial germ cells (PGCs) in an extragonadal location, followed by directed migration to the genital ridges. We tested this hypothesis using loss-of-function studies in the zebrafish embryo, which possesses two functional copies of the Type-1 IGF receptor gene (igf1ra, igf1rb). Knockdown of IGF1Rb by morpholino oligonucleotides (MO) results in mismigration and elimination of primordial germ cells (PGCs), resulting in fewer PGCs colonizing the genital ridges. In contrast, knockdown of IGF1Ra has no effect on PGC migration or number despite inducing widespread somatic cell apoptosis. Ablation of both receptors, using combined MO injections or overexpression of a dominant-negative IGF1R, yields embryos with a PGC-deficient phenotype similar to IGF1Rb knockdown. TUNEL analyses revealed that mismigrated PGCs in IGF1Rb-deficient embryos are eliminated by apoptosis; overexpression of an antiapoptotic gene (Bcl2l) rescues ectopic PGCs from apoptosis but fails to rescue migration defects. Lastly, we show that suppression of IGF signaling leads to quantitative changes in the expression of genes encoding CXCL-family chemokine ligands and receptors involved in PGC migration. Collectively, these data suggest a novel role for IGF signaling in early germline development, potentially via cross-talk with chemokine signaling pathways. PMID:17362906

  14. SOX17 is a critical specifier of human primordial germ cell fate.

    PubMed

    Irie, Naoko; Weinberger, Leehee; Tang, Walfred W C; Kobayashi, Toshihiro; Viukov, Sergey; Manor, Yair S; Dietmann, Sabine; Hanna, Jacob H; Surani, M Azim

    2015-01-15

    Specification of primordial germ cells (PGCs) marks the beginning of the totipotent state. However, without a tractable experimental model, the mechanism of human PGC (hPGC) specification remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate specification of hPGC-like cells (hPGCLCs) from germline competent pluripotent stem cells. The characteristics of hPGCLCs are consistent with the embryonic hPGCs and a germline seminoma that share a CD38 cell-surface marker, which collectively defines likely progression of the early human germline. Remarkably, SOX17 is the key regulator of hPGC-like fate, whereas BLIMP1 represses endodermal and other somatic genes during specification of hPGCLCs. Notable mechanistic differences between mouse and human PGC specification could be attributed to their divergent embryonic development and pluripotent states, which might affect other early cell-fate decisions. We have established a foundation for future studies on resetting of the epigenome in hPGCLCs and hPGCs for totipotency and the transmission of genetic and epigenetic information. PMID:25543152

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. Molecular and biological aspects of early germ cell development in interspecies hybrids between chickens and pheasants.

    PubMed

    Kang, Seok Jin; Sohn, Sea Hwan; Kang, Kyung Soo; Lee, Hyung Chul; Lee, Seul Ki; Choi, Jin Won; Han, Jae Yong

    2011-03-01

    Interspecific hybrids provide insights into fundamental genetic principles, and may prove useful for biotechnological applications and as tools for the conservation of endangered species. In the present study, interspecies hybrids were generated between the Korean ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) and the White Leghorn chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus). We determined whether these hybrids were good recipients for the production of germline chimeric birds. PCR-based species-specific amplification and karyotype analyses showed that the hybrids inherited genetic material from both parents. Evaluation of biological function indicated that the growth rates of hybrids during the exponential phase (body weight/week) were similar to those of the pheasant but not the chicken, and that the incubation period for hatching was significantly different from that of both parents. Primordial germ cells (PGCs) of hybrids reacted with a pheasant PGC-specific antibody and circulated normally in blood vessels. The peak time of hybrid PGC migration was equivalent to that of the pheasant. In late embryonic stages, germ cells were detected by the QCR1 antibody on 15 d male gonads and were normally localized in the seminiferous cords. We examined the migration ability and developmental localization of exogenous PGCs transferred into the blood vessels of 63 h hybrid embryos. Donor-derived PGCs reacted with a donor-specific antibody were detected on 7 d gonads and the seminiferous tubules of hatchlings. Therefore, germ cell transfer into developing embryos of an interspecies hybrid can be efficiently used for the conservation of threatened animals and endangered species, and many biotechnological applications. PMID:21111472

  18. 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

  19. A spindle-independent cleavage pathway controls germ cell formation in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Cinalli, Ryan M; Lehmann, Ruth

    2013-07-01

    The primordial germ cells (PGCs) are the first cells to form during Drosophila melanogaster embryogenesis. Whereas the process of somatic cell formation has been studied in detail, the mechanics of PGC formation are poorly understood. Here, using four-dimensional multi-photon imaging combined with genetic and pharmacological manipulations, we find that PGC formation requires an anaphase spindle-independent cleavage pathway. In addition to using core regulators of cleavage, including the small GTPase RhoA (Drosophila rho1) and the Rho-associated kinase, ROCK (Drosophila drok), we show that this pathway requires Germ cell-less (GCL), a conserved BTB-domain protein not previously implicated in cleavage mechanics. This alternative form of cell formation suggests that organisms have evolved multiple molecular strategies for regulating the cytoskeleton during cleavage. PMID:23728423

  20. Targeted expression in zebrafish primordial germ cells by Cre/loxP and Gal4/UAS systems.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Feng; Wei, Zhi-Qiang; Zhu, Zuo-Yan; Sun, Yong-Hua

    2013-10-01

    In zebrafish and other vertebrates, primordial germ cells (PGCs) are a population of embryonic cells that give rise to sperm and eggs in adults. Any type of genetically manipulated lines have to be originated from the germ cells of the manipulated founders, thus it is of great importance to establish an effective technology for highly specific PGC-targeted gene manipulation in vertebrates. In the present study, we used the Cre/loxP recombinase system and Gal4/UAS transcription system for induction and regulation of mRFP (monomer red fluorescent protein) gene expression to achieve highly efficient PGC-targeted gene expression in zebrafish. First, we established two transgenic activator lines, Tg(kop:cre) and Tg(kop:KalTA4), to express the Cre recombinases and the Gal4 activator proteins in PGCs. Second, we generated two transgenic effector lines, Tg(kop:loxP-SV40-loxP-mRFP) and Tg(UAS:mRFP), which intrinsically showed transcriptional silence of mRFP. When Tg(kop:cre) females were crossed with Tg(kop:loxP-SV40-loxP-mRFP) males, the loxP flanked SV40 transcriptional stop sequence was 100 % removed from the germ cells of the transgenic hybrids. This led to massive production of PGC-specific mRFP transgenic line, Tg(kop:loxP-mRFP), from an mRFP silent transgenic line, Tg(kop:loxP-SV40-loxP-mRFP). When Tg(kop:KalTA4) females were crossed with Tg(UAS:mRFP) males, the hybrid embryos showed PGC specifically expressed mRFP from shield stage till 25 days post-fertilization (pf), indicating the high sensitivity, high efficiency, and long-lasting effect of the Gal4/UAS system. Real-time PCR analysis showed that the transcriptional amplification efficiency of the Gal4/UAS system in PGCs can be about 300 times higher than in 1-day-pf embryos. More importantly, when the UAS:mRFP-nos1 construct was directly injected into the Tg(kop:KalTA4) embryos, it was possible to specifically label the PGCs with high sensitivity, efficiency, and persistence. Therefore, we have established two

  1. [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

  2. 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.

  3. Gradual recruitment and selective clearing generate germ plasm aggregates in the zebrafish embryo.

    PubMed

    Eno, Celeste; Pelegri, Francisco

    2013-01-01

    Determination of primordial germ cells (PGCs) is one of the earliest decisions in animal embryogenesis. In many species, PGCs are determined through maternally-inherited germ plasm ribonucleoparticles (RNPs). In zebrafish, these are transmitted during oogenesis as dispersed RNPs, which after fertilization multimerize and become recruited as large aggregates at furrows for the first and second cell cycles. Here, we show that the number of recruited germ plasm RNPs is halved every cell cycle. We also show that germ plasm RNPs are recruited during the third cell cycle, but only transiently. Our data support a mechanism in which systematic local gathering of germ plasm RNPs during cytokinesis and threshold-dependent clearing contribute to forming germ plasm aggregates with the highest RNP number and germ cell-inducing potential. PMID:24721731

  4. 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

  5. Autonomy in specification of primordial germ cells and their passive translocation in the sea urchin

    PubMed Central

    Yajima, Mamiko; Wessel, Gary M.

    2012-01-01

    The process of germ line determination involves many conserved genes, yet is highly variable. Echinoderms are positioned at the base of Deuterostomia and are crucial to understanding these evolutionary transitions, yet the mechanism of germ line specification is not known in any member of the phyla. Here we demonstrate that small micromeres (SMics), which are formed at the fifth cell division of the sea urchin embryo, illustrate many typical features of primordial germ cell (PGC) specification. SMics autonomously express germ line genes in isolated culture, including selective Vasa protein accumulation and transcriptional activation of nanos; their descendants are passively displaced towards the animal pole by secondary mesenchyme cells and the elongating archenteron during gastrulation; Cadherin (G form) has an important role in their development and clustering phenotype; and a left/right integration into the future adult anlagen appears to be controlled by a late developmental mechanism. These results suggest that sea urchin SMics share many more characteristics typical of PGCs than previously thought, and imply a more widely conserved system of germ line development among metazoans. PMID:22991443

  6. Autonomy in specification of primordial germ cells and their passive translocation in the sea urchin.

    PubMed

    Yajima, Mamiko; Wessel, Gary M

    2012-10-01

    The process of germ line determination involves many conserved genes, yet is highly variable. Echinoderms are positioned at the base of Deuterostomia and are crucial to understanding these evolutionary transitions, yet the mechanism of germ line specification is not known in any member of the phyla. Here we demonstrate that small micromeres (SMics), which are formed at the fifth cell division of the sea urchin embryo, illustrate many typical features of primordial germ cell (PGC) specification. SMics autonomously express germ line genes in isolated culture, including selective Vasa protein accumulation and transcriptional activation of nanos; their descendants are passively displaced towards the animal pole by secondary mesenchyme cells and the elongating archenteron during gastrulation; Cadherin (G form) has an important role in their development and clustering phenotype; and a left/right integration into the future adult anlagen appears to be controlled by a late developmental mechanism. These results suggest that sea urchin SMics share many more characteristics typical of PGCs than previously thought, and imply a more widely conserved system of germ line development among metazoans. PMID:22991443

  7. Assessment of functional gametes in chickens after transfer of primordial germ cells.

    PubMed

    Petitte, J N; Clark, M E; Etches, R J

    1991-05-01

    The ability of primordial germ cells (PGCs) transferred from donor to recipient embryos to form functional gametes was assessed using feather colour as a phenotypic marker. Donor primordial germ cells were obtained in blood samples taken from Dwarf White Leghorn embryos, homozygous for the dominant allele at the locus for 'dominant white' plumage (I), which had been incubated for 52 h. Blood samples containing PGCs were transferred by intravascular injection to Barred Plymouth Rock embryos (ii) incubated for 53, 72 and 96 h. Of the embryos which hatched, 28 were male and 31 were female. All chicks were raised to sexual maturity and test mated with Barred Plymouth Rock fowl. All of the 3117 offspring exhibited the typical Barred Plymouth Rock phenotype; no Barred Plymouth Rock x Dwarf White Leghorn chicks were obtained. The results of this study suggest that the frequency of transmission of the donor line genotype after PGC transfer must be improved for this technique to be useful for the routine development of transgenic poultry. PMID:2056493

  8. Effects of specific and prolonged expression of zebrafish growth factors, Fgf2 and Lif in primordial germ cells in vivo

    SciTech Connect

    Wong, Ten-Tsao; Collodi, Paul

    2013-01-04

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We discovered that nanos3 3 Prime UTR prolonged PGC-specific protein expression up to 26 days. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Expression of Fgf2 in PGCs significantly increased PGC number at later developmental stages. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Expression of Lif in PGCs resulted in a significant disruption of PGC migration. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Lif illicited its effect on PGC migration through Lif receptor a. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Our approach could be used to achieve prolonged PGC-specific expression of other proteins. -- Abstract: Primordial germ cells (PGCs), specified early in development, proliferate and migrate to the developing gonad before sexual differentiation occurs in the embryo and eventually give rise to spermatogonia or oogonia. In this study, we discovered that nanos3 3 Prime UTR, a common method used to label PGCs, not only directed PGC-specific expression of DsRed but also prolonged this expression up to 26 days post fertilization (dpf) when DsRed-nanos3 3 Prime UTR hybrid mRNAs were introduced into 1- to 2-cell-stage embryos. As such, we employed this knowledge to express zebrafish leukemia inhibitory factor (Lif), basic fibroblast growth factor (Fgf2) and bone morphogenetic protein 4 (Bmp4) in the PGCs and evaluate their effects on PGC development in vivo for over a period of 3 weeks. The results show that expression of Fgf2 significantly increased PGC number at 14- and 21-dpf while Bmp4 resulted in severe ventralization and death of the embryos by 3 days. Expression of Lif resulted in a significant disruption of PGC migration. Mopholino knockdown experiments indicated that Lif illicited its effect on PGC migration through Lif receptor a (Lifra) but not Lifrb. The general approach described in this study could be used to achieve prolonged PGC-specific expression of other proteins to investigate their roles in germ cell and gonad development. The results also indicate that zebrafish PGCs

  9. 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 ...

  10. Dazl Functions in Maintenance of Pluripotency and Genetic and Epigenetic Programs of Differentiation in Mouse Primordial Germ Cells In Vivo and In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Haston, Kelly M.; Tung, Joyce Y.; Reijo Pera, Renee A.

    2009-01-01

    Background Mammalian germ cells progress through a unique developmental program that encompasses proliferation and migration of the nascent primordial germ cell (PGC) population, reprogramming of nuclear DNA to reset imprinted gene expression, and differentiation of mature gametes. Little is known of the genes that regulate quantitative and qualitative aspects of early mammalian germ cell development both in vivo, and during differentiation of germ cells from mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) in vitro. Methodology and Principal Findings We used a transgenic mouse system that enabled isolation of small numbers of Oct4ΔPE:GFP-positive germ cells in vivo, and following differentiation from mESCs in vitro, to uncover quantitate and qualitative phenotypes associated with the disruption of a single translational regulator, Dazl. We demonstrate that disruption of Dazl results in a post-migratory, pre-meiotic reduction in PGC number accompanied by aberrant expression of pluripotency genes and failure to erase and re-establish genomic imprints in isolated male and female PGCs, as well as subsequent defect in progression through meiosis. Moreover, the phenotypes observed in vivo were mirrored by those in vitro, with inability of isolated mutant PGCs to establish pluripotent EG (embryonic germ) cell lines and few residual Oct-4-expressing cells remaining after somatic differentiation of mESCs carrying a Dazl null mutation. Finally, we observed that even within undifferentiated mESCs, a nascent germ cell subpopulation exists that was effectively eliminated with ablation of Dazl. Conclusions and Significance This report establishes the translational regulator Dazl as a component of pluripotency, genetic, and epigenetic programs at multiple time points of germ cell development in vivo and in vitro, and validates use of the ESC system to model and explore germ cell biology. PMID:19468308

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. The hedgehog Pathway Gene shifted Functions together with the hmgcr-Dependent Isoprenoid Biosynthetic Pathway to Orchestrate Germ Cell Migration

    PubMed Central

    Deshpande, Girish; Zhou, Keren; Wan, Joy Y.; Friedrich, Jana; Jourjine, Nicholas; Smith, Daniel; Schedl, Paul

    2013-01-01

    The Drosophila embryonic gonad is assembled from two distinct cell types, the Primordial Germ Cells (PGCs) and the Somatic Gonadal Precursor cells (SGPs). The PGCs form at the posterior of blastoderm stage embryos and are subsequently carried inside the embryo during gastrulation. To reach the SGPs, the PGCs must traverse the midgut wall and then migrate through the mesoderm. A combination of local repulsive cues and attractive signals emanating from the SGPs guide migration. We have investigated the role of the hedgehog (hh) pathway gene shifted (shf) in directing PGC migration. shf encodes a secreted protein that facilitates the long distance transmission of Hh through the proteoglycan matrix after it is released from basolateral membranes of Hh expressing cells in the wing imaginal disc. shf is expressed in the gonadal mesoderm, and loss- and gain-of-function experiments demonstrate that it is required for PGC migration. Previous studies have established that the hmgcr-dependent isoprenoid biosynthetic pathway plays a pivotal role in generating the PGC attractant both by the SGPs and by other tissues when hmgcr is ectopically expressed. We show that production of this PGC attractant depends upon shf as well as a second hh pathway gene gγ1. Further linking the PGC attractant to Hh, we present evidence indicating that ectopic expression of hmgcr in the nervous system promotes the release/transmission of the Hh ligand from these cells into and through the underlying mesodermal cell layer, where Hh can contact migrating PGCs. Finally, potentiation of Hh by hmgcr appears to depend upon cholesterol modification. PMID:24068944

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Role of the ABC transporter Mdr49 in Hedgehog signaling and germ cell migration.

    PubMed

    Deshpande, Girish; Manry, Diane; Jourjine, Nicholas; Mogila, Vladic; Mozes, Henny; Bialistoky, Tzofia; Gerlitz, Offer; Schedl, Paul

    2016-06-15

    Coalescence of the embryonic gonad in Drosophila melanogaster requires directed migration of primordial germ cells (PGCs) towards somatic gonadal precursor cells (SGPs). It was recently proposed that the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter Mdr49 functions in the embryonic mesoderm to facilitate the transmission of the PGC attractant from the SGPs; however, the precise molecular identity of the Mdr49-dependent guidance signal remained elusive. Employing the loss- and gain-of-function strategies, we show that Mdr49 is a component of the Hedgehog (hh) pathway and it potentiates the signaling activity. This function is direct because in Mdr49 mutant embryos the Hh ligand is inappropriately sequestered in the hh-expressing cells. Our data also suggest that the role of Mdr49 is to provide cholesterol for the correct processing of the Hh precursor protein. Supporting this conclusion, PGC migration defects in Mdr49 embryos are substantially ameliorated by a cholesterol-rich diet. PMID:27122170

  18. 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

  19. STELLA Facilitates Differentiation of Germ Cell and Endodermal Lineages of Human Embryonic Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Wongtrakoongate, Patompon; Jones, Mark; Gokhale, Paul J.; Andrews, Peter W.

    2013-01-01

    Stella is a developmentally regulated gene highly expressed in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells and in primordial germ cells (PGCs). In human, the gene encoding the STELLA homologue lies on chromosome 12p, which is frequently amplified in long-term cultured human ES cells. However, the role played by STELLA in human ES cells has not been reported. In the present study, we show that during retinoic acid (RA)-induced differentiation of human ES cells, expression of STELLA follows that of VASA, a marker of germline differentiation. By contrast, human embryonal carcinoma cells express STELLA at a higher level compared with both karyotypically normal and abnormal human ES cell lines. We found that over-expression of STELLA does not interfere with maintenance of the stem cell state of human ES cells, but following retinoic acid induction it leads to up-regulation of germline- and endodermal-associated genes, whereas neural markers PAX6 and NEUROD1 are down-regulated. Further, STELLA over-expression facilitates the differentiation of human ES cells into BE12-positive cells, in which the expression of germline- and endodermal-associated genes is enriched, and suppresses differentiation of the neural lineage. Taken together, this finding suggests a role for STELLA in facilitating germline and endodermal differentiation of human ES cells. PMID:23457636

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Regulation of expression of mouse interferon-induced transmembrane protein like gene-3, Ifitm3 (mil-1, fragilis), in germ cells.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Satomi S; Nagamatsu, Go; Tokitake, Yuko; Kasa, Miyuki; Tam, Patrick P L; Matsui, Yasuhisa

    2004-08-01

    Mouse interferon-induced transmembrane protein (IFITM) gene, Ifitm3 (previously known as mil-1 and fragilis), is expressed in primordial germ cells (PGCs), in their precursors, and in germ cells of the fetal gonads (Saitou et al. [2002] Nature 418:293-300; Tanaka and Matsui [2002] Mech Dev 119S:S261-S267). By examining the expression of green fluorescent protein transgene under the control of DNA sequences flanking exon 1, we have identified domains that direct Ifitm3 transcription in PGCs and their precursors in gastrula stage and 13.5 days post coitum embryos. Germ cell-specific expression is achieved by the activity of a consensus element unique to the Ifitm genes, which may act to suppress Ifitm3 expression in somatic tissues. The lack of any influence of the interferon-stimulable response elements on transgene expression in the germ-line suggests that interferon-mediated response is not critical for activating Ifitm3. PMID:15254899

  4. 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

  5. Dazl is a critical player for primordial germ cell formation in medaka

    PubMed Central

    Li, Mingyou; Zhu, Feng; Li, Zhendong; Hong, Ni; Hong, Yunhan

    2016-01-01

    The DAZ family genes boule, daz and dazl have conserved functions in primordial germ cell (PGC) migration, germ stem cell proliferation, differentiation and meiosis progression. It has remained unknown whether this family is required for PGC formation in developing embryos. Our recent study in the fish medaka (Oryzias latipes) has defined dnd as the critical PGC specifier and predicted the presence of additional factors essential for PGC formation. Here we report that dazl is a second key player for medaka PGC formation. Dazl knockdown did not prevent PGC formation even in the absence of normal somatic structures. It turned out that a high level of Dazl protein was maternally supplied and persisted until gastrulation, and hardly affected by two antisense morpholino oligos targeting the dazl RNA translation. Importantly, microinjection of a Dazl antibody remarkably reduced the number of PGCs and even completely abolished PGC formation without causing detectable somatic abnormality. Therefore, medaka PGC formation requires the Dazl protein as maternal germ plasm component, offering first evidence that dazl is a critical player in PGC formation in vivo. Our results demonstrate that antibody neutralization is a powerful tool to study the roles of maternal protein factors in PGC development in vivo. PMID:27328644

  6. Dazl is a critical player for primordial germ cell formation in medaka.

    PubMed

    Li, Mingyou; Zhu, Feng; Li, Zhendong; Hong, Ni; Hong, Yunhan

    2016-01-01

    The DAZ family genes boule, daz and dazl have conserved functions in primordial germ cell (PGC) migration, germ stem cell proliferation, differentiation and meiosis progression. It has remained unknown whether this family is required for PGC formation in developing embryos. Our recent study in the fish medaka (Oryzias latipes) has defined dnd as the critical PGC specifier and predicted the presence of additional factors essential for PGC formation. Here we report that dazl is a second key player for medaka PGC formation. Dazl knockdown did not prevent PGC formation even in the absence of normal somatic structures. It turned out that a high level of Dazl protein was maternally supplied and persisted until gastrulation, and hardly affected by two antisense morpholino oligos targeting the dazl RNA translation. Importantly, microinjection of a Dazl antibody remarkably reduced the number of PGCs and even completely abolished PGC formation without causing detectable somatic abnormality. Therefore, medaka PGC formation requires the Dazl protein as maternal germ plasm component, offering first evidence that dazl is a critical player in PGC formation in vivo. Our results demonstrate that antibody neutralization is a powerful tool to study the roles of maternal protein factors in PGC development in vivo. PMID:27328644

  7. Human primordial germ cell commitment in vitro associates with a unique PRDM14 expression profile

    PubMed Central

    Sugawa, Fumihiro; Araúzo-Bravo, Marcos J; Yoon, Juyong; Kim, Kee-Pyo; Aramaki, Shinya; Wu, Guangming; Stehling, Martin; Psathaki, Olympia E; Hübner, Karin; Schöler, Hans R

    2015-01-01

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs) develop only into sperm and oocytes in vivo. The molecular mechanisms underlying human PGC specification are poorly understood due to inaccessibility of cell materials and lack of in vitro models for tracking the earliest stages of germ cell development. Here, we describe a defined and stepwise differentiation system for inducing pre-migratory PGC-like cells (PGCLCs) from human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs). In response to cytokines, PSCs differentiate first into a heterogeneous mesoderm-like cell population and then into PGCLCs, which exhibit minimal PRDM14 expression. PGC specification in humans is similar to the murine process, with the sequential activation of mesodermal and PGC genes, and the suppression of neural induction and of de novo DNA methylation, suggesting that human PGC formation is induced via epigenesis, the process of germ cell specification via inductive signals from surrounding somatic cells. This study demonstrates that PGC commitment in humans shares key features with that of the mouse, but also highlights key differences, including transcriptional regulation during the early stage of human PGC development (3–6 weeks). A more comprehensive understanding of human germ cell development may lead to methodology for successfully generating PSC-derived gametes for reproductive medicine. PMID:25750208

  8. 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

  9. Identification and Migration of Primordial Germ Cells in Atlantic Salmon, Salmo salar: Characterization of Vasa, Dead End, and Lymphocyte Antigen 75 Genes

    PubMed Central

    Nagasawa, Kazue; Fernandes, Jorge MO; Yoshizaki, Goro; Miwa, Misako; Babiak, Igor

    2013-01-01

    No information exists on the identification of primordial germ cells (PGCs) in the super-order Protacanthopterygii, which includes the Salmonidae family and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.), one of the most commercially important aquatic animals worldwide. In order to identify salmon PGCs, we cloned the full-length cDNA of vasa, dead end (dnd), and lymphocyte antigen 75 (ly75/CD205) genes as germ cell marker candidates, and analyzed their expression patterns in both adult and embryonic stages of Atlantic salmon. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR results showed that salmon vasa and dnd were specifically expressed in testis and ovary, and vasa, dnd, and ly75 mRNA were maternally deposited in the egg. vasa mRNA was consistently detected throughout embryogenesis while dnd and ly75 mRNA were gradually degraded during cleavages. In situ analysis revealed the localization of vasa and dnd mRNA and Ly75 protein in PGCs of hatched larvae. Whole-mount in situ hybridization detected vasa mRNA during embryogenesis, showing a distribution pattern somewhat different to that of zebrafish; specifically, at mid-blastula stage, vasa-expressing cells were randomly distributed at the central part of blastodisc, and then they migrated to the presumptive region of embryonic shield. Therefore, the typical vasa localization pattern of four clusters during blastulation, as found in zebrafish, was not present in Atlantic salmon. In addition, salmon PGCs could be specifically labeled with a green fluorescence protein (GFP) using gfp-rt-vasa 3′-UTR RNA microinjection for further applications. These findings may assist in understanding PGC development not only in Atlantic salmon but also in other salmonids. PMID:23239145

  10. Molecular Characteristics of Malignant Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors and Comparison With Testicular Counterparts: Implications for Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Kraggerud, Sigrid Marie; Hoei-Hansen, Christina E.; Alagaratnam, Sharmini; Skotheim, Rolf I.; Abeler, Vera M.

    2013-01-01

    This review focuses on the molecular characteristics and development of rare malignant ovarian germ cell tumors (mOGCTs). We provide an overview of the genomic aberrations assessed by ploidy, cytogenetic banding, and comparative genomic hybridization. We summarize and discuss the transcriptome profiles of mRNA and microRNA (miRNA), and biomarkers (DNA methylation, gene mutation, individual protein expression) for each mOGCT histological subtype. Parallels between the origin of mOGCT and their male counterpart testicular GCT (TGCT) are discussed from the perspective of germ cell development, endocrinological influences, and pathogenesis, as is the GCT origin in patients with disorders of sex development. Integrated molecular profiles of the 3 main histological subtypes, dysgerminoma (DG), yolk sac tumor (YST), and immature teratoma (IT), are presented. DGs show genomic aberrations comparable to TGCT. In contrast, the genome profiles of YST and IT are different both from each other and from DG/TGCT. Differences between DG and YST are underlined by their miRNA/mRNA expression patterns, suggesting preferential involvement of the WNT/β-catenin and TGF-β/bone morphogenetic protein signaling pathways among YSTs. Characteristic protein expression patterns are observed in DG, YST and IT. We propose that mOGCT develop through different developmental pathways, including one that is likely shared with TGCT and involves insufficient sexual differentiation of the germ cell niche. The molecular features of the mOGCTs underline their similarity to pluripotent precursor cells (primordial germ cells, PGCs) and other stem cells. This similarity combined with the process of ovary development, explain why mOGCTs present so early in life, and with greater histological complexity, than most somatic solid tumors. PMID:23575763

  11. Molecular characteristics of malignant ovarian germ cell tumors and comparison with testicular counterparts: implications for pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Kraggerud, Sigrid Marie; Hoei-Hansen, Christina E; Alagaratnam, Sharmini; Skotheim, Rolf I; Abeler, Vera M; Rajpert-De Meyts, Ewa; Lothe, Ragnhild A

    2013-06-01

    This review focuses on the molecular characteristics and development of rare malignant ovarian germ cell tumors (mOGCTs). We provide an overview of the genomic aberrations assessed by ploidy, cytogenetic banding, and comparative genomic hybridization. We summarize and discuss the transcriptome profiles of mRNA and microRNA (miRNA), and biomarkers (DNA methylation, gene mutation, individual protein expression) for each mOGCT histological subtype. Parallels between the origin of mOGCT and their male counterpart testicular GCT (TGCT) are discussed from the perspective of germ cell development, endocrinological influences, and pathogenesis, as is the GCT origin in patients with disorders of sex development. Integrated molecular profiles of the 3 main histological subtypes, dysgerminoma (DG), yolk sac tumor (YST), and immature teratoma (IT), are presented. DGs show genomic aberrations comparable to TGCT. In contrast, the genome profiles of YST and IT are different both from each other and from DG/TGCT. Differences between DG and YST are underlined by their miRNA/mRNA expression patterns, suggesting preferential involvement of the WNT/β-catenin and TGF-β/bone morphogenetic protein signaling pathways among YSTs. Characteristic protein expression patterns are observed in DG, YST and IT. We propose that mOGCT develop through different developmental pathways, including one that is likely shared with TGCT and involves insufficient sexual differentiation of the germ cell niche. The molecular features of the mOGCTs underline their similarity to pluripotent precursor cells (primordial germ cells, PGCs) and other stem cells. This similarity combined with the process of ovary development, explain why mOGCTs present so early in life, and with greater histological complexity, than most somatic solid tumors. PMID:23575763

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Development of a pheasant interspecies primordial germ cell transfer to chicken embryo: effect of donor cell sex on chimeric semen production.

    PubMed

    Kang, S J; Choi, J W; Park, K J; Lee, Y M; Kim, T M; Sohn, S H; Lim, J M; Han, J Y

    2009-09-01

    This study was conducted to evaluate whether the sex of donor primordial germ cells (PGCs) influences production of chimeric semen from recipient hatchlings produced by interspecies transfer between pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) and chicken (Gallus gallus). Pheasant PGCs were retrieved from 7-d-old embryos and subsequently transferred into circulatory blood of 2.5-d-old (Stage 17) embryos. The sex of embryos was discerned 3 to 6 days after laying, and in preliminary study, overall rate of embryo survival after sexing was 74.6% with male-to-female ratio of 0.49 to 0.51. In Experiment 1, magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS) using QCR1 antibody was effective for enriching the population of male and female PGCs in gonadal cells (9.2- to 12.5-fold and 10.8- to 19.5-fold increase, respectively). In Experiment 2, an increase in the number of hatchlings producing chimeric semen was detected after the homosexual transfer of male-to-male compared with that after the heterosexual transfer of female-to-male (68% to 88%). Significant increase was found in the frequency of chimeric semen production (0.96 to 1.68 times); production of pheasant progenies by artificial insemination using chimeric semen was also increased in the homosexual transfer (0 to 3 cases). In conclusion, the homosexual PGC transfer of male-to-male yielded better rate of generating pheasant progenies after test cross-reproduction than that of the heterosexual transfer of female-to-male, which could improve the efficiency of interspecies germ cell transfer system. PMID:19515408

  16. Refuting the hypothesis that the acquisition of germ plasm accelerates animal evolution.

    PubMed

    Whittle, Carrie A; Extavour, Cassandra G

    2016-01-01

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs) give rise to the germ line in animals. PGCs are specified during embryogenesis either by an ancestral mechanism of cell-cell signalling (induction) or by a derived mechanism of maternally provided germ plasm (preformation). Recently, a hypothesis was set forth purporting that germ plasm liberates selective constraint and accelerates an organism's protein sequence evolution, especially for genes from early developmental stages, thereby leading to animal species radiations; empirical validation has been claimed in vertebrates. Here we present findings from global rates of protein evolution in vertebrates and invertebrates refuting this hypothesis. Contrary to assertions of the hypothesis, we find no effect of preformation on protein sequence evolution, the evolutionary rates of early-stage developmental genes, or on species diversification. We conclude that the hypothesis is mechanistically implausible, and our multi-faceted analysis shows no empirical support for any of its predictions. PMID:27577604

  17. Conserved elements in the nanos3 3'UTR of olive flounder are responsible for the selective retention of RNA in germ cells.

    PubMed

    Li, Meijie; Tan, Xungang; Sui, Yulei; Jiao, Shuang; Wu, Zhihao; You, Feng

    2016-08-01

    In teleost fish, primordial germ cells (PGCs) are specified very early during embryogenesis and migrate to the site that gonads are formed. A previous study indicated that nanos3 is specifically expressed in PGCs, and the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of nanos3 is responsible for the localization of mRNA in these cells. In this study, we aimed to investigate the functional regions of nanos3 3'UTR in olive flounder using truncated and mutated nanos3 3'UTRs fused to chimeric RNAs and microinjected into fertilized zebrafish eggs. The results indicated that a 68-bp functional element in the nanos3 3'UTR of olive flounder played important roles in the protection and degradation of RNA. Within this element, a U-rich region was identified to be responsible for the protection of RNA in PGCs and two GCAC sites for the degradation of RNA in somatic cells. The first GCAC was located adjacently to the U-rich region and the second GCAC within the U-rich region. Overall, we concluded that the two GCACs were the binding sites of miR-430, a microRNA that suppresses translation, whereas the U-rich region was the binding site of Dnd, a protein that antagonizes the miR-430-mediated silencing of mRNA. PMID:27085583

  18. Production of Functional Gametes from Cryopreserved Primordial Germ Cells of the Japanese Quail

    PubMed Central

    NAKAMURA, Yoshiaki; TASAI, Mariko; TAKEDA, Kumiko; NIRASAWA, Keijiro; TAGAMI, Takahiro

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) is a valuable bird as both an experimental animal, for a wide range of scientific disciplines, and an agricultural animal, for the production of eggs and meat. Cryopreservation of PGCs would be a feasible strategy for the conservation of both male and female fertility cells in Japanese quail. However, the effects of freeze-thaw treatment on viability, migration ability and germline transmission ability of quail PGCs still remain unclear. In the present study, male and female PGCs were isolated from the blood of 2-day-old embryos, which were cooled by slow freezing and then cryopreserved at –196 C for 77–185 days, respectively. The average recovery rate of PGCs after freeze-thawing was 47.0%. The viability of PGCs in the frozen group was significantly lower than that of the control group (P<0.05) (85.5% vs. 95.1%). Both fresh and Frozen-thawed PGCs that were intravascularly transplanted into recipient embryos migrated toward and were incorporated into recipient gonads, although the number of PGCs settled in the gonads was 48.5% lower in the frozen group than in the unfrozen control group (P<0.05). Genetic cross analysis revealed that one female and two male recipients produced live progeny derived from the frozen-thawed PGCs. The frequency of donor-derived offspring was slightly lower than that of unfrozen controls, but the difference was not significant (4.0 vs. 14.0%). These results revealed that freeze-thaw treatment causes a decrease in viability, migration ability and germline transmission ability of PGCs in quail. PMID:24077020

  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. 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

  1. Inducible Sterilization of Zebrafish by Disruption of Primordial Germ Cell Migration

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Ten-Tsao; Collodi, Paul

    2013-01-01

    During zebrafish development, a gradient of stromal-derived factor 1a (Sdf1a) provides the directional cue that guides the migration of the primordial germ cells (PGCs) to the gonadal tissue. Here we describe a method to produce large numbers of infertile fish by inducing ubiquitous expression of Sdf1a in zebrafish embryos resulting in disruption of the normal PGC migration pattern. A transgenic line of zebrafish, Tg(hsp70:sdf1a-nanos3, EGFP), was generated that expresses Sdf1a under the control of the heat-shock protein 70 (hsp70) promoter and nanos3 3?UTR. To better visualize the PGCs, the Tg(hsp70:sdf1a-nanos3, EGFP) fish were crossed with another transgenic line, Tg(kop:DsRed-nanos3), that expresses DsRed driven by the PGC-specific kop promoter. Heat treatment of the transgenic embryos caused an induction of Sdf1a expression throughout the embryo resulting in the disruption of their normal migration. Optimal embryo survival and disruption of PGC migration was achieved when transgenic embryos at the 4- to 8-cell stage were incubated at 34.5°C for 18 hours. Under these conditions, disruption of PGC migration was observed in 100% of the embryos. Sixty-four adult fish were developed from three separate batches of heat-treated embryos and all were found to be infertile males. When each male was paired with a wild-type female, only unfertilized eggs were produced and histological examination revealed that each of the adult male fish possessed severely under-developed gonads that lacked gametes. The results demonstrate that inducible Sdf1a expression is an efficient and reliable strategy to produce infertile fish. This approach makes it convenient to generate large numbers of infertile adult fish while also providing the capability to maintain a fertile brood stock. PMID:23826390

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Human second trimester amniotic fluid cells are able to create embryoid body-like structures in vitro and to show typical expression profiles of embryonic and primordial germ cells.

    PubMed

    Antonucci, Ivana; Di Pietro, Roberta; Alfonsi, Melissa; Centurione, Maria Antonietta; Centurione, Lucia; Sancilio, Silvia; Pelagatti, Francesca; D'Amico, Maria Angela; Di Baldassarre, Angela; Piattelli, Adriano; Tetè, Stefano; Palka, Giandomenico; Borlongan, Cesar V; Stuppia, Liborio

    2014-01-01

    Human amniotic fluid-derived stem cells (AFSCs) represent a novel class of broadly multipotent stem cells sharing characteristics of both embryonic and adult stem cells. However, both the origin of these cells and their actual properties in terms of pluripotent differentiation potential are still debated. In order to verify the presence of features of pluripotency in human second trimester AFSCs, we have investigated the ability of these cells to form in vitro three-dimensional aggregates, known as embryoid bodies (EBs), and to express specific genes of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and primordial germ cells (PGCs). EBs were obtained after 5 days of AFSC culture in suspension and showed positivity for alkaline phosphatase (AP) staining and for specific markers of pluripotency (OCT4 and SOX2). Moreover, EB-derived cells showed the expression of specific transcripts of the three germ layers. RT-PCR analysis, carried out at different culture times (second, third, fourth, fifth, and eighth passages), revealed the presence of specific markers of ESCs (such as FGF4 and DAPPA4), as well as of markers typical of PGCs and, in particular, genes involved in early stages of germ cell development (Fragilis, Stella, Vasa, c-Kit, Rnf17). Finally, the expression of genes related to the control of DNA methylation (DNMT3A, DNMT3b1, DNMT1, DNMT3L, MBD1, MBD2, MBD3, MDB4, MeCP2), as well as the lack of inactivation of the X-chromosome in female samples, was also demonstrated. Taken together, these data provide further evidence for the presence of common features among human AFSCs, PGCs, and ESCs. PMID:24480362

  8. Molecular characterization and expression pattern of a germ cell marker gene dnd in gibel carp (Carassius gibelio).

    PubMed

    Li, Shi-Zhu; Liu, Wei; Li, Zhi; Wang, Yang; Zhou, Li; Yi, Mei-Sheng; Gui, Jian-Fang

    2016-10-10

    As a germ cell marker gene, Dead end (dnd) has been identified and characterized in many vertebrates. Recently, we created a complete germ cell-depleted gonad model by the dnd-specific morpholino-mediated knockdown approach, and revealed sex-biased gene expression alteration through utilizing unisexual gynogenetic superiority in polyploid gibel carp. However, dnd and its expression pattern are still unclear in the gibel carp. In this study, we further analyzed molecular characterization of gibel carp dnd and its dynamic expression pattern during gametogenesis and embryogenesis. Similar to other homologs in vertebrates, gibel carp dnd contains a conserved RRM motif and five other motifs, and is highly evolutionary conserved in genomic organization and neighborhood gene synteny. RT-PCR and Western blot analyses showed its gonad-specific expression intensively in testis and ovary. Section in situ hybridization (SISH) and immunofluorescence localization revealed its dynamic expression pattern specific to oogenic cells and spermatogenetic cells during oogenesis and spermatogenesis. Moreover, its temporal and spatial distribution specific to PGCs were also demonstrated by RT-PCR and whole mount in situ hybridization (WISH) during embryogenesis. Therefore, gibel carp Dnd is a conserved germ cell marker during gametogenesis, and its maternal transcript is also a useful marker for tracing PGC specification and migration. PMID:27418526

  9. Spindle assembly checkpoint gene mdf-1 regulates germ cell proliferation in response to nutrition signals in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Sonoko; Yamamoto, Takaharu G; Kitagawa, Risa

    2008-01-01

    When newly hatched Caenorhabditis elegans larvae are starved, their primordial germ cells (PGCs) arrest in the post-S phase. This starvation-induced PGC arrest is mediated by the DAF-18/PTEN–AKT-1/PKB nutrient-sensing pathway. Here, we report that the conserved spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) component MDF-1/MAD1 is required for the PGC arrest. We identified 2 Akt kinase phosphorylation sites on MDF-1. Expression of a non-phosphorylatable mutant MDF-1 partially suppressed the defect in the starvation-induced PGC arrest in L1 larvae lacking DAF-18, suggesting that MDF-1 regulates germ cell proliferation as a downstream target of AKT-1, thereby demonstrating a functional link between cell-cycle regulation by the SAC components and nutrient sensing by DAF-18–AKT-1 during post-embryonic development. The phosphorylation status of MDF-1 affects its binding to another SAC component, MDF-2/MAD2. The loss of MDF-2 or another SAC component also caused inappropriate germ cell proliferation, but the defect was less severe than that caused by mdf-1 hemizygosity, suggesting that MDF-1 causes the PGC arrest by two mechanisms, one involving MDF-2 and another that is independent of other SAC components. PMID:18309291

  10. 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

  11. Sexually dimorphic expression of Dmrt1 and γH2AX in germ stem cells during gonadal development in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Fujitani, Kazuko; Otomo, Asako; Wada, Mikako; Takamatsu, Nobuhiko; Ito, Michihiko

    2016-04-01

    In many animals, primordial germ cells (PGCs) migrate into developing gonads. There, they proliferate and differentiate into female and male germ stem cells (GSCs), oogonia and spermatogonia, respectively. Few studies have focused on the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of GSC sex determination. Here, we investigated the expression of the transcription factor Dmrt1 and a phosphorylated form of the histone variant H2AX (γH2AX) during gonadal development in Xenopus laevis. During early sexual differentiation, Dmrt1 was expressed in the GSCs of the ZW (female) and ZZ (male) gonads as well as somatic cells of the ZZ gonads. Notably, the PGCs and primary GSCs contained large, unstructured nuclei, whereas condensed, rounder nuclei appeared only in primary oogonia during tadpole development. After metamorphosis, Dmrt1 showed its expression in secondary spermatogonia, but not in secondary oogonia. Like Dmrt1, γH2AX was expressed in the nuclei of primary GSCs in early developing gonads. However, after metamorphosis, γH2AX expression continued in primary and secondary spermatogonia, but was barely detected in the condensed nuclei of primary oogonia. Taken together, these observations indicate that spermatogonia tend to retain PGC characteristics, compared to oogonia, which undergo substantial changes during gonadal differentiation in X. laevis. Our findings suggest that Dmrt1 and γH2AX may contribute to the maintenance of stem cell identity by controlling gene expression and epigenetic changes, respectively. PMID:27239441

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. RTN3 Regulates the Expression Level of Chemokine Receptor CXCR4 and is Required for Migration of Primordial Germ Cells

    PubMed Central

    Li, Haitao; Liang, Rong; Lu, Yanan; Wang, Mengxia; Li, Zandong

    2016-01-01

    CXCR4 is a crucial chemokine receptor that plays key roles in primordial germ cell (PGC) homing. To further characterize the CXCR4-mediated migration of PGCs, we screened CXCR4-interacting proteins using yeast two-hybrid screening. We identified reticulon3 (RTN3), a member of the reticulon family, and considered an apoptotic signal transducer, as able to interact directly with CXCR4. Furthermore, we discovered that the mRNA and protein expression levels of CXCR4 could be regulated by RTN3. We also found that RTN3 altered CXCR4 translocation and localization. Moreover, increasing the signaling of either CXCR4b or RTN3 produced similar PGC mislocalization phenotypes in zebrafish. These results suggested that RTN3 modulates PGC migration through interaction with, and regulation of, CXCR4. PMID:27070582

  15. Germ line development: lessons learned from pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Arroyo, Ana M; Medrano, Jose V; Remohí, José; Simón, Carlos

    2014-10-01

    Current knowledge about mammalian germ line development is mainly based on the mouse model and little is known about how this fundamental process occurs in humans. This review summarizes our current knowledge of genetic and epigenetic germ line development in mammals, mainly focusing on primordial germ cell (PGC) specification events, comparing the differences between mouse and human models. We also emphasize the knowledge derived from the most successful strategies used to generate germ cell-like cells in vitro in both models and major obstacles to obtaining bona fide in vitro-derived gametes are considered. PMID:25461452

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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. 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...

  2. 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

  3. The Biology of the Germ line in Echinoderms

    PubMed Central

    Wessel, Gary M.; Brayboy, Lynae; Fresques, Tara; Gustafson, Eric A.; Oulhen, Nathalie; Ramos, Isabela; Reich, Adrian; Swartz, S. Zachary; Yajima, Mamiko; Zazueta, Vanessa

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY The formation of the germ line in an embryo marks a fresh round of reproductive potential. The developmental stage and location within the embryo where the primordial germ cells (PGCs) form, however, differs markedly among species. In many animals, the germ line is formed by an inherited mechanism, in which molecules made and selectively partitioned within the oocyte drive the early development of cells that acquire this material to a germ-line fate. In contrast, the germ line of other animals is fated by an inductive mechanism that involves signaling between cells that directs this specialized fate. In this review, we explore the mechanisms of germ-line determination in echinoderms, an early-branching sister group to the chordates. One member of the phylum, sea urchins, appears to use an inherited mechanism of germ-line formation, whereas their relatives, the sea stars, appear to use an inductive mechanism. We first integrate the experimental results currently available for germ line determination in the sea urchin, for which considerable new information is available, and then broaden the investigation to the lesser-known mechanisms in sea stars and other echinoderms. Even with this limited insight, it appears that sea stars, and perhaps the majority of the echinoderm taxon, rely on inductive mechanisms for germ-line fate determination. This enables a strongly contrasted picture for germ-line determination in this phylum, but one for which transitions between different modes of germ-line determination might now be experimentally addressed. PMID:23900765

  4. The biology of the germ line in echinoderms.

    PubMed

    Wessel, Gary M; Brayboy, Lynae; Fresques, Tara; Gustafson, Eric A; Oulhen, Nathalie; Ramos, Isabela; Reich, Adrian; Swartz, S Zachary; Yajima, Mamiko; Zazueta, Vanessa

    2014-08-01

    The formation of the germ line in an embryo marks a fresh round of reproductive potential. The developmental stage and location within the embryo where the primordial germ cells (PGCs) form, however, differs markedly among species. In many animals, the germ line is formed by an inherited mechanism, in which molecules made and selectively partitioned within the oocyte drive the early development of cells that acquire this material to a germ-line fate. In contrast, the germ line of other animals is fated by an inductive mechanism that involves signaling between cells that directs this specialized fate. In this review, we explore the mechanisms of germ-line determination in echinoderms, an early-branching sister group to the chordates. One member of the phylum, sea urchins, appears to use an inherited mechanism of germ-line formation, whereas their relatives, the sea stars, appear to use an inductive mechanism. We first integrate the experimental results currently available for germ-line determination in the sea urchin, for which considerable new information is available, and then broaden the investigation to the lesser-known mechanisms in sea stars and other echinoderms. Even with this limited insight, it appears that sea stars, and perhaps the majority of the echinoderm taxon, rely on inductive mechanisms for germ-line fate determination. This enables a strongly contrasted picture for germ-line determination in this phylum, but one for which transitions between different modes of germ-line determination might now be experimentally addressed. PMID:23900765

  5. [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

  6. Germ tube-specific antigens of Candida albicans cell walls

    SciTech Connect

    Sundstrom, P.R.

    1986-01-01

    Studies were performed to characterize the surface differences between blastospores and germ tubes of the pathogenic, dimorphic yeast, Candida albicans, and to identify components of yeast cells responsible for these differences. Investigation of surfaces differences of the two growth forms was facilitated by the production of rabbit antiserum prepared against Formalin-treated yeast possessing germ tubes. To prepare antiserum specific for germ tubes, this serum was adsorbed with stationary phase blastospores. Whereas the unadsorbed antiserum reacted with both blastospore and germ tube forms by immunofluorescence and Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, the adsorbed antiserum did not react with blastospores but detected germ tube-specific antigens in hyphal forms. The differences between blastospores and germ tubes of Candida albicans, were further studied by comparing enzymatic digests of cell walls of both growth forms in radiolabeled organisms. Organisms were labeled either on the surface with /sup 125/I, or metabolically with (/sup 35/S) methionine or (/sup 3/H) mannose. Three-surface-located components (as shown by antibody adsorption and elution experiments) were precipitated from Zymolase digests. All three components were mannoproteins as shown by their ability to bind Concanavalin A, and to be labeled in protein labeling procedures, and two of these (200,000 and 155,000 molecular weight) were germ tube specific, as shown by their ability to be precipitated by germ tube-specific antiserum. Monoclonal antibodies were prepared to C. albicans, using blastospores bearing germ tubes as immunogen.

  7. NANOG alone induces germ cells in primed epiblast in vitro by activation of enhancers.

    PubMed

    Murakami, Kazuhiro; Günesdogan, Ufuk; Zylicz, Jan J; Tang, Walfred W C; Sengupta, Roopsha; Kobayashi, Toshihiro; Kim, Shinseog; Butler, Richard; Dietmann, Sabine; Surani, M Azim

    2016-01-21

    Nanog, a core pluripotency factor in the inner cell mass of blastocysts, is also expressed in unipotent primordial germ cells (PGCs) in mice, where its precise role is yet unclear. We investigated this in an in vitro model, in which naive pluripotent embryonic stem (ES) cells cultured in basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and activin A develop as epiblast-like cells (EpiLCs) and gain competence for a PGC-like fate. Consequently, bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4), or ectopic expression of key germline transcription factors Prdm1, Prdm14 and Tfap2c, directly induce PGC-like cells (PGCLCs) in EpiLCs, but not in ES cells. Here we report an unexpected discovery that Nanog alone can induce PGCLCs in EpiLCs, independently of BMP4. We propose that after the dissolution of the naive ES-cell pluripotency network during establishment of EpiLCs, the epigenome is reset for cell fate determination. Indeed, we found genome-wide changes in NANOG-binding patterns between ES cells and EpiLCs, indicating epigenetic resetting of regulatory elements. Accordingly, we show that NANOG can bind and activate enhancers of Prdm1 and Prdm14 in EpiLCs in vitro; BLIMP1 (encoded by Prdm1) then directly induces Tfap2c. Furthermore, while SOX2 and NANOG promote the pluripotent state in ES cells, they show contrasting roles in EpiLCs, as Sox2 specifically represses PGCLC induction by Nanog. This study demonstrates a broadly applicable mechanistic principle for how cells acquire competence for cell fate determination, resulting in the context-dependent roles of key transcription factors during development. PMID:26751055

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Evidence against a germ plasm in the milkweed bug Oncopeltus fasciatus, a hemimetabolous insect

    PubMed Central

    Ewen-Campen, Ben; Jones, Tamsin E. M.; Extavour, Cassandra G.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Primordial germ cell (PGC) formation in holometabolous insects like Drosophila melanogaster relies on maternally synthesised germ cell determinants that are asymmetrically localised to the oocyte posterior cortex. Embryonic nuclei that inherit this “germ plasm” acquire PGC fate. In contrast, historical studies of basally branching insects (Hemimetabola) suggest that a maternal requirement for germ line genes in PGC specification may be a derived character confined principally to Holometabola. However, there have been remarkably few investigations of germ line gene expression and function in hemimetabolous insects. Here we characterise PGC formation in the milkweed bug Oncopeltus fasciatus, a member of the sister group to Holometabola, thus providing an important evolutionary comparison to members of this clade. We examine the transcript distribution of orthologues of 19 Drosophila germ cell and/or germ plasm marker genes, and show that none of them localise asymmetrically within Oncopeltus oocytes or early embryos. Using multiple molecular and cytological criteria, we provide evidence that PGCs form after cellularisation at the site of gastrulation. Functional studies of vasa and tudor reveal that these genes are not required for germ cell formation, but that vasa is required in adult males for spermatogenesis. Taken together, our results provide evidence that Oncopeltus germ cells may form in the absence of germ plasm, consistent with the hypothesis that germ plasm is a derived strategy of germ cell specification in insects. PMID:23789106

  14. Evidence against a germ plasm in the milkweed bug Oncopeltus fasciatus, a hemimetabolous insect.

    PubMed

    Ewen-Campen, Ben; Jones, Tamsin E M; Extavour, Cassandra G

    2013-06-15

    Primordial germ cell (PGC) formation in holometabolous insects like Drosophila melanogaster relies on maternally synthesised germ cell determinants that are asymmetrically localised to the oocyte posterior cortex. Embryonic nuclei that inherit this "germ plasm" acquire PGC fate. In contrast, historical studies of basally branching insects (Hemimetabola) suggest that a maternal requirement for germ line genes in PGC specification may be a derived character confined principally to Holometabola. However, there have been remarkably few investigations of germ line gene expression and function in hemimetabolous insects. Here we characterise PGC formation in the milkweed bug Oncopeltus fasciatus, a member of the sister group to Holometabola, thus providing an important evolutionary comparison to members of this clade. We examine the transcript distribution of orthologues of 19 Drosophila germ cell and/or germ plasm marker genes, and show that none of them localise asymmetrically within Oncopeltus oocytes or early embryos. Using multiple molecular and cytological criteria, we provide evidence that PGCs form after cellularisation at the site of gastrulation. Functional studies of vasa and tudor reveal that these genes are not required for germ cell formation, but that vasa is required in adult males for spermatogenesis. Taken together, our results provide evidence that Oncopeltus germ cells may form in the absence of germ plasm, consistent with the hypothesis that germ plasm is a derived strategy of germ cell specification in insects. PMID:23789106

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Crucial Genes and Pathways in Chicken Germ Stem Cell Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhentao; Elsayed, Ahmed Kamel; Shi, Qingqing; Zhang, Yani; Zuo, Qisheng; Li, Dong; Lian, Chao; Tang, Beibei; Xiao, Tianrong; Xu, Qi; Chang, Guobin; Chen, Guohong; Zhang, Lei; Wang, Kehua; Wang, Yingjie; Jin, Kai; Wang, Yilin; Song, Jiuzhou; Cui, Hengmi; Li, Bichun

    2015-01-01

    Male germ cell differentiation is a subtle and complex regulatory process. Currently, its regulatory mechanism is still not fully understood. In our experiment, we performed the first comprehensive genome and transcriptome-wide analyses of the crucial genes and signaling pathways in three kinds of crucial cells (embryonic stem cells, primordial germ cell, and spermatogonial stem cells) that are associated with the male germ cell differentiation. We identified thousands of differentially expressed genes in this process, and from these we chose 173 candidate genes, of which 98 genes were involved in cell differentiation, 19 were involved in the metabolic process, and 56 were involved in the differentiation and metabolic processes, like GAL9, AMH, PLK1, and PSMD7 and so on. In addition, we found that 18 key signaling pathways were involved mainly in cell proliferation, differentiation, and signal transduction processes like TGF-β, Notch, and Jak-STAT. Further exploration found that the candidate gene expression patterns were the same between in vitro induction experiments and transcriptome results. Our results yield clues to the mechanistic basis of male germ cell differentiation and provide an important reference for further studies. PMID:25847247

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Development of a new approach for targeted gene editing in primordial germ cells using TALENs in Xenopus

    PubMed Central

    Nakajima, Keisuke; Yaoita, Yoshio

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT A gene of interest can be efficiently modified using transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) (Christian et al., 2010;Li et al., 2011). However, if a target gene is essential for development, growth and fertility, use of TALENs with high mutagenic activity in F0 frogs could result in developmental disorders or sterility, which would reduce the number of F1 progeny and make F1 phenotypical analysis difficult. We used the 3′ untranslated region of DEADSouth gene (DS-3′) of Xenopus tropicalis to solve this problem, because the addition of the DS-3′ to mRNA is known to induce primordial germ cell (PGC)-specific expression and reduce the stability in somatic cells of mRNA in Xenopus laevis. At first, we inserted the X. tropicalis DS-3′ downstream of the EGFP termination codon and confirmed that the EGFP expression was specifically detected in PGCs for three weeks. Therefore, we inserted the DS-3′ downstream of the termination codon of the TALEN coding sequence. The tyrosinase gene was selected as the target gene for TALEN because the bi-allelic mutation of this gene is easily discernible by the albino phenotype. When fertilized eggs were microinjected with TALEN mRNAs fused to the DS-3′, their sperm and oocytes had a high rate (84–100%) of target-gene modification in contrast to the lower rate (0–45%) of nucleotide alteration observed in somatic cells. PMID:25661867

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  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. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Human somatic cells subjected to genetic induction with six germ line-related factors display meiotic germ cell-like features

    PubMed Central

    Medrano, Jose V.; Martínez-Arroyo, Ana M.; Míguez, Jose M.; Moreno, Inmaculada; Martínez, Sebastián; Quiñonero, Alicia; Díaz-Gimeno, Patricia; Marqués-Marí, Ana I.; Pellicer, Antonio; Remohí, Jose; Simón, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    The in vitro derivation of human germ cells has attracted interest in the last years, but their direct conversion from human somatic cells has not yet been reported. Here we tested the ability of human male somatic cells to directly convert into a meiotic germ cell-like phenotype by inducing them with a combination of selected key germ cell developmental factors. We started with a pool of 12 candidates that were reduced to 6, demonstrating that ectopic expression of the germ line-related genes PRDM1, PRDM14, LIN28A, DAZL, VASA and SYCP3 induced direct conversion of somatic cells (hFSK (46, XY), and hMSC (46, XY)) into a germ cell-like phenotype in vitro. Induced germ cell-like cells showed a marked switch in their transcriptomic profile and expressed several post-meiotic germ line related markers, showed meiotic progression, evidence of epigenetic reprogramming, and approximately 1% were able to complete meiosis as demonstrated by their haploid status and the expression of several post-meiotic markers. Furthermore, xenotransplantation assays demonstrated that a subset of induced cells properly colonize the spermatogonial niche. Knowledge obtained from this work can be used to create in vitro models to study gamete-related diseases in humans. PMID:27112843

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Study on the Regulatory Mechanism of the Lipid Metabolism Pathways during Chicken Male Germ Cell Differentiation Based on RNA-Seq

    PubMed Central

    Zuo, Qisheng; Li, Dong; Zhang, Lei; Elsayed, Ahmed Kamel; Lian, Chao; Shi, Qingqing; Zhang, Zhentao; Zhu, Rui; Wang, Yinjie; Jin, Kai; Zhang, Yani; Li, Bichun

    2015-01-01

    Here, we explore the regulatory mechanism of lipid metabolic signaling pathways and related genes during differentiation of male germ cells in chickens, with the hope that better understanding of these pathways may improve in vitro induction. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting was used to obtain highly purified cultures of embryonic stem cells (ESCs), primitive germ cells (PGCs), and spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs). The total RNA was then extracted from each type of cell. High-throughput analysis methods (RNA-seq) were used to sequence the transcriptome of these cells. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis and the KEGG database were used to identify lipid metabolism pathways and related genes. Retinoic acid (RA), the end-product of the retinol metabolism pathway, induced in vitro differentiation of ESC into male germ cells. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) was used to detect changes in the expression of the genes involved in the retinol metabolic pathways. From the results of RNA-seq and the database analyses, we concluded that there are 328 genes in 27 lipid metabolic pathways continuously involved in lipid metabolism during the differentiation of ESC into SSC in vivo, including retinol metabolism. Alcohol dehydrogenase 5 (ADH5) and aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 family member A1 (ALDH1A1) are involved in RA synthesis in the cell. ADH5 was specifically expressed in PGC in our experiments and aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 family member A1 (ALDH1A1) persistently increased throughout development. CYP26b1, a member of the cytochrome P450 superfamily, is involved in the degradation of RA. Expression of CYP26b1, in contrast, decreased throughout development. Exogenous RA in the culture medium induced differentiation of ESC to SSC-like cells. The expression patterns of ADH5, ALDH1A1, and CYP26b1 were consistent with RNA-seq results. We conclude that the retinol metabolism pathway plays an important role in the process of chicken male germ cell differentiation. PMID:25658587

  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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Modeling cell elongation during germ band retraction: cell autonomy versus applied anisotropic stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lynch, Holley E.; Veldhuis, Jim; Brodland, G. Wayne; Hutson, M. Shane

    2014-05-01

    The morphogenetic process of germ band retraction in Drosophila embryos involves coordinated movements of two epithelial tissues—germ band and amnioserosa. The germ band shortens along its rostral-caudal or head-to-tail axis, widens along its perpendicular dorsal-ventral axis, and uncurls from an initial ‘U’ shape. The amnioserosa mechanically assists this process by pulling on the crook of the U-shaped germ band. The amnioserosa may also provide biochemical signals that drive germ band cells to change shape in a mechanically autonomous fashion. Here, we use a finite-element model to investigate how these two contributions reshape the germ band. We do so by modeling the response to laser-induced wounds in each of the germ band’s spatially distinct segments (T1-T3, A1-A9) during the middle of retraction when segments T1-A3 form the ventral arm of the ‘U’, A4-A7 form its crook, and A8-A9 complete the dorsal arm. We explore these responses under a range of externally applied stresses and internal anisotropy of cell edge tensions—akin to a planar cell polarity that can drive elongation of cells in a direction parallel to the minimum edge tension—and identify regions of parameter space (edge-tension anisotropy versus stress anisotropy) that best match previous experiments for each germ band segment. All but three germ band segments are best fit when the applied stress anisotropy and the edge-tension anisotropy work against one another—i.e., when the isolated effects would elongate cells in perpendicular directions. Segments in the crook of the germ band (A4-A7) have cells that elongate in the direction of maximum external stress, i.e., external stress anisotropy is dominant. In most other segments, the dominant factor is internal edge-tension anisotropy. These results are consistent with models in which the amnioserosa pulls on the crook of the germ band to mechanically assist retraction. In addition, they suggest a mechanical cue for edge

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Mechano-logical model of C. elegans germ line suggests feedback on the cell cycle

    PubMed Central

    Atwell, Kathryn; Qin, Zhao; Gavaghan, David; Kugler, Hillel; Hubbard, E. Jane Albert; Osborne, James M.

    2015-01-01

    The Caenorhabditis elegans germ line is an outstanding model system in which to study the control of cell division and differentiation. Although many of the molecules that regulate germ cell proliferation and fate decisions have been identified, how these signals interact with cellular dynamics and physical forces within the gonad remains poorly understood. We therefore developed a dynamic, 3D in silico model of the C. elegans germ line, incorporating both the mechanical interactions between cells and the decision-making processes within cells. Our model successfully reproduces key features of the germ line during development and adulthood, including a reasonable ovulation rate, correct sperm count, and appropriate organization of the germ line into stably maintained zones. The model highlights a previously overlooked way in which germ cell pressure may influence gonadogenesis, and also predicts that adult germ cells might be subject to mechanical feedback on the cell cycle akin to contact inhibition. We provide experimental data consistent with the latter hypothesis. Finally, we present cell trajectories and ancestry recorded over the course of a simulation. The novel approaches and software described here link mechanics and cellular decision-making, and are applicable to modeling other developmental and stem cell systems. PMID:26428008

  20. 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

  1. 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....

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Ovarian malignant mixed germ cell tumor with clear cell carcinoma in a postmenopausal woman

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Xiu-Jie; Zhang, Lin; Liu, Zai-Ping; Shi, Yi-Quan; Liu, Yi-Xin

    2014-01-01

    Malignant germ cell tumors of the ovary are very rare and account for about 2-5% of all ovarian tumors of germ origin. Most patients are adolescent and young women, approximately two-thirds of them are under 20 years of age, occasionally in postmenopausal women. But clear cell carcinoma usually occurs in older patients (median age: 57-year old), and closely related with endometriosis. Here we report a case of a 55-year old woman with right ovarian mass that discovered by B ultrasonic. Her serum levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and α-fetoprotein (AFP) were elevated. Pathological examination revealed the tumor to be a mixed germ cell tumor (yolk sac tumor, embryonal carcinoma and mature teratoma) with clear cell carcinoma in a background of endometriosis. Immunohistochemical staining showed SALL4 and PLAP were positive in germ cell tumor area, hCG, CD30 and OCT4 were positive in epithelial-like cells and giant synctiotrophoblastic cells, AFP, AAT, CD117 and Glyp3 were positive in yolk sac component, EMA and CK7 were positive in clear cell carcinoma, CD10 was positive in endometrial cells of endometriotic area. She was treated with surgery followed by seven courses of chemotherapy. She is well and serum levels of hCG and AFP have been decreased to normal levels. PMID:25674278

  5. Ovarian malignant mixed germ cell tumor with clear cell carcinoma in a postmenopausal woman.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xiu-Jie; Zhang, Lin; Liu, Zai-Ping; Shi, Yi-Quan; Liu, Yi-Xin

    2014-01-01

    Malignant germ cell tumors of the ovary are very rare and account for about 2-5% of all ovarian tumors of germ origin. Most patients are adolescent and young women, approximately two-thirds of them are under 20 years of age, occasionally in postmenopausal women. But clear cell carcinoma usually occurs in older patients (median age: 57-year old), and closely related with endometriosis. Here we report a case of a 55-year old woman with right ovarian mass that discovered by B ultrasonic. Her serum levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and α-fetoprotein (AFP) were elevated. Pathological examination revealed the tumor to be a mixed germ cell tumor (yolk sac tumor, embryonal carcinoma and mature teratoma) with clear cell carcinoma in a background of endometriosis. Immunohistochemical staining showed SALL4 and PLAP were positive in germ cell tumor area, hCG, CD30 and OCT4 were positive in epithelial-like cells and giant synctiotrophoblastic cells, AFP, AAT, CD117 and Glyp3 were positive in yolk sac component, EMA and CK7 were positive in clear cell carcinoma, CD10 was positive in endometrial cells of endometriotic area. She was treated with surgery followed by seven courses of chemotherapy. She is well and serum levels of hCG and AFP have been decreased to normal levels. PMID:25674278

  6. Differentiation of early germ cells from human skin-derived stem cells without exogenous gene integration.

    PubMed

    Ge, Wei; Ma, Hua-Gang; Cheng, Shun-Feng; Sun, Yuan-Chao; Sun, Li-Lan; Sun, Xiao-Feng; Li, Lan; Dyce, Paul; Li, Julang; Shi, Qing-Hua; Shen, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Infertility has long been a difficult issue for many couples. The successful differentiation of germ cells and live progeny from pluripotent stem cells brings new hope to the couples suffering with infertility. Here we successfully isolated human fetus skin-derived stem cells (hfSDSCs) from fetus skin tissue and demonstrated that hfSDSCs can be differentiated into early human germ cell-like cells (hGCLCs). These cells express human germ cell markers DAZL and VASA. Moreover, these pluripotent stem cell-derived hGCLCs are free of exogenous gene integration. When hfSDSCs were differentiated in porcine follicle fluid (PFF) conditioned media, which has been shown to promote the differentiation of mouse and porcine SDSCs into oocyte-like cells (OLCs), we observed some vesicular structures formed from hfSDSCs. Moreover, when hfSDSCs were cultured with specific conditioned media, we observed punctate and elongated SCP3 staining foci, indicating the initiation of meiosis. Ploidy analysis and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis indicated that a small percentage of putative 1N populations formed from hfSDSCs when compared with positive controls. In conclusion, our data here, for the first time, demonstrated that hfSDSCs possess the differentiation potential into germ lines, and they may differentiate both male and female hGCLCs in vitro under appropriate conditions. PMID:26347377

  7. The fog-3 gene and regulation of cell fate in the germ line of Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Ellis, R.; Kimble, J.

    1995-02-01

    In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, germ cells normally adopt one of three fates: mitosis, spermatogenesis or oogenesis. We have identified and characterized the gene fog-3, which is required for germ cells to differentiate as sperm rather than as oocytes. Analysis of double mutants suggests that fog-3 is absolutely required for spermatogenesis and acts at the end of the regulatory hierarchy controlling sex determination for the germ line. By contrast, mutations in fog-3 do not alter the sexual identity of other tissues. We also have characterized the null phenotype of fog-1, another gene required for spermatogenesis; we demonstrate that it too controls the sexual identity of germ cells but not of other tissues. Finally, we have studied the same interaction of these two fog genes with gld-1, a gene required for germ cells to undergo oogenesis rather than mitosis. On the basis of these results, we propose that germ-cell fate might be controlled by a set of inhibitory interactions among genes that specify one of three fates: mitosis, spermatogenesis or oogenesis. Such a regulatory network would link the adoption of one germ-cell fate to the suppression of the other two. 68 refs., 7 figs., 6 tabs.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Establishment and applications of male germ cell and Sertoli cell lines.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hong; Wen, Liping; Yuan, Qingqing; Sun, Min; Niu, Minghui; He, Zuping

    2016-08-01

    Within the seminiferous tubules there are two major cell types, namely male germ cells and Sertoli cells. Recent studies have demonstrated that male germ cells and Sertoli cells can have significant applications in treating male infertility and other diseases. However, primary male germ cells are hard to proliferate in vitro and the number of spermatogonial stem cells is scarce. Therefore, methods that promote the expansion of these cell populations are essential for their use from the bench to the bed side. Notably, a number of cell lines for rodent spermatogonia, spermatocytes and Sertoli cells have been developed, and significantly we have successfully established a human spermatogonial stem cell line with an unlimited proliferation potential and no tumor formation. This newly developed cell line could provide an abundant source of cells for uncovering molecular mechanisms underlying human spermatogenesis and for their utilization in the field of reproductive and regenerative medicine. In this review, we discuss the methods for establishing spermatogonial, spermatocyte and Sertoli cell lines using various kinds of approaches, including spontaneity, transgenic animals with oncogenes, simian virus 40 (SV40) large T antigen, the gene coding for a temperature-sensitive mutant of p53, telomerase reverse gene (Tert), and the specific promoter-based selection strategy. We further highlight the essential applications of these cell lines in basic research and translation medicine. PMID:27069011

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Expression of Genes Related to Germ Cell Lineage and Pluripotency in Single Cells and Colonies of Human Adult Germ Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    Conrad, Sabine; Azizi, Hossein; Hatami, Maryam; Kubista, Mikael; Bonin, Michael; Hennenlotter, Jörg; Sievert, Karl-Dietrich; Skutella, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to elucidate the molecular status of single human adult germ stem cells (haGSCs) and haGSC colonies, which spontaneously developed from the CD49f MACS and matrix- (collagen-/laminin+ binding-) selected fraction of enriched spermatogonia. Single-cell transcriptional profiling by Fluidigm BioMark system of a long-term cultured haGSCs cluster in comparison to human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and human fibroblasts (hFibs) revealed that haGSCs showed a characteristic germ- and pluripotency-associated gene expression profile with some similarities to hESCs and with a significant distinction from somatic hFibs. Genome-wide comparisons with microarray analysis confirmed that different haGSC colonies exhibited gene expression heterogeneity with more or less pluripotency. The results of this study confirm that haGSCs are adult stem cells with a specific molecular gene expression profile in vitro, related but not identical to true pluripotent stem cells. Under ES-cell conditions haGSC colonies could be selected and maintained in a partial pluripotent state at the molecular level, which may be related to their cell plasticity and potential to differentiate into cells of all germ layers. PMID:26649052

  18. Expression of Genes Related to Germ Cell Lineage and Pluripotency in Single Cells and Colonies of Human Adult Germ Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Conrad, Sabine; Azizi, Hossein; Hatami, Maryam; Kubista, Mikael; Bonin, Michael; Hennenlotter, Jörg; Sievert, Karl-Dietrich; Skutella, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to elucidate the molecular status of single human adult germ stem cells (haGSCs) and haGSC colonies, which spontaneously developed from the CD49f MACS and matrix- (collagen−/laminin+ binding-) selected fraction of enriched spermatogonia. Single-cell transcriptional profiling by Fluidigm BioMark system of a long-term cultured haGSCs cluster in comparison to human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and human fibroblasts (hFibs) revealed that haGSCs showed a characteristic germ- and pluripotency-associated gene expression profile with some similarities to hESCs and with a significant distinction from somatic hFibs. Genome-wide comparisons with microarray analysis confirmed that different haGSC colonies exhibited gene expression heterogeneity with more or less pluripotency. The results of this study confirm that haGSCs are adult stem cells with a specific molecular gene expression profile in vitro, related but not identical to true pluripotent stem cells. Under ES-cell conditions haGSC colonies could be selected and maintained in a partial pluripotent state at the molecular level, which may be related to their cell plasticity and potential to differentiate into cells of all germ layers. PMID:26649052

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Chick stem cells: Current progress and future prospects

    PubMed Central

    Intarapat, Sittipon; Stern, Claudio D.

    2013-01-01

    Chick embryonic stem cells (cESCs) can be derived from cells obtained from stage X embryos (blastoderm stage); these have the ability to contribute to all somatic lineages in chimaeras, but not to the germ line. However, lines of stem cells that are able to contribute to the germ line can be established from chick primordial germ cells (cPGCs) and embryonic germ cells (cEGCs). This review provides information on avian stem cells, emphasizing different sources of cells and current methods for derivation and culture of pluripotent cells from chick embryos. We also review technologies for isolation and derivation of chicken germ cells and the production of transgenic birds. PMID:24103496

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. [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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Pluripotent cell derivation from male germline cells by suppression of Dmrt1 and Trp53.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Takashi; Kanatsu-Shinohara, Mito; Hirose, Michiko; Ogura, Atsuo; Shinohara, Takashi

    2015-01-01

    Diploid germ cells are thought to have pluripotency potential. We recently described a method to derive pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) from cultured spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) by depleting Trp53 and Dmrt1, both of which are known suppressors of teratomas. In this study, we used this technique to analyze the effect of this protocol in deriving PSCs from the male germline at different developmental stages. We collected primordial germ cells (PGCs), gonocytes and spermatogonia, and the cells were transduced with lentiviruses expressing short hairpin RNA against Dmrt1 and/or Trp53. We found that PGCs are highly susceptible to reprogramming induction and that only Trp53 depletion was sufficient to induce pluripotency. In contrast, gonocytes and spermatogonia were resistant to reprogramming by double knockdown of Dmrt1 and Trp53. PSCs derived from PGCs contributed to chimeras produced by blastocyst injection, but some of the embryos showed placenta-only phenotypes suggestive of epigenetic abnormalities of PGC-derived PSCs. These results show that PGCs and gonocytes/spermatogonia have distinct reprogramming potential and also suggest that fresh and cultured SSCs do not necessarily have the same properties. PMID:26227109

  10. 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

  11. TAp73 is essential for germ cell adhesion and maturation in testis

    PubMed Central

    Holembowski, Lena; Kramer, Daniela; Riedel, Dietmar; Sordella, Raffaella; Nemajerova, Alice; Dobbelstein, Matthias

    2014-01-01

    A core evolutionary function of the p53 family is to protect the genomic integrity of gametes. However, the role of p73 in the male germ line is unknown. Here, we reveal that TAp73 unexpectedly functions as an adhesion and maturation factor of the seminiferous epithelium orchestrating spermiogenesis. TAp73 knockout (TAp73KO) and p73KO mice, but not ΔNp73KO mice, display a “near-empty seminiferous tubule” phenotype due to massive premature loss of immature germ cells. The cellular basis of this phenotype is defective cell–cell adhesions of developing germ cells to Sertoli nurse cells, with likely secondary degeneration of Sertoli cells, including the blood–testis barrier, which leads to disruption of the adhesive integrity and maturation of the germ epithelium. At the molecular level, TAp73, which is produced in germ cells, controls a coordinated transcriptional program of adhesion- and migration-related proteins including peptidase inhibitors, proteases, receptors, and integrins required for germ–Sertoli cell adhesion and dynamic junctional restructuring. Thus, we propose the testis as a unique organ with strict division of labor among all family members: p63 and p53 safeguard germ line fidelity, whereas TAp73 ensures fertility by enabling sperm maturation. PMID:24662569

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  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. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Survival of glucose phosphate isomerase null somatic cells and germ cells in adult mouse chimaeras.

    PubMed

    Keighren, Margaret A; Flockhart, Jean H; West, John D

    2016-01-01

    The mouse Gpi1 gene encodes the glycolytic enzyme glucose phosphate isomerase. Homozygous Gpi1(-/-) null mouse embryos die but a previous study showed that some homozygous Gpi1(-/-) null cells survived when combined with wild-type cells in fetal chimaeras. One adult female Gpi1(-/-)↔Gpi1(c/c) chimaera with functional Gpi1(-/-) null oocytes was also identified in a preliminary study. The aims were to characterise the survival of Gpi1(-/-) null cells in adult Gpi1(-/-)↔Gpi1(c/c) chimaeras and determine if Gpi1(-/-) null germ cells are functional. Analysis of adult Gpi1(-/-)↔Gpi1(c/c) chimaeras with pigment and a reiterated transgenic lineage marker showed that low numbers of homozygous Gpi1(-/-) null cells could survive in many tissues of adult chimaeras, including oocytes. Breeding experiments confirmed that Gpi1(-/-) null oocytes in one female Gpi1(-/-)↔Gpi1(c/c) chimaera were functional and provided preliminary evidence that one male putative Gpi1(-/-)↔Gpi1(c/c) chimaera produced functional spermatozoa from homozygous Gpi1(-/-) null germ cells. Although the male chimaera was almost certainly Gpi1(-/-)↔Gpi1(c/c), this part of the study is considered preliminary because only blood was typed for GPI. Gpi1(-/-) null germ cells should survive in a chimaeric testis if they are supported by wild-type Sertoli cells. It is also feasible that spermatozoa could bypass a block at GPI, but not blocks at some later steps in glycolysis, by using fructose, rather than glucose, as the substrate for glycolysis. Although chimaera analysis proved inefficient for studying the fate of Gpi1(-/-) null germ cells, it successfully identified functional Gpi1(-/-) null oocytes and revealed that some Gpi1(-/-) null cells could survive in many adult tissues. PMID:27103217

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Female mice lack adult germ-line stem cells but sustain oogenesis using stable primordial follicles.

    PubMed

    Lei, Lei; Spradling, Allan C

    2013-05-21

    Whether or not mammalian females generate new oocytes during adulthood from germ-line stem cells to sustain the ovarian follicle pool has recently generated controversy. We used a sensitive lineage-labeling system to determine whether stem cells are needed in female adult mice to compensate for follicular losses and to directly identify active germ-line stem cells. Primordial follicles generated during fetal life are highly stable, with a half-life during adulthood of 10 mo, and thus are sufficient to sustain adult oogenesis without a source of renewal. Moreover, in normal mice or following germ-cell depletion with Busulfan, only stable, single oocytes are lineage-labeled, rather than cell clusters indicative of new oocyte formation. Even one germ-line stem cell division per 2 wk would have been detected by our method, based on the kinetics of fetal follicle formation. Thus, adult female mice neither require nor contain active germ-line stem cells or produce new oocytes in vivo. PMID:23630252

  5. 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

  6. Apoptosis in male germ cells in response to cyclin A1-deficiency and cell cycle arrest.

    PubMed

    Salazar, Glicella; Liu, Dong; Liao, Ching; Batkiewicz, Leah; Arbing, Rachel; Chung, Sanny S W; Lele, Karen; Wolgemuth, Debra J

    2003-10-15

    Male mice homozygous for a mutated allele of the cyclin A1 gene (Ccna1) are sterile due to a block in cell cycle progression before the first meiotic division. Meiosis arrest in Ccna1(-/-) spermatocytes is associated with desynapsis abnormalities, lowered MPF activity, and apoptosis as evidenced by TUNEL-positive staining. With time, adult testicular tubules exhibit severe degeneration: some tubules in the older animals are almost devoid of germ cells at various stages of spermatogenesis. The mechanisms by which the cells sense the cell cycle arrest and the regulation of the decision to undergo cell death are under investigation. PMID:14555236

  7. Circulating tumor cells in germ cell tumors: are those biomarkers of real prognostic value? A review

    PubMed Central

    CEBOTARU, CRISTINA LIGIA; OLTEANU, ELENA DIANA; ANTONE, NICOLETA ZENOVIA; BUIGA, RARES; NAGY, VIORICA

    2016-01-01

    Analysis of circulating tumor cells from patients with different types of cancer is nowadays a fascinating new tool of research and their number is proven to be useful as a prognostic factor in metastatic breast, colon and prostate cancer patients. Studies are going beyond enumeration, exploring the circulating tumor cells to better understand the mechanisms of tumorigenesis, invasion and metastasis and their value for characterization, prognosis and tailoring of treatment. Few studies investigated the prognostic significance of circulating tumor cells in germ cell tumors. In this review, we examine the possible significance of the detection of circulating tumor cells in this setting. PMID:27152069

  8. Are testicular mast cells involved in the regulation of germ cells in man?

    PubMed

    Windschüttl, S; Nettersheim, D; Schlatt, S; Huber, A; Welter, H; Schwarzer, J U; Köhn, F M; Schorle, H; Mayerhofer, A

    2014-07-01

    Protease activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) is the receptor for the prototype mast cell product tryptase. PAR-2 expression by cells of the human germinal epithelium was reported, but the exact cellular sites of testicular expression remained unknown. That became of interest, because mast cells, expressing tryptase, were found in the walls of seminiferous tubules of patients suffering from sub- and infertility. This location suggested that mast cells via tryptase might be able to influence PAR-2-expressing cells in the germinal epithelium. To explore these points, we used testicular paraffin-embedded sections for immunohistochemistry. PAR-2-positive cells were mostly basally located cells of the seminiferous epithelium, namely spermatogonia. Some stained for the receptor for GDNF (GFRalpha-1), and possibly represent spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs). As true human SSCs could not be examined, we turned to TCam-2 seminoma cells, expressing PAR-2 and stem cell markers, including GFRalpha-1. TCam-2 cells robustly responded to stimulation with a specific PAR-2 agonist (SLIGKV) by increased intracellular Ca(2+) levels. Recombinant tryptase and trypsin, but not a control peptide (VKGILS) evoked this response, implying functional PAR-2. Video imaging and caspase 3/7 assays showed that SLIGKV and tryptase prevented spontaneous apoptosis and increased proliferation of TCam-2 cells. The expression of the marker of pluripotency OCT3/4 was unchanged upon activation of PAR-2, suggesting that the stem cell-like character is not changed. Furthermore, human germ cell cancers were examined. A subset of seminoma and carcinoma in situ samples expressed PAR-2, indicating that yet unknown subgroups exist. Collectively, the descriptive data obtained in human testicular sections, in germ cell cancers and the functional results in TCam-2 cells imply a trophic role of mast cell-derived tryptase for human germ cells. This may be relevant for subtypes of human germ cell cancers, and possibly SSCs. It

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Gamma-irradiation depletes endogenous germ cells and increases donor cell distribution in chimeric chickens.

    PubMed

    Park, Kyung Je; Kang, Seok Jin; Kim, Tae Min; Lee, Young Mok; Lee, Hyung Chul; Song, Gwonhwa; Han, Jae Yong

    2010-12-01

    The production of chimeric birds is an important tool for the investigation of vertebrate development, the conservation of endangered birds, and the development of various biotechnological applications. This study examined whether gamma (γ)-irradiation depletes endogenous primordial germ cells and enhances the efficiency of somatic chimerism in chickens. An optimal irradiation protocol for stage X embryos was determined after irradiation at various doses (0, 100, 300, 500, 600, 700, and 2,000 rad). Exposure to 500 rad of γ-irradiation for 73 s significantly decreased the number of primordial germ cells (P < 0.0001). Somatic chimera hatchlings were then produced by transferring blastodermal cells from a Korean Oge into either an irradiated (at 500 rad) or intact stage X White Leghorn embryo. An analysis of feather color pattern and polymerase chain reaction-based species-specific amplification of various tissues of the hatchlings confirmed chimerism in most organs of the chick produced from the irradiated recipient; a lesser degree of chimerism was observed in the non-irradiated control recipient. In conclusion, the exposure of chick embryos to an optimized dose of γ-irradiation effectively depleted germ cells and yielded greater somatic chimerism than non-irradiated control embryos. This technique can be applied to interspecies reproduction or the production of transgenic birds. PMID:21057980

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Differentiation of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells into germ-like cells in mouse seminiferous tubules

    PubMed Central

    CHEN, HUI; TANG, QIU-LING; WU, XIAO-YING; XIE, LI-CHUN; LIN, LI-MIN; HO, GU-YU; MA, LIAN

    2015-01-01

    Our previous study demonstrated that human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (HUMSCs) were capable of differentiation into germ cells in vitro. To assess this potential in vivo, HUMSCs were microinjected into the lumen of seminiferous tubules of immunocompetent mice, which were treated with busulfan to destroy endogenous spermatogenesis. Bromodeoxyuridine labeling studies demonstrated that HUMSCs survived in the tubule for at least 120 days, exhibited a round cell shape typical of proliferating or differentiating germ cells, migrated to the basement of the tubule, where proliferating spermatogonia reside and returned to the luminal compartment, where differentiating spermatids and spermatozoa reside. The migration pattern resembled that of germ cell development in vivo. Immunohistochemical and colocalization studies revealed that transplanted HUMSCs expressed the germ cell markers octamer-binding transcription factor 4, α6 integrin, C-kit and VASA, confirming the germ cell differentiation. In addition, it was observed that tubules transplanted with HUMSCs exhibited marked improvement in the histological features damaged by the chemotherapeutic busulfan, as judged by morphology and quantitative histology. Taken together, these data demonstrated the capacity of HUMSCs to form germ cells in the testes and to repair testicular tissue. These findings suggest a potential utility of HUMSCs to treat the infertility and testicular insufficiency caused by cancer therapeutics. PMID:25815600

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Human primordial germ cell-derived progenitors give rise to neurons and glia in vivo

    SciTech Connect

    Teng, Yincheng; Chen, Bin; Tao, Minfang

    2009-12-18

    We derived a cell population from cultured human primordial germ cells from early human embryos. The derivates, termed embryoid body-derived (EBD) cells, displayed an extensive capacity for proliferation and expressed a panel of markers in all three germ layers. Interestingly, EBD cells were also positive for markers of neural stem/progenitor cells, such as nestin and glial fibrillary acidic protein. When these cells were transplanted into the brain cavities of fetal sheep and postnatal NOD-SCID mice or nerve-degenerated tibialis anterior muscles, they readily gave rise to neurons or glial cells. To our knowledge, our data are the first to demonstrate that EBD cells can undergo further neurogenesis under suitable environments in vivo. Hence, with the abilities of extensive expansion, self-renewal, and differentiation, EBD cells may provide a useful donor source for neural stem/progenitor cells to be used in cell-replacement therapies for diseases of the nervous system.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Phenotypic characterisation of immune cell infiltrates in testicular germ cell neoplasia.

    PubMed

    Hvarness, Tine; Nielsen, John E; Almstrup, Kristian; Skakkebaek, Niels E; Rajpert-De Meyts, Ewa; Claesson, Mogens H

    2013-12-01

    Immune cells often infiltrate testicular germ cell neoplasms, including pre-invasive carcinoma in situ (CIS), but the significance of this phenomenon remains unknown. The composition and distribution of infiltrating immune cells were examined by immunohistochemistry in testis samples with CIS and overt seminoma, in comparison to biopsies from infertile men without neoplasia. The composition of immune cells was similar across all the groups studied. Macrophages, CD8⁺ and CD45R0⁺ T lymphocytes constituted the majority of infiltrates, B lymphocytes were present in an intermediate proportion and very few CD4⁺ and FoxP3⁺ T cells were detected. HLA-I antigen was more abundant in Sertoli cells in tubules containing CIS than in those with normal spermatogenesis. This study showed a phenotypically comparable composition of infiltrating immune cells independently of the presence of neoplasia, suggesting the absence of active immune surveillance in testicular germ cell cancer. PMID:24290033

  17. Survival of glucose phosphate isomerase null somatic cells and germ cells in adult mouse chimaeras

    PubMed Central

    Keighren, Margaret A.; Flockhart, Jean H.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The mouse Gpi1 gene encodes the glycolytic enzyme glucose phosphate isomerase. Homozygous Gpi1−/− null mouse embryos die but a previous study showed that some homozygous Gpi1−/− null cells survived when combined with wild-type cells in fetal chimaeras. One adult female Gpi1−/−↔Gpi1c/c chimaera with functional Gpi1−/− null oocytes was also identified in a preliminary study. The aims were to characterise the survival of Gpi1−/− null cells in adult Gpi1−/−↔Gpi1c/c chimaeras and determine if Gpi1−/− null germ cells are functional. Analysis of adult Gpi1−/−↔Gpi1c/c chimaeras with pigment and a reiterated transgenic lineage marker showed that low numbers of homozygous Gpi1−/− null cells could survive in many tissues of adult chimaeras, including oocytes. Breeding experiments confirmed that Gpi1−/− null oocytes in one female Gpi1−/−↔Gpi1c/c chimaera were functional and provided preliminary evidence that one male putative Gpi1−/−↔Gpi1c/c chimaera produced functional spermatozoa from homozygous Gpi1−/− null germ cells. Although the male chimaera was almost certainly Gpi1−/−↔Gpi1c/c, this part of the study is considered preliminary because only blood was typed for GPI. Gpi1−/− null germ cells should survive in a chimaeric testis if they are supported by wild-type Sertoli cells. It is also feasible that spermatozoa could bypass a block at GPI, but not blocks at some later steps in glycolysis, by using fructose, rather than glucose, as the substrate for glycolysis. Although chimaera analysis proved inefficient for studying the fate of Gpi1−/− null germ cells, it successfully identified functional Gpi1−/− null oocytes and revealed that some Gpi1−/− null cells could survive in many adult tissues. PMID:27103217

  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. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Posterior elongation in the annelid Platynereis dumerilii involves stem cells molecularly related to primordial germ cells.

    PubMed

    Gazave, Eve; Béhague, Julien; Laplane, Lucie; Guillou, Aurélien; Préau, Laetitia; Demilly, Adrien; Balavoine, Guillaume; Vervoort, Michel

    2013-10-01

    Like most bilaterian animals, the annelid Platynereis dumerilii generates the majority of its body axis in an anterior to posterior temporal progression with new segments added sequentially. This process relies on a posterior subterminal proliferative body region, known as the "segment addition zone" (SAZ). We explored some of the molecular and cellular aspects of posterior elongation in Platynereis, in particular to test the hypothesis that the SAZ contains a specific set of stem cells dedicated to posterior elongation. We cloned and characterized the developmental expression patterns of orthologs of 17 genes known to be involved in the formation, behavior, or maintenance of stem cells in other metazoan models. These genes encode RNA-binding proteins (e.g., tudor, musashi, pumilio) or transcription factors (e.g., myc, id, runx) widely conserved in eumetazoans. Most of these genes are expressed both in the migrating primordial germ cells and in overlapping ring-like patterns in the SAZ, similar to some previously analyzed genes (piwi, vasa). The SAZ patterns are coincident with the expression of proliferation markers cyclin B and PCNA. EdU pulse and chase experiments suggest that new segments are produced through many rounds of divisions from small populations of teloblast-like posterior stem cells. The shared molecular signature between primordial germ cells and posterior stem cells in Platynereis thus corresponds to an ancestral "stemness" program. PMID:23891818

  7. 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

  8. Bone morphogenetic protein 4 and retinoic acid trigger bovine VASA homolog expression in differentiating bovine induced pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Malaver-Ortega, Luis F; Sumer, Huseyin; Jain, Kanika; Verma, Paul J

    2016-02-01

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are the earliest identifiable and completely committed progenitors of female and male gametes. They are obvious targets for genome editing because they assure the transmission of desirable or introduced traits to future generations. PGCs are established at the earliest stages of embryo development and are difficult to propagate in vitro--two characteristics that pose a problem for their practical application. One alternative method to enrich for PGCs in vitro is to differentiate them from pluripotent stem cells derived from adult tissues. Here, we establish a reporter system for germ cell identification in bovine pluripotent stem cells based on green fluorescent protein expression driven by the minimal essential promoter of the bovine Vasa homolog (BVH) gene, whose regulatory elements were identified by orthologous modelling of regulatory units. We then evaluated the potential of bovine induced pluripotent stem cell (biPSC) lines carrying the reporter construct to differentiate toward the germ cell lineage. Our results showed that biPSCs undergo differentiation as embryoid bodies, and a fraction of the differentiating cells expressed BVH. The rate of differentiation towards BVH-positive cells increased up to tenfold in the presence of bone morphogenetic protein 4 or retinoic acid. Finally, we determined that the expression of key PGC genes, such as BVH or SOX2, can be modified by pre-differentiation cell culture conditions, although this increase is not necessarily mirrored by an increase in the rate of differentiation. PMID:26660942

  9. In Vitro and In Vivo Germ Line Potential of Stem Cells Derived from Newborn Mouse Skin

    PubMed Central

    Dyce, Paul W.; Liu, Jinghe; Tayade, Chandrakant; Kidder, Gerald M.; Betts, Dean H.; Li, Julang

    2011-01-01

    We previously reported that fetal porcine skin-derived stem cells were capable of differentiation into oocyte-like cells (OLCs). Here we report that newborn mice skin-derived stem cells are also capable of differentiating into early OLCs. Using stem cells from mice that are transgenic for Oct4 germline distal enhancer-GFP, germ cells resulting from their differentiation are expected to be GFP+. After differentiation, some GFP+ OLCs reached 40–45 µM and expressed oocyte markers. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that ∼0.3% of the freshly isolated skin cells were GFP+. The GFP-positive cells increased to ∼7% after differentiation, suggesting that the GFP+ cells could be of in vivo origin, but are more likely induced upon being cultured in vitro. To study the in vivo germ cell potential of skin-derived cells, they were aggregated with newborn ovarian cells, and transplanted under the kidney capsule of ovariectomized mice. GFP+ oocytes were identified within a subpopulation of follicles in the resulting growth. Our finding that early oocytes can be differentiated from mice skin-derived cells in defined medium may offer a new in vitro model to study germ cell formation and oogenesis. PMID:21629667

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. GermlncRNA: a unique catalogue of long non-coding RNAs and associated regulations in male germ cell development.

    PubMed

    Luk, Alfred Chun-Shui; Gao, Huayan; Xiao, Sizhe; Liao, Jinyue; Wang, Daxi; Tu, Jiajie; Rennert, Owen M; Chan, Wai-Yee; Lee, Tin-Lap

    2015-01-01

    Spermatogenic failure is a major cause of male infertility, which affects millions of couples worldwide. Recent discovery of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) as critical regulators in normal and disease development provides new clues for delineating the molecular regulation in male germ cell development. However, few functional lncRNAs have been characterized to date. A major limitation in studying lncRNA in male germ cell development is the absence of germ cell-specific lncRNA annotation. Current lncRNA annotations are assembled by transcriptome data from heterogeneous tissue sources; specific germ cell transcript information of various developmental stages is therefore under-represented, which may lead to biased prediction or fail to identity important germ cell-specific lncRNAs. GermlncRNA provides the first comprehensive web-based and open-access lncRNA catalogue for three key male germ cell stages, including type A spermatogonia, pachytene spermatocytes and round spermatids. This information has been developed by integrating male germ transcriptome resources derived from RNA-Seq, tiling microarray and GermSAGE. Characterizations on lncRNA-associated regulatory features, potential coding gene and microRNA targets are also provided. Search results from GermlncRNA can be exported to Galaxy for downstream analysis or downloaded locally. Taken together, GermlncRNA offers a new avenue to better understand the role of lncRNAs and associated targets during spermatogenesis. Database URL: http://germlncrna.cbiit.cuhk.edu.hk/ PMID:25982314

  13. GermlncRNA: a unique catalogue of long non-coding RNAs and associated regulations in male germ cell development

    PubMed Central

    Luk, Alfred Chun-Shui; Gao, Huayan; Xiao, Sizhe; Liao, Jinyue; Wang, Daxi; Tu, Jiajie; Rennert, Owen M.; Chan, Wai-Yee; Lee, Tin-Lap

    2015-01-01

    Spermatogenic failure is a major cause of male infertility, which affects millions of couples worldwide. Recent discovery of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) as critical regulators in normal and disease development provides new clues for delineating the molecular regulation in male germ cell development. However, few functional lncRNAs have been characterized to date. A major limitation in studying lncRNA in male germ cell development is the absence of germ cell-specific lncRNA annotation. Current lncRNA annotations are assembled by transcriptome data from heterogeneous tissue sources; specific germ cell transcript information of various developmental stages is therefore under-represented, which may lead to biased prediction or fail to identity important germ cell-specific lncRNAs. GermlncRNA provides the first comprehensive web-based and open-access lncRNA catalogue for three key male germ cell stages, including type A spermatogonia, pachytene spermatocytes and round spermatids. This information has been developed by integrating male germ transcriptome resources derived from RNA-Seq, tiling microarray and GermSAGE. Characterizations on lncRNA-associated regulatory features, potential coding gene and microRNA targets are also provided. Search results from GermlncRNA can be exported to Galaxy for downstream analysis or downloaded locally. Taken together, GermlncRNA offers a new avenue to better understand the role of lncRNAs and associated targets during spermatogenesis. Database URL: http://germlncrna.cbiit.cuhk.edu.hk/ PMID:25982314

  14. [Study on pluripotency and cultivation of ES-like cells derived from male germ stem cells of bovine fetuses].

    PubMed

    Dong, Wu-Zi; Shen, Wen-Zheng; Hua, Jin-Lian; Dou, Zhong-Ying

    2007-07-01

    Male germ stem cells (mGSCs), which is in testis after sex differentiation, derive from primordial germ cells. In this study, bovine mGSCs were isolated from testis of 20 weeks fetuses. Number of CD9 positive cells of the cells through two-steps adhering plates velocity different was 95.8% by flow cytometer. The carina-type cells clones and the plane-type cells clones appeared in co-cultured system. One cells lines had been successively maintained for 4 passages, and the cells clusters showed AKP positive staining. The cells clusters showed nest-shape in third passage showed SSEA1 and Oct-4 positive staining. These cells can also spontaneously differentiate into c-kit positive staining germ cells, and the cells were directional induced to formaactin positive staining cardiac-like cells cluster and NF positive staining neuron-like cells. The conclusion showed that male germ stem cells from 20 weeks bovine fetuses could be in vitro formed like embryonic stem cells. PMID:17822057

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. Retracted article: In vitro derivation of mammalian germ cells from stem cells and their potential therapeutic application.

    PubMed

    Saito, Shigeo; Lin, Ying-Chu; Murayama, Yoshinobu; Nakamura, Yukio; Eckner, Richard; Niemann, Heiner; Yokoyama, Kazunari K

    2015-12-01

    Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) are a unique type of cells because they exhibit the characteristics of self-renewal and pluripotency. PSCs may be induced to differentiate into any cell type, even male and female germ cells, suggesting their potential as novel cell-based therapeutic treatment for infertility problems. Spermatogenesis is an intricate biological process that starts from self-renewal of spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) and leads to differentiated haploid spermatozoa. Errors at any stage in spermatogenesis may result in male infertility. During the past decade, much progress has been made in the derivation of male germ cells from various types of progenitor stem cells. Currently, there are two main approaches for the derivation of functional germ cells from PSCs, either the induction of in vitro differentiation to produce haploid cell products, or combination of in vitro differentiation and in vivo transplantation. The production of mature and fertile spermatozoa from stem cells might provide an unlimited source of autologous gametes for treatment of male infertility. Here, we discuss the current state of the art regarding the differentiation potential of SSCs, embryonic stem cells, and induced pluripotent stem cells to produce functional male germ cells. We also discuss the possible use of livestock-derived PSCs as a novel option for animal reproduction and infertility treatment. PMID:26439925

  1. Production of human CD59-transgenic pigs by embryonic germ cell nuclear transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Ahn, Kwang Sung; Won, Ji Young; Park, Jin-Ki; Sorrell, Alice M.; Heo, Soon Young; Kang, Jee Hyun; Woo, Jae-Seok; Choi, Bong-Hwan; Chang, Won-Kyong; Shim, Hosup

    2010-10-01

    Research highlights: {yields} Human CD59 (hCD59) gene was introduced into porcine embryonic germ (EG) cells. {yields} hCD59-transgenic EG cells were resistant to hyperacute rejection in cytolytic assay. {yields} hCD59-transgenic pigs were produced by EG cell nuclear transfer. -- Abstract: This study was performed to produce transgenic pigs expressing the human complement regulatory protein CD59 (hCD59) using the nuclear transfer (NT) of embryonic germ (EG) cells, which are undifferentiated stem cells derived from primordial germ cells. Because EG cells can be cultured indefinitely in an undifferentiated state, they may provide an inexhaustible source of nuclear donor cells for NT to produce transgenic pigs. A total of 1980 NT embryos derived from hCD59-transgenic EG cells were transferred to ten recipients, resulting in the birth of fifteen piglets from three pregnancies. Among these offspring, ten were alive without overt health problems. Based on PCR analysis, all fifteen piglets were confirmed as hCD59 transgenic. The expression of the hCD59 transgene in the ten living piglets was verified by RT-PCR. Western analysis showed the expression of the hCD59 protein in four of the ten RT-PCR-positive piglets. These results demonstrate that hCD59-transgenic pigs could effectively be produced by EG cell NT and that such transgenic pigs may be used as organ donors in pig-to-human xenotransplantation.

  2. Unexpected requirement for ELMO1 in clearance of apoptotic germ cells in vivo.

    PubMed

    Elliott, Michael R; Zheng, Shuqiu; Park, Daeho; Woodson, Robin I; Reardon, Michael A; Juncadella, Ignacio J; Kinchen, Jason M; Zhang, Jun; Lysiak, Jeffrey J; Ravichandran, Kodi S

    2010-09-16

    Apoptosis and the subsequent clearance of dying cells occurs throughout development and adult life in many tissues. Failure to promptly clear apoptotic cells has been linked to many diseases. ELMO1 is an evolutionarily conserved cytoplasmic engulfment protein that functions downstream of the phosphatidylserine receptor BAI1, and, along with DOCK1 and the GTPase RAC1, promotes internalization of the dying cells. Here we report the generation of ELMO1-deficient mice, which we found to be unexpectedly viable and grossly normal. However, they had a striking testicular pathology, with disrupted seminiferous epithelium, multinucleated giant cells, uncleared apoptotic germ cells and decreased sperm output. Subsequent in vitro and in vivo analyses revealed a crucial role for ELMO1 in the phagocytic clearance of apoptotic germ cells by Sertoli cells lining the seminiferous epithelium. The engulfment receptor BAI1 and RAC1 (upstream and downstream of ELMO1, respectively) were also important for Sertoli-cell-mediated engulfment. Collectively, these findings uncover a selective requirement for ELMO1 in Sertoli-cell-mediated removal of apoptotic germ cells and make a compelling case for a relationship between engulfment and tissue homeostasis in vivo. PMID:20844538

  3. 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

  4. Expression, sorting, and segregation of Golgi proteins during germ cell differentiation in the testis

    PubMed Central

    Au, Catherine E.; Hermo, Louis; Byrne, Elliot; Smirle, Jeffrey; Fazel, Ali; Simon, Paul H. G.; Kearney, Robert E.; Cameron, Pamela H.; Smith, Charles E.; Vali, Hojatollah; Fernandez-Rodriguez, Julia; Ma, Kewei; Nilsson, Tommy; Bergeron, John J. M.

    2015-01-01

    The molecular basis of changes in structure, cellular location, and function of the Golgi apparatus during male germ cell differentiation is unknown. To deduce cognate Golgi proteins, we isolated germ cell Golgi fractions, and 1318 proteins were characterized, with 20 localized in situ. The most abundant protein, GL54D of unknown function, is characterized as a germ cell–specific Golgi-localized type II integral membrane glycoprotein. TM9SF3, also of unknown function, was revealed to be a universal Golgi marker for both somatic and germ cells. During acrosome formation, several Golgi proteins (GBF1, GPP34, GRASP55) localize to both the acrosome and Golgi, while GL54D, TM9SF3, and the Golgi trafficking protein TMED7/p27 are segregated from the acrosome. After acrosome formation, GL54D, TM9SF3, TMED4/p25, and TMED7/p27 continue to mark Golgi identity as it migrates away from the acrosome, while the others (GBF1, GPP34, GRASP55) remain in the acrosome and are progressively lost in later steps of differentiation. Cytoplasmic HSP70.2 and the endoplasmic reticulum luminal protein-folding enzyme PDILT are also Golgi recruited but only during acrosome formation. This resource identifies abundant Golgi proteins that are expressed differentially during mitosis, meiosis, and postacrosome Golgi migration, including the last step of differentiation. PMID:25808494

  5. Hybrid GPCR/cadherin (Celsr) proteins in rat testis are expressed with cell type specificity and exhibit differential Sertoli cell-germ cell adhesion activity.

    PubMed

    Beall, Stephanie A; Boekelheide, Kim; Johnson, Kamin J

    2005-01-01

    Spermatogenesis requires Sertoli cell-germ cell adhesion for germ cell survival and maturation. Cadherins are a diverse superfamily of adhesion proteins; structurally unique members of this superfamily (celsr cadherins) are hybrid molecules containing extracellular cadherin repeats connected to a G protein-coupled receptor transmembrane motif. Here we demonstrate postnatal testicular mRNA expression of the 3 celsr paralogs (celsr1, celsr2, and celsr3), protein localization of celsr2 and celsr3, and functional analysis of celsr2 adhesion activity in primary Sertoli cell-germ cell co-cultures. Evaluation of celsr mRNA levels during a postnatal time course indicated that celsr1 and celsr2 were Sertoli cell and/or early-stage germ cell products, whereas celsr3 was expressed in later-stage germ cells. Cell type-specific expression was verified using the Sertoli cell line 93RS2, where celsr1 and celsr2 mRNA, but not celsr3, were detected. Immunostaining of testicular cryosections resulted in celsr2 protein localization to a spokelike pattern in the basal seminiferous epithelium and punctate figures in the apical epithelium, consistent with both Sertoli cell and germ cell expression. Celsr3 localized to punctate structures in the adluminal epithelium from postnatal day 40, consistent with elongate spermatid expression. The subcellular localization of celsr2 was examined further to define its localization in Sertoli cells and germ cells. Celsr2 localized to the Golgi complex in Sertoli cells and germ cells. In addition, germ cell celsr2 localized to a rab7-positive structure, which may be an endocytic compartment. Neither celsr2 nor celsr3 immunostaining was present at classic cadherin-based adhesion junctions. Nonetheless, the addition of a recombinant celsr2 protein fragment consisting of extracellular cadherin domains 4 through 8 to Sertoli cell-germ cell co-cultures resulted in germ cell detachment from Sertoli cells. Collectively, these data indicate that celsr

  6. 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

  7. Serotonin receptors are selectively expressed in the avian germ cells and early embryos.

    PubMed

    Stępińska, Urszula; Kuwana, Takashi; Olszańska, Bożenna

    2015-06-01

    The expression of nine serotonin (5-HT) receptor transcripts was studied using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in germ cells, cleavage and gastrulation stages of Japanese quail, and qPCR for 5-HT3 and 5-HT4 receptors in oocytes and embryos. We show the presence/absence of nine serotonin transcripts known in birds for receptors 5-HT1A, 5-HT1F, 5-HT2B, 5-HT2C, 5-HT3, 5-HT4, 5-HT5A, 5-HT6 and 5-HT7A in avian germ cells and early embryos. The absence of 5-HT3 and 5-HT5A in primordial germ cells and of 5-HT3 and 5-HT7A in sperm is characteristic. All transcripts appeared in oocytes at all stages (except for 5-HT3 and 5-HT5A transcripts) and all were present in cleaving embryos and at gastrulation, except for 5-HT3, which was permanently observed as late as in stage 4. Interestingly, 5-HT3 and 5-HT5A receptors accumulated in 3-mm and F1 oocytes but were degraded at ovulation and started to be re-transcribed in cleavage stage II embryos and beyond. The selective appearance of 5-HT receptors in germ cells and early embryos supports the hypothesis that serotonin may act as a signalling molecule at early stages of germ line and embryo differentiation via individual receptors present during different stages, when specialized communication systems are not yet developed. PMID:24521994

  8. 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

  9. High-resolution telomere fluorescence in situ hybridization reveals intriguing anomalies in germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Shekhani, Mohammed Talha; Barber, John R; Bezerra, Stephania M; Heaphy, Christopher M; Gonzalez Roibon, Nilda Diana; Taheri, Diana; Reis, Leonardo O; Guner, Gunes; Joshu, Corinne E; Netto, George J; Meeker, Alan K

    2016-08-01

    Testicular germ cell tumor (TGCT) is the most common malignancy of young men. Most patients are completely cured, which distinguishes these from most other malignancies. Orchiectomy specimens (n=76) were evaluated using high-resolution (single-cell discriminative) telomere-specific fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with simultaneous Oct4 immunofluorescence to describe telomere length phenotype in TGCT neoplastic cells. For the first time, the TGCT precursor lesion, germ cell neoplasia in situ (GCNIS) is also evaluated in depth. The intensity of the signals from cancerous cells was compared to the same patient's reference cells-namely, healthy germ cells (defined as "medium" length) and interstitial/somatic cells (defined as "short" telomere length). We observed short telomeres in most GCNIS and pure seminomas (P=.006 and P=.0005, respectively). In contrast, nonseminomas displayed longer telomeres. Lesion-specific telomere lengths were documented in mixed tumor cases. Embryonal carcinoma (EC) demonstrated the longest telomeres. A fraction of EC displays the telomerase-independent alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) phenotype (24% of cases). Loss of ATRX or DAXX nuclear expression was strongly associated with ALT; however, nuclear expression of both proteins was retained in half of ALT-positive ECs. The particular distribution of telomere lengths among TGCT and GCNIS precursors implicate telomeres anomalies in pathogenesis. These results may advise management decisions as well. PMID:27085557

  10. MAPK15 upregulation promotes cell proliferation and prevents DNA damage in male germ cell tumors

    PubMed Central

    Ilardi, Gennaro; Acunzo, Mario; Nigita, Giovanni; Sasdelli, Federica; Celetti, Angela; Strambi, Angela; Staibano, Stefania; Croce, Carlo Maria; Chiariello, Mario

    2016-01-01

    Germ cell tumors (GCT) are the most common malignancies in males between 15 and 35 years of age. Despite the high cure rate, achieved through chemotherapy and/or surgery, the molecular basis of GCT etiology is still largely obscure. Here, we show a positive correlation between MAPK15 (ERK8; ERK7) expression and specific GCT subtypes, with the highest levels found in the aggressive embryonal carcinomas (EC). Indeed, in corresponding cellular models for EC, MAPK15 enhanced tumorigenicity in vivo and promoted cell proliferation in vitro, supporting a role for this kinase in human GCT. At molecular level, we demonstrated that endogenous MAPK15 is necessary to sustain cell cycle progression of EC cells, by limiting p53 activation and preventing the triggering of p53-dependent mechanisms resulting in cell cycle arrest. To understand MAPK15-dependent mechanisms impinging on p53 activation, we demonstrate that this kinase efficiently protects cells from DNA damage. Moreover, we show that the ability of MAPK15 to control the autophagic process is necessary for basal management of DNA damage and for tumor formation controlled by the kinase. In conclusion, our findings suggest that MAPK15 overexpression may contribute to the malignant transformation of germ cells by controlling a “stress support” autophagic pathway, able to prevent DNA damage and the consequent activation of the p53 tumor suppressor. Moreover, in light of these results, MAPK15-specific inhibitors might represent new tools to enhance the therapeutic index of cytotoxic therapy in GCT treatment, and to increase the sensitivity to DNA-damaging drugs in other chemotherapy-resistant human tumors. PMID:26988910

  11. MAPK15 upregulation promotes cell proliferation and prevents DNA damage in male germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Matteo; Colecchia, David; Ilardi, Gennaro; Acunzo, Mario; Nigita, Giovanni; Sasdelli, Federica; Celetti, Angela; Strambi, Angela; Staibano, Stefania; Croce, Carlo Maria; Chiariello, Mario

    2016-04-12

    Germ cell tumors (GCT) are the most common malignancies in males between 15 and 35 years of age. Despite the high cure rate, achieved through chemotherapy and/or surgery, the molecular basis of GCT etiology is still largely obscure. Here, we show a positive correlation between MAPK15 (ERK8; ERK7) expression and specific GCT subtypes, with the highest levels found in the aggressive embryonal carcinomas (EC). Indeed, in corresponding cellular models for EC, MAPK15 enhanced tumorigenicity in vivo and promoted cell proliferation in vitro, supporting a role for this kinase in human GCT. At molecular level, we demonstrated that endogenous MAPK15 is necessary to sustain cell cycle progression of EC cells, by limiting p53 activation and preventing the triggering of p53-dependent mechanisms resulting in cell cycle arrest.To understand MAPK15-dependent mechanisms impinging on p53 activation, we demonstrate that this kinase efficiently protects cells from DNA damage. Moreover, we show that the ability of MAPK15 to control the autophagic process is necessary for basal management of DNA damage and for tumor formation controlled by the kinase.In conclusion, our findings suggest that MAPK15 overexpression may contribute to the malignant transformation of germ cells by controlling a "stress support" autophagic pathway, able to prevent DNA damage and the consequent activation of the p53 tumor suppressor. Moreover, in light of these results, MAPK15-specific inhibitors might represent new tools to enhance the therapeutic index of cytotoxic therapy in GCT treatment, and to increase the sensitivity to DNA-damaging drugs in other chemotherapy-resistant human tumors. PMID:26988910

  12. Critical role of CCDC6 in the neoplastic growth of testicular germ cell tumors

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background DNA damage response has been clearly described as an anti-cancer barrier in early human tumorigenesis. Moreover, interestingly, testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) have been reported to lack the DNA Damage Response (DDR) pathway activation. CCDC6 is a pro-apoptotic phosphoprotein substrate of the kinase ataxia telangectasia mutated (ATM) able to sustain DNA damage checkpoint in response to genotoxic stress and is commonly rearranged in malignancies upon fusion with different partners. In our study we sought to determine whether CCDC6 could have a role in the patho-genesis of testicular germ cell tumors. Methods To achieve this aim, analysis for CCDC6 expression has been evaluated on serial sections of the mouse testis by immunohistochemistry and on separate populations of murine testicular cells by western blot. Next, the resistance to DNA damage-induced apoptosis and the production of reactive oxygen species has been investigated in GC1 cells, derived from immortalized type B murine germ cells, following CCDC6 silencing. Finally, the CCDC6 expression in normal human testicular cells, in Intratubular Germ Cell Neoplasia Unclassified (IGCNU), in a large series of male germ cell tumours and in the unique human seminoma TCam2 cell line has been evaluated by immunohistochemistry and by Western Blot analyses. Results The analysis of the CCDC6 expression revealed its presence in Sertoli cells and in spermatogonial cells. CCDC6 loss was the most consistent feature among the primary tumours and TCam2 cells. Interestingly, following treatment with low doses of H2O2, the silencing of CCDC6 in GC1 cells caused a decrease in the oxidized form of cytochrome c and low detection of Bad, PARP-1 and Caspase 3 proteins. Moreover, in the silenced cells, upon oxidative damage, the cell viability was protected, the γH2AX activation was impaired and the Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) release was decreased. Conclusions Therefore, our results suggest that the loss of CCDC6

  13. Regulation of Sertoli-Germ Cell Adhesion and Sperm Release by FSH and Nonclassical Testosterone Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Shupe, John; Cheng, Jing; Puri, Pawan; Kostereva, Nataliya

    2011-01-01

    Testosterone and FSH act in synergy to produce the factors required to maximize the production of spermatozoa and male fertility. However, the molecular mechanisms by which these hormones support spermatogenesis are not well established. Recently, we identified a nonclassical mechanism of testosterone signaling in cultured rat Sertoli cells. We found that testosterone binding to the androgen receptor recruits and activates Src tyrosine kinase. Src then causes the activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor, which results in the phosphorylation and activation of the ERK MAPK and the cAMP response element-binding protein transcription factor. In this report, we find that FSH inhibits testosterone-mediated activation of ERK and the MAPK pathway in Sertoli cells via the protein kinase A-mediated inhibition of Raf kinase. In addition, FSH, as well as inhibitors of Src and ERK kinase activity, reduced germ cell attachment to Sertoli cells in culture. Using pathway-specific androgen receptor mutants we found that the nonclassical pathway is required for testosterone-mediated increases in germ cell attachment to Sertoli cells. Studies of seminiferous tubule explants determined that Src kinase, but not ERK kinase, activity is required for the release of sperm from seminiferous tubule explants. These findings suggest the nonclassical testosterone-signaling pathway acts via Src and ERK kinases to facilitate the adhesion of immature germ cells to Sertoli cells and through Src to permit the release of mature spermatozoa. In contrast, FSH acts to limit testosterone-mediated ERK kinase activity and germ cell attachment. PMID:21177760

  14. Hypoxia Inducible Factor 1 Alpha Is Expressed in Germ Cells throughout the Murine Life Cycle

    PubMed Central

    Gardner, Lauren H.; Mathews, Juanita; Yamazaki, Yuki; Allsopp, Richard C.

    2016-01-01

    Pluripotent stem cells of the early embryo, and germ line cells, are essential to ensure uncompromised development to adulthood as well as species propagation, respectively. Recently, the transcription factor hypoxia inducible factor 1 alpha (Hif1α) has been shown to have important roles in embryonic stem cells; in particular, regulation of conversion to glycolytic metabolism and, as we have shown, maintenance of functional levels of telomerase. In the present study, we sought to assess whether Hif1α was also expressed in the primitive cells of the murine embryo. We observed expression of Hif1α in pre-implantation embryos, specifically the 2-cell stage, morula, and blastocyst. Robust Hif1α expression was also observed in male and female primordial germ cells. We subsequently assessed whether Hif1α was expressed in adult male and female germ cells. In the testis, Hif1α was robustly expressed in spermatogonial cells, in both juvenile (6-week old) and adult (3-month old) males. In the ovaries, Hif1α was expressed in mature oocytes from adult females, as assessed both in situ and in individual oocytes flushed from super-ovulated females. Analysis of Hif1α transcript levels indicates a mechanism of regulation during early development that involves stockpiling of Hif1α protein in mature oocytes, presumably to provide protection from hypoxic stress until the gene is re-activated at the blastocyst stage. Together, these observations show that Hif1α is expressed throughout the life-cycle, including both the male and female germ line, and point to an important role for Hif1α in early progenitor cells. PMID:27148974

  15. Identification of a Heritable Model of Testicular Germ Cell Tumor in the Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Neumann, Joanie C.; Dovey, Jennifer Shepard; Chandler, Garvin L.; Carbajal, Liliana

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Germ cell tumors (GCTs) affect infants, children, and adults and are the most common cancer type in young men. Progress in understanding the molecular basis of GCTs has been hampered by a lack of suitable animal models. Here we report the identification of a zebrafish model of highly penetrant, heritable testicular GCT isolated as part of a forward genetic screen for cancer susceptibility genes. The mutant line develops spontaneous testicular tumors at a median age of 7 months, and pedigree analysis indicates dominant inheritance of the GCT susceptibility trait. The zebrafish model exhibits disruption of testicular tissue architecture and the accumulation of primitive, spermatogonial-like cells with loss of spermatocytic differentiation. Radiation treatment leads to apoptosis of the tumor cells and tumor regression. The GCT-susceptible line can serve as a model for understanding the mechanisms regulating germ cells in normal development and disease and as a platform investigating new therapeutic approaches for GCTs. PMID:20047465

  16. Modifications of wheat germ cell-free system for functional proteomics of plant membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Nozawa, Akira; Tozawa, Yuzuru

    2014-01-01

    Functional proteomics of plant membrane proteins is an important approach to understand the comprehensive architecture of each metabolic pathway in plants. One bottleneck in the characterization of membrane proteins is the difficulty in producing sufficient quantities of functional protein for analysis. Here, we describe three methods for membrane protein production utilizing a wheat germ cell-free protein expression system. Owing to the open nature of cell-free synthesis reaction, protein synthesis can be modified with components necessary to produce functional protein. In this way we have developed modifications to a wheat germ cell-free system for the production of functional membrane proteins. Supplementation of liposomes or detergents allows the synthesis of functional integral membrane proteins. Furthermore, supplementation of myristic acid enables synthesis of N-myristylated peripheral membrane proteins. These modified cell-free synthesis methods facilitate the preparation and subsequent functional analyses of a wide variety of membrane proteins. PMID:24136528

  17. Deficiency of Cardiolipin Synthase Causes Abnormal Mitochondrial Function and Morphology in Germ Cells of Caenorhabditis elegans*

    PubMed Central

    Sakamoto, Taro; Inoue, Takao; Otomo, Yukae; Yokomori, Nagaharu; Ohno, Motoki; Arai, Hiroyuki; Nakagawa, Yasuhito

    2012-01-01

    Cardiolipin (CL) is a major membrane phospholipid specifically localized in mitochondria. At the cellular level, CL has been shown to have a role in mitochondrial energy production, mitochondrial membrane dynamics, and the triggering of apoptosis. However, the in vivo role of CL in multicellular organisms is largely unknown. In this study, by analyzing deletion mutants of a CL synthase gene (crls-1) in Caenorhabditis elegans, we demonstrated that CL depletion selectively caused abnormal mitochondrial function and morphology in germ cells but not in somatic cell types such as muscle cells. crls-1 mutants reached adulthood but were sterile with reduced germ cell proliferation and impaired oogenesis. In the gonad of crls-1 mutants, mitochondrial membrane potential was significantly decreased, and the structure of the mitochondrial cristae was disrupted. Contrary to the abnormalities in the gonad, somatic tissues in crls-1 mutants appeared normal with respect to cell proliferation, mitochondrial function, and mitochondrial morphology. Increased susceptibility to CL depletion in germ cells was also observed in mutants of phosphatidylglycerophosphate synthase, an enzyme responsible for producing phosphatidylglycerol, a precursor phospholipid of CL. We propose that the contribution of CL to mitochondrial function and morphology is different among the cell types in C. elegans. PMID:22174409

  18. The dynamic changes of DNA methylation in primordial germ cell differentiation.

    PubMed

    Duan, Lian; Liu, Yongmei; Wang, Jie; Liao, Jiangquan; Hu, Junyuan

    2016-10-15

    The discovery of DNA methylation has provided a new perspective on how DNA may be dynamically regulated in the mammalian genome. DNA methylation is a dynamic process with a demethylation and de novo methylation from primordial germ cell to differentiation. DNA methylation and demethylation have been proposed to play important roles in somatic cell reprogramming. Some essential components were discussed, such as hydroxymethylation which has recently been confirmed as a modification of developmental importance. PMID:27320728

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Childhood Central Nervous System Germ Cell Tumors Treatment

    MedlinePlus

    ... cancer will come back, is called adjuvant therapy . High-dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue High-dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue is a way of giving high doses of chemotherapy and replacing blood -forming cells ...

  2. Embryonic germ cells from mice and rats exhibit properties consistent with a generic pluripotent ground state

    PubMed Central

    Leitch, Harry G.; Blair, Kate; Mansfield, William; Ayetey, Harold; Humphreys, Peter; Nichols, Jennifer; Surani, M. Azim; Smith, Austin

    2010-01-01

    Mouse and rat embryonic stem cells can be sustained in defined medium by dual inhibition (2i) of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (Erk1/2) cascade and of glycogen synthase kinase 3. The inhibitors suppress differentiation and enable self-renewal of pluripotent cells that are ex vivo counterparts of naïve epiblast cells in the mature blastocyst. Pluripotent stem cell lines can also be derived from unipotent primordial germ cells via a poorly understood process of epigenetic reprogramming. These are termed embryonic germ (EG) cells to denote their distinct origin. Here we investigate whether EG cell self-renewal and derivation are supported by 2i. We report that mouse EG cells can be established with high efficiency using 2i in combination with the cytokine leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF). Furthermore, addition of fibroblast growth factor or stem cell factor is unnecessary using 2i-LIF. The derived EG cells contribute extensively to healthy chimaeric mice, including to the germline. Using the same conditions, we describe the first derivations of EG cells from the rat. Rat EG cells express a similar marker profile to rat and mouse ES cells. They have a diploid karyotype, can be clonally expanded and genetically manipulated, and are competent for multilineage colonisation of chimaeras. These findings lend support to the postulate of a conserved molecular ground state in pluripotent rodent cells. Future research will determine the extent to which this is maintained in other mammals and whether, in some species, primordial germ cells might be a more tractable source than epiblast for the capture of naïve pluripotent stem cells. PMID:20519324

  3. [Mediastinal Nonseminomatous Germ Cell Tumor with Sarcoid-like Reaction in the Regional Lymph Nodes].

    PubMed

    Hamada, Akira; Kanauchi, Naoki; Suzuki, Katsuyuki; Watanabe, Hikaru; Watanabe, Isamu

    2015-06-01

    A 26-year-old man was admitted because of an abnormal shadow on a chest roentgenogram. Computed tomography(CT) revealed a very large tumor in the anterior mediastinum and bilateral mediastinal lymphadenopathy. Examination of a CT-guided biopsy specimen revealed a yolk-sac tumor. The patient received 4 courses of bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin chemotherapy. After chemotherapy, the tumor was markedly reduced in size, but the lymphadenopathy remained. The patient underwent thoracoscopic biopsy of the mediastinal lymph nodes. Sarcoid nodules were found in all the biopsied nodes, and the lymphadenopathy was thought to be a sarcoid-like reaction associated with the germ cell tumor. Resection of the residual tumor was performed according to the treatment algorithm of the International Germ Cell Cancer Collaborative Group. There were no viable tumor cells in the resected tissue. The patient is free of recurrence and without any sign of generalized sarcoidosis 3 years after the surgery. PMID:26066869

  4. Male germ cell-specific expression of a novel Patched-domain containing gene Ptchd3

    SciTech Connect

    Fan Jun; Akabane, Hiroto; Zheng Xuehai; Zhou Xuan; Zhang Li; Liu Qiang; Zhang Yonglian; Yang Jing; Zhu Guozhang

    2007-11-23

    The Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway plays an important role in various biological processes, including pattern formation, cell fate determination, proliferation, and differentiation. Hh function is mediated through its membrane receptor Patched. Herein, we have characterized a novel Patched-domain containing gene Ptchd3 in mouse. Messenger RNA of Ptchd3 was exclusively detected in the testis, and existed in two isoforms Ptchd3a and Ptchd3b. The expression of these two mRNA isoforms was shown to be developmentally regulated in testes, and specifically found in male germ cells. Further analysis revealed that the Ptchd3 protein was located on the midpiece of mouse, rat and human sperm. Collectively, these results indicate that Ptchd3 is a novel male germ cell-specific gene and may be involved in the Hh signaling to regulate sperm development and/or sperm function.

  5. Expression of SALL4 and SF-1 in gonadoblastoma: useful markers in the identification of the invasive germ cell component.

    PubMed

    Bai, Shuting; Wei, Shi; Ziober, Amy; Yao, Yuan; Bing, Zhanyong

    2013-07-01

    Gonadoblastoma is a rare gonadal neoplasm composed of primordial germ cells and sex cord-stromal cells and usually occurs in patients with dysgenetic gonads. When patients with gonadoblastoma develop an invasive germ cell tumor, the invasive germ cell component can take the form of dysgerminoma/seminoma, embryonal carcinoma, or yolk sac tumor. In this study, we performed immunohistochemical analysis for SALL4 and steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1) on 4 cases of gonadoblastoma to examine the expression patterns of these proteins. All of the patients were phenotypically female. One patient had Swyer syndrome, the rest had Turner syndrome. The primordial germ cell component was histologically similar to cells in dysgerminoma/seminoma in these 4 cases. Two patients showed the invasive component-dysgerminoma. As expected, SALL4 stained the germ cells and SF-1 stained the sex cord-stromal cells. There was a clear distinction between the staining patterns of these 2 cell populations. This study demonstrates the utility of SALL4 and SF-1 in determining whether or not there is an invasion in the primordial germ cell component. PMID:23722510

  6. Toward a More Precise and Informative Nomenclature Describing Fetal and Neonatal Male Germ Cells in Rodents1

    PubMed Central

    McCarrey, John R.

    2013-01-01

    ABSTRACT The germ cell lineages are among the best characterized of all cell lineages in mammals. This characterization includes precise nomenclature that distinguishes among numerous, often subtle, changes in function or morphology as development and differentiation of germ cells proceed to form the gametes. In male rodents, there are at least 41 distinct cell types that occur during progression through the male germ cell lineage that gives rise to spermatozoa. However, there is one period during male germ cell development—that which occurs immediately following the primordial germ cell stage and prior to the spermatogonial stage—for which the system of precise and informative cell type terminology is not adequate. Often, male germ cells during this period are referred to simply as “gonocytes.” However, this term is inadequate for multiple reasons, and it is suggested here that nomenclature originally proposed in the 1970s by Hilscher et al., which employs the terms M-, T1-, and T2-prospermatogonia, is preferable. In this Minireview, the history, proper utilization, and advantages of this terminology relative to that of the term gonocytes are described. PMID:23843236

  7. MicroRNAs: From Female Fertility, Germ Cells, and Stem Cells to Cancer in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Virant-Klun, Irma; Ståhlberg, Anders; Kubista, Mikael; Skutella, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNAs are a family of naturally occurring small noncoding RNA molecules that play an important regulatory role in gene expression. They are suggested to regulate a large proportion of protein encoding genes by mediating the translational suppression and posttranscriptional control of gene expression. Recent findings show that microRNAs are emerging as important regulators of cellular differentiation and dedifferentiation, and are deeply involved in developmental processes including human preimplantation development. They keep a balance between pluripotency and differentiation in the embryo and embryonic stem cells. Moreover, it became evident that dysregulation of microRNA expression may play a fundamental role in progression and dissemination of different cancers including ovarian cancer. The interest is still increased by the discovery of exosomes, that is, cell-derived vesicles, which can carry different proteins but also microRNAs between different cells and are involved in cell-to-cell communication. MicroRNAs, together with exosomes, have a great potential to be used for prognosis, therapy, and biomarkers of different diseases including infertility. The aim of this review paper is to summarize the existent knowledge on microRNAs related to female fertility and cancer: from primordial germ cells and ovarian function, germinal stem cells, oocytes, and embryos to embryonic stem cells. PMID:26664407

  8. Generation of In-vitro Spermatogonial Stem Cells following Genetic Manipulation of Primordial Germ-like Cells

    PubMed Central

    Mazaheri, Zohreh; Movahedin, Mansoureh; Rahbarizadeh, Fatemeh; Amanpour, Saied

    2012-01-01

    Research about potential use of stem cells for the development of germ line cells in vitro had been challenged. In the present study, we reported a novel protocol consisting of cocktail growth factor addition for germ cell differentiation followed by transfection. The cells were purificated based on the expression on the cell surface of a protein. This protein is not present in normal cells of mice and does not interfere with cellular function. This cell surface marker is efficiently recognized by monoclonal antibodies. Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells derived primordial germ like cells were differentiated to spermatogonial stem like cells by inducer cocktail including Retinoic acid (RA)+Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF)+Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFgF). Co-culture system was used as a feeder under differentiated cells. A 400 bp fragment of spermatogonia-specific Stra-8 locus was enough to direct gene expression to the germ line stem cells. Stra8-CD4HAglo construct was used for purification of premeiotic differentiated cells. Expression of pluripotency (Pou5F1, Nanog, c-Myc) and specific germ cell (Mvh, Piwil2, Stra-8) genes in each stage were analyzed. The purified cells expressed the known molecular markers of PGC-like cells such as Mvh, Piwil2 & Stra-8. The outcomes of qPCR showed that ratio pluripotency of genes expression in selective group significantly decreased (p≤0.05) in the initial differentiation process. This results showed that ratio of Pou5F1, Nanog, c-Myc, Mvh, Piwil2 & Stra-8 expression to purified PGC-like cells were 0.41, 0.204, 1.1, 0.003, 0.184 and 2.276, respectively. Treatment of cells with RA affected up regulation of Stra-8. Although, c-Myc gene as an oncogenic gene had significantly increased (p≤0.05) at the end of differentiation stage compared to initial phase of study, this level of expression could not be tumorgenic. qPCR results of the differentiation stage showed higher expression of Stra-8 in co-culture+ cocktail and co

  9. Testicular histology and germ cell cytology during spermatogenesis in the Mississippi map turtle, Graptemys pseudogeographica kohnii, from Northeast Arkansas

    PubMed Central

    Lancaster, Kelsey; Trauth, Stanley E; Gribbins, Kevin M

    2014-01-01

    The testicular histology and cytology of spermatogenesis in Graptemys pseudogeographica kohnii were examined using specimens collected between July 1996 and May 2004 from counties in northeastern Arkansas. A histological examination of the testes and germ cell cytology indicates a postnuptial testicular cycle of spermatogenesis and a major fall spermiation event. The majority of the germ cell populations in May and June specimens are represented by resting spermatogonia, type A spermatogonia, type B spermatogonia, pre-leptotene spermatocytes, and numerous Sertoli cell nuclei near the basement membrane. The start of proliferation is evident as spermatogonia in metaphase are present near the basal lamina and many of these germ cells have entered meiosis in June seminiferous tubules. Major spermatogenic events occur in the June and July specimens and result in an increased height of the seminiferous epithelium and increased diameter of the seminiferous tubules. The germ cell population during this time is represented by spermatogonia (type A, B, and resting), hypertrophic cells, large populations of early primary spermatocytes, and early round spermatids. By September, the major germ cell population has progressed past meiosis with abundant round and early elongating spermatids dominating the seminiferous epithelium. October seminiferous epithelia are marked by a decreas in height and mature spermatozoa fill the luminal space. Round and elongating spermatids constitute the largest portion of the germ cell population. Following the spermiation event, the testes enter a period of quiescence that lasts till the next spermatogenic cycle, which begins in the subsequent spring. Based on the cytological development of the seminiferous tubules revealed by our study, Graptemys pseudogeographica kohnii demonstrates a temporal germ cell development strategy similar to other temperate reptiles. A single major generation of germ cells progresses through spermatogenesis each year

  10. Ribosome Synthesis and MAPK Activity Modulate Ionizing Radiation-Induced Germ Cell Apoptosis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Eberhard, Ralf; Stergiou, Lilli; Hofmann, E. Randal; Hofmann, Jen; Haenni, Simon; Teo, Youjin; Furger, André; Hengartner, Michael O.

    2013-01-01

    Synthesis of ribosomal RNA by RNA polymerase I (RNA pol I) is an elemental biological process and is key for cellular homeostasis. In a forward genetic screen in C. elegans designed to identify DNA damage-response factors, we isolated a point mutation of RNA pol I, rpoa-2(op259), that leads to altered rRNA synthesis and a concomitant resistance to ionizing radiation (IR)-induced germ cell apoptosis. This weak apoptotic IR response could be phenocopied when interfering with other factors of ribosome synthesis. Surprisingly, despite their resistance to DNA damage, rpoa-2(op259) mutants present a normal CEP-1/p53 response to IR and increased basal CEP-1 activity under normal growth conditions. In parallel, rpoa-2(op259) leads to reduced Ras/MAPK pathway activity, which is required for germ cell progression and physiological germ cell death. Ras/MAPK gain-of-function conditions could rescue the IR response defect in rpoa-2(op259), pointing to a function for Ras/MAPK in modulating DNA damage-induced apoptosis downstream of CEP-1. Our data demonstrate that a single point mutation in an RNA pol I subunit can interfere with multiple key signalling pathways. Ribosome synthesis and growth-factor signalling are perturbed in many cancer cells; such an interplay between basic cellular processes and signalling might be critical for how tumours evolve or respond to treatment. PMID:24278030

  11. Repression of Pumilio Protein Expression by Rbfox1 Promotes Germ Cell Differentiation.

    PubMed

    Carreira-Rosario, Arnaldo; Bhargava, Varsha; Hillebrand, Jens; Kollipara, Rahul K; Ramaswami, Mani; Buszczak, Michael

    2016-03-01

    RNA-binding Fox (Rbfox) proteins have well-established roles in regulating alternative splicing, but specific Rbfox isoforms lack nuclear localization signals and accumulate in the cytoplasm. The potential splicing-independent functions of these proteins remain unknown. Here we demonstrate that cytoplasmic Drosophila Rbfox1 regulates germ cell development and represses the translation of mRNAs containing (U)GCAUG elements within their 3'UTRs. During germline cyst differentiation, Rbfox1 targets pumilio mRNA for destabilization and translational silencing, thereby promoting germ cell development. Mis-expression of pumilio results in the formation of germline tumors, which contain cysts that break down and dedifferentiate back to single, mitotically active cells. Together, these results reveal that cytoplasmic Rbfox family members regulate the translation of specific target mRNAs. In the Drosophila ovary, this activity provides a genetic barrier that prevents germ cells from reverting back to an earlier developmental state. The finding that Rbfox proteins regulate mRNA translation has implications for Rbfox-related diseases. PMID:26954550

  12. 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

  13. Saudi Oncology Society and Saudi Urology Association combined clinical management guidelines for testicular germ cell tumors

    PubMed Central

    Alotaibi, Mohammed; Saadeddin, Ahmad; Bazarbashi, Shouki; Alkhateeb, Sultan; Alghamdi, Abdullah; Alghamdi, Khalid; Murshid, Esam; Abusamra, Ashraf; Rabah, Danny; Ahmad, Imran; Al-Mansour, Mubarak; Alsharm, Abdullah

    2016-01-01

    This is an update to the previously published Saudi guidelines for the evaluation, medical, and surgical management of patients diagnosed with testicular germ cell tumors. It is categorized according to the stage of the disease using the tumor-node-metastasis staging system 7th edition. The guidelines are presented with supporting evidence level, they are based on comprehensive literature review, several internationally recognized guidelines, and the collective expertise of the guidelines committee members (authors) who were selected by the Saudi Oncology Society and Saudi Urological Association. Considerations to the local availability of drugs, technology and expertise have been regarded. These guidelines should serve as a roadmap for the urologists, oncologists, general physicians, support groups, and health care policy makers in the management of patients diagnosed with testicular germ cell tumors. PMID:27141181

  14. A suprasellar germ cell tumor in a 16-month-old Wagyu heifer calf.

    PubMed

    Brooks, Aimee N; Brooks, Kelly N; Oglesbee, Michael J

    2012-05-01

    A 16-month-old Wagyu heifer calf presented for depression, inappetence, and polyuria/polydipsia. Physical examination revealed that the heifer calf was mentally dull, subjectively small for her age, bradycardic, and hypothermic and had bilateral nasal discharge. Laboratory tests revealed marked serum and cerebrospinal fluid hypernatremia and hyperchloremia with increased cerebrospinal fluid protein. The heifer calf was treated with Ringer solution intravenously for dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities, and with 1 dose each of thiamine and penicillin. Clinical deterioration prompted the owner to elect humane euthanasia. Necropsy revealed a mass lesion in the suprasellar region. Histopathology was consistent with a suprasellar germ cell tumor; the mass stained positive on immunohistochemistry for cytokeratin, vimentin, and c-kit. Suprasellar germ cell tumors have previously been reported in human beings and dogs. PMID:22529131

  15. Treatment of a primary intracranial germ cell tumor with systemic chemotherapy

    SciTech Connect

    Kirshner, J.J.; Ginsberg, S.J.; Fitzpatrick, A.V.; Comis, R.L.

    1981-01-01

    Primary germ cell neoplasms of the central nervous system (CNS) are rare tumors which generally respond to radiotherapy. Experience is limited in managing the refractory patient. We report a patient whose suprasellar dysgerminoma responded completely to 5,000 rad. Seven years later, disease recurrence was refractory to an additional 4,000 rad. Theorizing that the ''blood-brain barrier'' was no longer intact after extensive radiotherapy and tumor involvement of the ventricular system, the patient was treated with systemic bleomycin, cisplatin, and vinblastine. Pharmacokinetic studies revealed that the bleomycin and cisplatin entered the cerebrospinal fluid. Serial CT scans and CSF levels of beta-HCG confirmed the clinical impression of a partial remission. Subsequent tumor progression was refractory to therapy with intraventricular bleomycin. It is concluded that systemic chemotherapy may be beneficial in certain cases of CNS germ cell neoplasms.

  16. 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

  17. STAGE-SPECIFIC DAMAGE TO SYNAPTONEMAL COMPLEXES AND METAPHASE CHROMOSOME INDUCED BY X RAYS IN MALE MOUSE GERM CELLS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Synaptonemal complexes (SCs) reveal mutagen-induced effects in germ cell meiotic chromosomes. his study was aimed at characterizing relationships between SC and metaphase I chromosome damage following radiation exposure at various stages of spermatogenesis. Male mice were irradia...

  18. Histochemical identification of primordial germ cells and differentiation of the gonads in homozygous tetraploid mouse embryos.

    PubMed Central

    Kaufman, M H

    1991-01-01

    This study was undertaken to establish whether primordial germ cells are differentiated by homozygous tetraploid mouse embryos produced by the technique of electrofusion, and to study the morphological features of their gonads. Tetraploid embryos were transferred to the oviducts of pseudopregnant recipients, and these were autopsied either on day 11 or days 15 or 16 of gestation. In the developmentally less advanced group, embryos in which cytogenetic analysis of their extraembryonic membranes confirmed that they had a tetraploid chromosome constitution were analysed histochemically in order to demonstrate the presence of intracellular alkaline phosphatase enzyme activity. This enabled the presence or absence of germ cells to be established. Out of a total of 9 early limb-bud stage embryos studied, all contained primordial germ cells. The latter were mostly located in association with the hindgut, though some germ cells were still present at the base of the allantois. The sex ratio in this group was close to unity. In the 2nd group in which recipients were autopsied on either day 15 or 16 of gestation, a total of 7 healthy tetraploid embryos were recovered. All displayed the characteristic craniofacial features seen in tetraploid embryos. Four of these embryos had a normal postcranial axial morphology, and their crown-rump lengths were only slightly less (81-91%) than those of developmentally matched control diploid embryos. Three of the tetraploid embryos had an abnormal postcranial axis associated with a body wall closure defect involving the anterior abdominal and lower thoracic region. In all 7 of these embryos, gonadal differentiation was consistent with their developmental age. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 PMID:1817135

  19. A novel somatic MAPK1 mutation in primary ovarian mixed germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Zou, Yang; Deng, Wei; Wang, Feng; Yu, Xiao-Hong; Liu, Fa-Ying; Yang, Bi-Cheng; Huang, Mei-Zhen; Guo, Jiu-Bai; Xie, Qiu-Hua; He, Ming; Huang, Ou-Ping

    2016-02-01

    A recent exome-sequencing study revealed prevalent mitogen-activated protein kinase 1 (MAPK1) p.E322K mutation in cervical carcinoma. It remains largely unknown whether ovarian carcinomas also harbor MAPK1 mutations. As paralogous gene mutations co‑occur frequently in human malignancies, we analyzed here a total of 263 ovarian carcinomas for the presence of MAPK1 and paralogous MAPK3 mutations by DNA sequencing. A previously unreported MAPK1 p.D321N somatic mutation was identified in 2 out of 18 (11.1%) ovarian mixed germ cell tumors, while no other MAPK1 or MAPK3 mutation was detected in our samples. Of note, OCC‑115, the MAPK1‑mutated sample with bilateral cancerous ovaries affected, harbored MAPK1 mutation in the right ovary while retained the left ovary intact, implicating that the genetic alterations underlying ovarian mixed germ cell tumor may be different, even in patients with similar genetic backgrounds and tumor microenvironments. The results of evolutionary conservation and protein structure modeling analysis implicated that MAPK1 p.D321N mutation may be pathogenic. Additionally, mutations in protein phosphatase 2 regulatory subunit α (PPP2R1A), ring finger protein 43 (RNF43), DNA directed polymerase ε (POLE1), ribonuclease type III (DICER1), CCCTC‑binding factor (CTCF), ribosomal protein L22 (RPL22), DNA methyltransferase 3α (DNMT3A), transformation/transcription domain‑associated protein (TRRAP), isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH)1 and IDH2 were not detected in ovarian mixed germ cell tumors, implicating these genetic alterations may be not associated with MAPK1 mutation in the development of this malignancy. The present study identified a previously unreported MAPK1 mutation in ovarian mixed germ cell tumors for the first time, and this mutation may be actively involved in the tumorigenesis of this disease. PMID:26548627

  20. A Case of Nongerminomatous Germ Cell Tumor with Fulminant Course Concomitant Leptomeningeal Metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Jeong, Youn-Beom; Wang, Kyu-Chang; Phi, Ji Hoon; Lee, Ji Yeoun; Cheon, Jung-Eun; Kang, Hyoung Jin; Kim, Il Han

    2016-01-01

    We present the case of a 9-year-old boy with a non-germinomatous germ cell tumor (NGGCT) in the pineal gland that exhibited a fulminant course following chemo- and radiotherapy. After the detection of the tiny cerebellar enhancing nodule at the end of chemo- and radiotherapy, tumor seeding progressed rapidly into the entire cisternal space. We herein report a rare case of NGGCT with fulminant clinical course of concomitant cerebellar seeding, with review of literature. PMID:27195258

  1. A rare cause in etiology of left atrial mass: metastatic testicular germ cell tumor

    PubMed Central

    Huseyin, Serhat; Okyay, Ahmet; Hacıbekiroğlu, İlhan; Tastekin, Ebru; Yılmaztepe, Mustafa; Taylan, Gökay; Canbaz, Suat; Çiçin, İrfan

    2016-01-01

    Although intracardiac metastasis of germ cell tumors is rare, it can be localized in the right or left heart by disseminating spread and give their cardiac symptoms depending on the location of metastatic mass. We present a 38-year-old male patient with a preliminary diagnosis of testicular tumor who was followed by the medical oncology clinic with cerebrovascular event and heart failure symptoms. PMID:27212979

  2. A Case of Nongerminomatous Germ Cell Tumor with Fulminant Course Concomitant Leptomeningeal Metastasis.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Youn-Beom; Wang, Kyu-Chang; Phi, Ji Hoon; Lee, Ji Yeoun; Cheon, Jung-Eun; Kang, Hyoung Jin; Kim, Il Han; Kim, Seung-Ki

    2016-04-01

    We present the case of a 9-year-old boy with a non-germinomatous germ cell tumor (NGGCT) in the pineal gland that exhibited a fulminant course following chemo- and radiotherapy. After the detection of the tiny cerebellar enhancing nodule at the end of chemo- and radiotherapy, tumor seeding progressed rapidly into the entire cisternal space. We herein report a rare case of NGGCT with fulminant clinical course of concomitant cerebellar seeding, with review of literature. PMID:27195258

  3. Rare Presentation of Supratentorial Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumors Mimicking Bifocal Germ Cell Tumors: 2 Case Reports.

    PubMed

    Phuakpet, Kamon; Larouche, Valerie; Hawkins, Cynthia; Huang, Annie; Tabori, Uri; Bartels, Ute K; Bouffet, Eric

    2016-03-01

    Bifocal pineal and suprasellar tumors have only been described in the context of germ cell tumors in the pediatric age group. We report 2 patients with radiologic findings of bifocal pineal and suprasellar lesions, with a histologic diagnosis of supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor. The absence of diabetes insipidus and other endocrine abnormalities was noteworthy in both cases. This observation challenges previous reports on the pathognomonic value of this clinico-radiologic entity. PMID:26241725

  4. How do male germ cells handle DNA damage?

    SciTech Connect

    Olsen, Ann-Karin; Lindeman, Birgitte; Wiger, Richard; Duale, Nur; Brunborg, Gunnar . E-mail: gunnar.brunborg@fhi.no

    2005-09-01

    Male reproductive health has received considerable attention in recent years. In addition to declining sperm quality, fertility problems and increased incidence of testicular cancer, there is accumulating evidence that genetic damage, in the form of unrepaired DNA lesions or de novo mutations, may be transmitted via sperm to the offspring. Such genetic damage may arise from environmental exposure or via endogenously formed reactive species, in stem cells or during spermatogenesis. Damaged testicular cells not removed by apoptosis rely on DNA repair for their genomic integrity to be preserved. To identify factors with potentially harmful effects on testicular cells and to characterise associated risk, a thorough understanding of repair mechanisms in these cells is of particular importance. Based on results from our own and other laboratories, we discuss the current knowledge of different pathways of excision repair in rodent and human testicular cells. It has become evident that, in human spermatogenic cells, some repair functions are indeed non-functional.

  5. 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

    Birth defects, de novo genetic diseases, and chromosomal abnormality syndromes occur in ~5% of all live births, and affected children suffer from a broad range of lifelong health consequences. Despite the social and medical impact of these defects, and the 8 decades of research in animal systems that have identified numerous germ-cell mutagens, no human germ-cell mutagen has been confirmed to date. There is now a growing consensus that the inability to detect human germ-cell mutagens is due to technological limitations in the detection of random mutations rather than biological differences between animal and human susceptibility. A multidisciplinary workshop responding to this challenge convened at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. The purpose of the workshop was to assess the applicability of an emerging repertoire of genomic technologies to studies of human germ-cell mutagenesis. Workshop participants recommended large-scale human germ-cell mutation studies be conducted using samples from donors with high-dose exposures, such as cancer survivors. Within this high-risk cohort, parents and children could be evaluated for heritable changes in (a) DNA sequence and chromosomal structure, (b) repeat sequences and minisatellites, and (c) global gene expression profiles and pathways. Participants also advocated the establishment of a bio-bank of human tissue samples from donors with well-characterized exposure, including medical and reproductive histories. This mutational resource could support large-scale, multiple-endpoint studies. Additional studies could involve the examination of transgenerational effects associated with changes in imprinting and methylation patterns, nucleotide repeats, and mitochondrial DNA mutations. The further development of animal models and the integration of these with human studies are necessary to provide molecular insights into the mechanisms of germ-cell mutations and to identify prevention strategies. Furthermore, scientific

  6. In vitro production of haploid sperm cells from male germ cells of foetal cattle.

    PubMed

    Dong, Wu-Zi; Hua, Jin-Lian; Shen, Wen-Zheng; Dou, Zhong-Ying

    2010-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to isolate the foetal cattle male germ cells (mGCs) and then induce them into sperm cells. The mGCs were purified and enriched by a two-step plating method based on the different adherence velocities of mGCs and somatic cells. The percentage of the vasa and the c-kit positive cells were 95.34+/-2.25% and 53.3+/-1.03% by using flow cytometry analysis (FCA), respectively. In feeder-free culture system, the half-suspending cells appeared and formed a 16-cell rosary in medium after the mGCs were cultured for 6-8 days. On immunocytochemical staining during the second passage, some single cells adhering to the plate appeared to be both Oct-4 and alpha6-integrin positive. During the third passage, the mGCs were induced for 48 h by retinol acid (RA) on Sertoli cell-feeder layer, followed by 5-7 days culture in an RA-free medium. Some elongated sperm-like cells appeared in the medium at this stage. We found that the most effective concentration of RA for the inducement was 10(-7)moll(-1) (P<0.01). The haploid cells in suspension were identified by FCA. The elongated sperm-like cells showed proacrosome-like structure and the flagellum with fibre construct under electron microscopy. The mRNA of outer dense fibre-3 (ODF-3) and transcription protein-1 (TP-1) could be detected in the suspended cells by using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). About 23.1% bovine oocytes could be activated to perform cleavage by intracytoplasmic injection with the sperm-like cells, but embryos did not further develop. Our investigation further demonstrated that foetal cattle mGCs could be induced in vitro into haploid sperm in the short term. PMID:19632794

  7. Investigation on sodium valproate induced germ cell damage, oxidative stress and genotoxicity in male Swiss mice.

    PubMed

    Khan, Sabbir; Ahmad, Tauseef; Parekh, Chintan Vishnubhai; Trivedi, Priyanka Pushkarbhai; Kushwaha, Sapana; Jena, Gopabandhu

    2011-12-01

    Sodium valproate (VPA) is the most widely used antiepileptic drug for the treatment of epilepsy, bipolar psychiatric disorders and migraine. However, long-term VPA treatment has several adverse effects on the reproductive system. The present study was aimed to investigate the possible germ cell toxicity of VPA in mice. Animals were treated with VPA intraperitoneally for 10 and 28 days at the doses of 500 mg/kg-d and 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg-d, respectively, and were sacrificed 24h after the last dose. The germ cell toxicity of VPA was assessed using oxidative stress parameters, sperm count, sperm head morphology, sperm comet assay, 8-oxo-dG expression and histology. VPA treatment significantly decreased the sperm count, testes and epididymis weight and significantly increased the sperm head abnormality, sperm DNA damage, oxidative stress and 8-oxo-dG expression in the testes of mice. The present study illustrates that VPA induced germ cell toxicity in mice. PMID:22001255

  8. Extremely Low Frequency Magnetic Fields Induce Spermatogenic Germ Cell Apoptosis: Possible Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Sang-Kon; Park, Sungman; Gimm, Yoon-Myoung; Kim, Yoon-Won

    2014-01-01

    The energy generated by an extremely low frequency electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF) is too weak to directly induce genotoxicity. However, it is reported that an extremely low frequency magnetic field (ELF-MF) is related to DNA strand breakage and apoptosis. The testes that conduct spermatogenesis through a dynamic cellular process involving meiosis and mitosis seem vulnerable to external stress such as heat, MF exposure, and chemical or physical agents. Nevertheless the results regarding adverse effects of ELF-EMF on human or animal reproductive functions are inconclusive. According to the guideline of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP; 2010) for limiting exposure to time-varying MF (1 Hz to 100 kHz), overall conclusion of epidemiologic studies has not consistently shown an association between human adverse reproductive outcomes and maternal or paternal exposure to low frequency fields. In animal studies there is no compelling evidence of causal relationship between prenatal development and ELF-MF exposure. However there is increasing evidence that EL-EMF exposure is involved with germ cell apoptosis in testes. Biophysical mechanism by which ELF-MF induces germ cell apoptosis has not been established. This review proposes the possible mechanism of germ cell apoptosis in testes induced by ELF-MF. PMID:25025060

  9. α-Fetoprotein-producing ovarian tumor in a postmenopausal woman with germ cell differentiation.

    PubMed

    Meguro, Shiori; Yasuda, Masanori

    2013-02-01

    α-Fetoprotein (AFP)-producing ovarian tumors (APOTs) are rarely encountered in postmenopausal women, irrespective of whether they are of the germ cell or non-germ cell type. The APOTs that do occur in postmenopausal women are characterized by variable histologies such as hepatoid carcinoma, yolk sac tumor, and epithelial malignancies, most of which are combined. We herein present a case with APOT, which arose in a 58-year-old, gravida 2, para 2, postmenopausal woman. Preoperatively, the tumor, which was in the right ovary, was found to produce AFP (102768.0 ng/mL). The tumor was evenly composed of glands mimicking secretory endometrial gland or fetal gut accompanied by abundant stroma. Immunohistochemically, these glands were positive for SALL4, glypican-3, and hepatocyte nuclear factor 1β. We considered the present case as an AFP-producing adenocarcinoma with adenofibroma showing germ cell differentiation, but it seemed controversial that this tumor should be designated as a yolk sac tumor of the glandular type. The expression profiles of SALL4, OCT4, glypican-3, and hepatocyte nuclear factor 1β were thought to provide interesting implications to characterize the present case. PMID:22056036

  10. Complete in vitro generation of fertile oocytes from mouse primordial germ cells

    PubMed Central

    Morohaku, Kanako; Tanimoto, Ren; Sasaki, Keisuke; Kawahara-Miki, Ryouka; Kono, Tomohiro; Hayashi, Katsuhiko; Hirao, Yuji; Obata, Yayoi

    2016-01-01

    Reconstituting gametogenesis in vitro is a key goal for reproductive biology and regenerative medicine. Successful in vitro reconstitution of primordial germ cells and spermatogenesis has recently had a significant effect in the field. However, recapitulation of oogenesis in vitro remains unachieved. Here we demonstrate the first reconstitution, to our knowledge, of the entire process of mammalian oogenesis in vitro from primordial germ cells, using an estrogen-receptor antagonist that promotes normal follicle formation, which in turn is crucial for supporting oocyte growth. The fundamental events in oogenesis (i.e., meiosis, oocyte growth, and genomic imprinting) were reproduced in the culture system. The most rigorous evidence of the recapitulation of oogenesis was the birth of fertile offspring, with a maximum of seven pups obtained from a cultured gonad. Moreover, cryopreserved gonads yielded functional oocytes and offspring in this culture system. Thus, our in vitro system will enable both innovative approaches for a deeper understanding of oogenesis and a new avenue to create and preserve female germ cells. PMID:27457928

  11. Absence of microsatellite instability and BRAF (V600E) mutation in testicular germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Cárcano, F M; Lengert, A H; Vidal, D O; Scapulatempo Neto, C; Queiroz, L; Marques, H; Baltazar, F; Berardinelli, G N; Martinelli, C M S; da Silva, E C A; Reis, R M; Lopes, L F

    2016-09-01

    Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT) are the most common malignant neoplasm in young men. DNA mismatch repair deficiency can lead to microsatellite instability (MSI), an important mechanism of genetic instability. A mutation of the BRAF gene has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several solid tumors and has recently become an important therapeutic target. The role of MSI and BRAF gene mutation in TGCT, particularly in refractory disease, is poorly understood and reported findings are controversial. In this study, we aimed to determine the frequency and clinical impact of MSI status and BRAF mutations in TGCT. DNA was isolated from formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue from 150 TGCT cases. The MSI phenotype was evaluated using multiplex PCR for five quasimonomorphic mononucleotide repeat markers. Exon 15 of the BRAF oncogene (V600E) was analyzed by PCR, followed by direct sequencing. Sixteen percent of cases were considered to have refractory disease. In a small subset of cases (17 for MSI and 18 for BRAF), the quantity and quality of DNA recovery were poor and therefore, were unable to be analyzed. The remaining 133 TGCT cases showed a complete absence of MSI. Of the 132 cases successfully evaluated for BRAF mutations, all were V600E wild-type. In conclusion, despite a distinct response of testicular germ cell tumors to therapy, microsatellite instability, and the BRAF V600E mutation were absent in all testicular germ cell tumors tested in this study. PMID:27153176

  12. Specification of germ cell fates by FOG-3 has been conserved during nematode evolution.

    PubMed Central

    Chen, P J; Cho, S; Jin, S W; Ellis, R E

    2001-01-01

    Rapid changes in sexual traits are ubiquitous in evolution. To analyze this phenomenon, we are studying species of the genus Caenorhabditis. These animals use one of two different mating systems-male/hermaphroditic, like the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, or male/female, like C. remanei. Since hermaphrodites are essentially females that produce sperm for self-fertilization, elucidating the control of cell fate in the germ line in each species could provide the key to understanding how these mating systems evolved. In C. elegans, FOG-3 is required to specify that germ cells become sperm. Thus, we cloned its homologs from both C. remanei and C. briggsae. Each species produces a single homolog of FOG-3, and RNA-mediated interference indicates that FOG-3 functions in each species to specify that germ cells develop as sperm rather than as oocytes. What factors account for the different mating systems? Northern analyses and RT-PCR data reveal that the expression of fog-3 is always correlated with spermatogenesis. Since the promoters for all three fog-3 genes contain binding sites for the transcription factor TRA-1A and are capable of driving expression of fog-3 in C. elegans hermaphrodites, we propose that alterations in the upstream sex-determination pathway, perhaps acting through TRA-1A, allow spermatogenesis in C. elegans and C. briggsae XX larvae but not in C. remanei. PMID:11514443

  13. Complete in vitro generation of fertile oocytes from mouse primordial germ cells.

    PubMed

    Morohaku, Kanako; Tanimoto, Ren; Sasaki, Keisuke; Kawahara-Miki, Ryouka; Kono, Tomohiro; Hayashi, Katsuhiko; Hirao, Yuji; Obata, Yayoi

    2016-08-01

    Reconstituting gametogenesis in vitro is a key goal for reproductive biology and regenerative medicine. Successful in vitro reconstitution of primordial germ cells and spermatogenesis has recently had a significant effect in the field. However, recapitulation of oogenesis in vitro remains unachieved. Here we demonstrate the first reconstitution, to our knowledge, of the entire process of mammalian oogenesis in vitro from primordial germ cells, using an estrogen-receptor antagonist that promotes normal follicle formation, which in turn is crucial for supporting oocyte growth. The fundamental events in oogenesis (i.e., meiosis, oocyte growth, and genomic imprinting) were reproduced in the culture system. The most rigorous evidence of the recapitulation of oogenesis was the birth of fertile offspring, with a maximum of seven pups obtained from a cultured gonad. Moreover, cryopreserved gonads yielded functional oocytes and offspring in this culture system. Thus, our in vitro system will enable both innovative approaches for a deeper understanding of oogenesis and a new avenue to create and preserve female germ cells. PMID:27457928

  14. Effects of losartan on experimental varicocele-induced testicular germ cell apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Bolat, D; Oltulu, F; Uysal, A; Kose, T; Gunlusoy, B; Yigitturk, G; Turk, N S; Turan, T

    2016-09-01

    To investigate the potential protective effects of losartan on varicocele-induced germ cell apoptosis, 24 adult male Sprague Dawley rats were divided into three groups: a sham operation was performed in SHAM group, and experimental left varicocele was created in VAR and VAR + LOS groups. Additionally, in VAR + LOS group, losartan was administered for 30 days starting on the day of surgery. At the end of 30 days, all animals were sacrificed and left orchiectomy was performed. Testicular injury and spermatogenesis were evaluated according to Johnsen scoring system. To assess the nitrosative stress, immunohistochemical staining for endothelial nitric oxide synthase was used and evaluated by H-score and apoptotic index (AI) of germ cells was analysed by TUNEL method. A significant decrease in the mean Johnsen score (JS) was observed in VAR group compared with SHAM (p < .001). The mean H-score and AI were significantly higher in VAR group compared with SHAM (p < .001). After losartan administration, mean JS was significantly increased (p < .001) and mean H-score and AI were significantly decreased compared with VAR group (p < .001 and .01, respectively). Findings of this suggest that losartan acts as a potent protective agent against varicocele-induced germ cell apoptosis. PMID:27373273

  15. Retroperitoneal Leiomyosarcoma Associated with an Elevated β-HCG Serum Level Mimicking Extragonadal Germ Cell Tumor

    PubMed Central

    Gaertner, Hans-Juergen; Manseck, Andreas; Oehlschlaeger, Sven; Wirth, Manfred P.

    2000-01-01

    Patient. A 65-year-old man was admitted with a large primary retroperitoneal tumor and an increased β-human chorionic gonadotropin (β-HCG) serum level. A germ cell tumor was suspected; however, a computed tomography-guided biopsy failed to enable tumor classification. After two courses of chemotherapy, the β-HCG serum level had returned to the normal level and a diagnostic laparotomy with incisional biopsy was performed. The immunohistochemical examination of the specimen identified the tumor as a retroperitoneal pleomorphic leiomyosarcoma. Discussion. Tumor markers play only a marginal role in the work-up of patients with soft tissue sarcomas. In men with suspected retroperitoneal sarcomas, however, the determination of germ cell tumor markers occasionally enables a preoperative distinguishing of primary retroperitoneal germ cell tumors with considerable consequences for management. In this setting, a retroperitoneal tumor associated with a moderately elevated β-HCG is a diagnostic dilemma, and surgeons should be aware of the pitfall of a β-HCG-producing leiomyosarcoma in the differential diagnosis. PMID:18521299

  16. Epoxides Derived from Dietary Dihomo-Gamma-Linolenic Acid Induce Germ Cell Death in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Deline, Marshall; Keller, Julia; Rothe, Michael; Schunck, Wolf-Hagen; Menzel, Ralph; Watts, Jennifer L.

    2015-01-01

    Dietary fats are not created equally, slight differences in structure lead to crucial differences in function. Muticellular organisms use polyunsaturated fatty acid as substrates to produce potent signaling molecules crucial for many physiological processes, including reproduction. Here we explored the mechanism responsible for germ cell loss induced by dietary supplementation of dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA, 20:3n-6) in the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. In this study we found that C. elegans CYP-33E2 activity produces a range of epoxy and hydroxy metabolites from dietary DGLA. Knockdown of cyp-33E2 suppressed the DGLA-induced sterility phenotype. Additionally, direct exposure of two specific DGLA-derived epoxy products, 8,9- and 14,15-epoxyeicosadienoic acids, produced germ cell abnormalities in the C. elegans gonad. We propose that sterility is mediated by the production of toxic DGLA-derived epoxides that trigger germ cell destruction. These studies are the first to establish a biological activity for a CYP-produced metabolite of DGLA. PMID:26486965

  17. Adnexal germ cell carcinoma with bone metastases in pregnant women: case report and review.

    PubMed

    Tenorio-Guadalupe, María Del Rosario; Arsentales-Montalva, Valeria; Yonz-Buendía, Yessabell Sonia; Fiestas-Saldarriaga, Fabián; Pimentel-Álvarez, Patricia

    2016-01-01

    Germ cell carcinoma during pregnancy is rare. However, its detection has increased due to the use of ultrasound fetal monitoring in the antenatal care program. In this article, we present the case of a Germ cell carcinoma during pregnancy is rare. However, its detection has increased due to the use of ultrasound fetal monitoring in the antenatal care program. In this article, we present the case of a pregnant 27-year-old diagnosed with an adnexal germ cell carcinoma at six weeks of gestation, whose initial approach was local resection (suboptimal cytoreduction). Four weeks after surgery, the patient presented with grade IV peripheral neuropathy in the lower limbs; magnetic resonance imaging scan indicated an infiltrative lesion at D5. The local medical board decided on chemotherapy starting on the 19th week of gestation. The rest of the pregnancy period was uneventful and the patient had a cesarean section at 34 weeks of gestation and a live newborn with no complications. Unfortunately, four days after caesarean section, the patient died of a septic shock with respiratory focus. PMID:27602713

  18. Cytological study on Sertoli cells and their interactions with germ cells during annual reproductive cycle in turtle.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Nisar; Yufei, Huang; Yang, Ping; Muhammad Yasir, Waqas; Zhang, Qian; Liu, Tengfei; Hong, Chen; Lisi, Hu; Xiaoya, Chu; Chen, Qiusheng

    2016-06-01

    Sertoli cells (SCs) play a central role in the development of germ cells within functional testes and exhibit varying morphology during spermatogenesis. This present study investigated the seasonal morphological changes in SCs in the reproductive cycle of Pelodiscus sinensis by light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and immunohistochemistry. During hibernation period with the quiescent of spermatogenesis, several autophagosomes were observed inside the SCs, the processes of which retracted. In early spermatogenesis, when the germ cells started to proliferate, the SCs contained numerous lipid droplets instead of autophagosomes. In late spermatogenesis, the SCs processes became very thin and contacted several round/elongated spermatids in pockets. At this time, abundant endoplasmic reticulum and numerous mitochondria were present in the SCs. The organization of the tight junctions and the adherens junctions between the SCs and germ cells also changed during the reproductive cycle. Moreover, SCs were involved in the formation of cytoplasmic bridges, phagophores, and exosome secretions during spermatogenesis. Tubulobulbar complexes (TBC) were also developed by SCs around the nucleus of the spermatid at the time of spermiation. Strong, positive expression of vimentin was noted on the SCs during late spermatogenesis compared with the hibernation stage and the early stage of spermatogenesis. These data provide clear cytological evidence about the seasonal changes in SCs, corresponding with their different roles in germ cells within the Chinese soft-shelled turtle Pelodiscus sinensis. PMID:27516863

  19. miRNA-1297 induces cell proliferation by targeting phosphatase and tensin homolog in testicular germ cell tumor cells.

    PubMed

    Yang, Nian-Qin; Zhang, Jian; Tang, Qun-Ye; Guo, Jian-Ming; Wang, Guo-Min

    2014-01-01

    To investigate the role of miR-1297 and the tumor suppressor gene PTEN in cell proliferation of testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT). MTT assays were used to test the effect of miR-1297 on proliferation of the NCCIT testicular germ cell tumor cell line. In NCCIT cells, the expression of PTEN was assessed by Western blotting further. In order to confirm target association between miR-1297 and 3'-UTR of PTEN, a luciferase reporter activity assay was employed. Moreover, roles of PTEN in proliferation of NCCIT cells were evaluated by transfection of PTEN siRNA. Proliferation of NCCIT cells was promoted by miR-1297 in a concentration-dependent manner. In addition, miR-1297 could bind to the 3'-UTR of PTEN based on luciferase reporter activity assay, and reduced expression of PTEN at protein level was found. Proliferation of NCCIT cells was significantly enhanced after knockdown of PTEN by siRNA. miR-1297 as a potential oncogene could induce cell proliferation by targeting PTEN in NCCIT cells. PMID:25124605

  20. Reproductive Toxicity of Endosulfan: Implication From Germ Cell Apoptosis Modulated by Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Genotoxic Response Genes in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Du, Hua; Wang, Meimei; Wang, Lei; Dai, Hui; Wang, Min; Hong, Wei; Nie, Xinxin; Wu, Lijun; Xu, An

    2015-01-01

    Endosulfan as a new member of persistent organic pollutants has been shown to induce reproductive dysfunction in various animal models. However, the action mechanism of endosulfan-produced reproductive toxicity remains largely unknown. This study was focused on investigating the reproductive toxicity induced by α-endosulfan and clarifying the role of mitochondria and genotoxic response genes in germ cell apoptosis of Caenorhabditis elegans. Our data showed that endosulfan induced a dose-dependent decrease of life span, fecundity, and hatchability, whereas the germ cell apoptosis was dose-dependently increased. The mitochondria membrane potential was disrupted by endosulfan, leading to a significant increase of germ cell apoptosis in mev-1(kn-1) mutant. However, the apoptotic effects of endosulfan were blocked in mutants of cep-1(w40), egl-1(n487), and hus-1(op241), indicating conserved genotoxic response genes played an essential role in endosulfan-induced germ cell apoptosis. Furthermore, exposure to endosulfan induced the accumulation of HUS-1::GFP foci and the germ cell cycle arrest. These findings provided clear evidence that endosulfan caused significant adverse effects on the reproduction system of C. elegans and increased germ cell apoptosis, which was regulated by mitochondrial dysfunction and DNA damage response genes. This study may help to understand the signal transduction pathways involved in endosulfan-induced reproductive toxicity. PMID:25666835

  1. Re-irradiation of Recurrent Pineal Germ Cell Tumors with Radiosurgery: Report of Two Cases and Review of Literature

    PubMed Central

    Opimo, Anthony B; Olch, Arthur J; All, Sean; Waxer, Jonathan F; Clark, Desirae; Cheng, Justine; Chlebik, Alisha; Erdreich-Epstein, Anat; Krieger, Mark D; Tamrazi, Benita; Dhall, Girish; Finlay, Jonathan L; Chang, Eric L

    2016-01-01

    Primary intracranial germ cell tumors are rare, representing less than 5% of all central nervous system tumors. Overall, the majority of germ cell tumors are germinomas and approximately one-third are non-germinomatous germ cell tumors (NGGCT), which include teratoma, embryonal carcinoma, yolk sac tumor (endodermal sinus tumor), choriocarcinoma, or mixed malignant germ cell tumor. Germ cell tumors may secrete detectable levels of proteins into the blood and/or cerebrospinal fluid, and these proteins can be used for diagnostic purposes or to monitor tumor recurrence. Germinomas have long been known to be highly curable with radiation therapy alone. However, many late effects of whole brain or craniospinal irradiation have been well documented. Strategies have been developed to reduce the dose and volume of radiation therapy, often in combination with chemotherapy. In contrast, patients with NGGCT have a poorer prognosis, with about 60% cured with multimodality chemoradiation. There are no standard approaches for relapsed germ cell tumors. Options may be limited by prior treatment. Radiation therapy has been utilized alone or in combination with chemotherapy or high-dose chemotherapy and transplant. We discuss two cases and review options for frameless radiosurgery or fractionated radiotherapy. PMID:27239400

  2. Glucose responsive insulin production from human embryonic germ (EG) cell derivatives

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, Gregory O.; Yochem, Robert L.; Axelman, Joyce; Sheets, Timothy P.; Kaczorowski, David J.; Shamblott, Michael J. . E-mail: mshambl1@jhmi.edu

    2007-05-11

    Type 1 diabetes mellitus subjects millions to a daily burden of disease management, life threatening hypoglycemia and long-term complications such as retinopathy, nephropathy, heart disease, and stroke. Cell transplantation therapies providing a glucose-regulated supply of insulin have been implemented clinically, but are limited by safety, efficacy and supply considerations. Stem cells promise a plentiful and flexible source of cells for transplantation therapies. Here, we show that cells derived from human embryonic germ (EG) cells express markers of definitive endoderm, pancreatic and {beta}-cell development, glucose sensing, and production of mature insulin. These cells integrate functions necessary for glucose responsive regulation of preproinsulin mRNA and expression of insulin C-peptide in vitro. Following transplantation into mice, cells become insulin and C-peptide immunoreactive and produce plasma C-peptide in response to glucose. These findings suggest that EG cell derivatives may eventually serve as a source of insulin producing cells for the treatment of diabetes.

  3. Maternal loss of miRNAs leads to increased variance in primordial germ cell numbers in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Kugler, Jan-Michael; Chen, Ya-Wen; Weng, Ruifen; Cohen, Stephen M

    2013-09-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are posttranscriptional regulators of gene expression that may act as buffering agents to stabilize gene-regulatory networks. Here, we identify two miRNAs that are maternally required for normal embryonic primordial germ cell development in Drosophila melanogaster. Embryos derived from miR-969 and miR-9c mutant mothers had, on average, reduced germ cell numbers. Intriguingly, this reduction correlated with an increase in the variance of this quantitative phenotypic trait. Analysis of an independent set of maternal mutant genotypes suggests that reduction of germ cell number need not lead to increased variance. Our observations are consistent with the hypothesis that miR-969 and miR-9c contribute to stabilizing the processes that control germ number, supporting phenotypic robustness. PMID:23893743

  4. Novel strong tissue specific promoter for gene expression in human germ cells

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Tissue specific promoters may be utilized for a variety of applications, including programmed gene expression in cell types, tissues and organs of interest, for developing different cell culture models or for use in gene therapy. We report a novel, tissue-specific promoter that was identified and engineered from the native upstream regulatory region of the human gene NDUFV1 containing an endogenous retroviral sequence. Results Among seven established human cell lines and five primary cultures, this modified NDUFV1 upstream sequence (mNUS) was active only in human undifferentiated germ-derived cells (lines Tera-1 and EP2102), where it demonstrated high promoter activity (~twice greater than that of the SV40 early promoter, and comparable to the routinely used cytomegaloviral promoter). To investigate the potential applicability of the mNUS promoter for biotechnological needs, a construct carrying a recombinant cytosine deaminase (RCD) suicide gene under the control of mNUS was tested in cell lines of different tissue origin. High cytotoxic effect of RCD with a cell-death rate ~60% was observed only in germ-derived cells (Tera-1), whereas no effect was seen in a somatic, kidney-derived control cell line (HEK293). In further experiments, we tested mNUS-driven expression of a hyperactive Sleeping Beauty transposase (SB100X). The mNUS-SB100X construct mediated stable transgene insertions exclusively in germ-derived cells, thereby providing further evidence of tissue-specificity of the mNUS promoter. Conclusions We conclude that mNUS may be used as an efficient promoter for tissue-specific gene expression in human germ-derived cells in many applications. Our data also suggest that the 91 bp-long sequence located exactly upstream NDUFV1 transcriptional start site plays a crucial role in the activity of this gene promoter in vitro in the majority of tested cell types (10/12), and an important role - in the rest two cell lines. PMID:20716342

  5. Transplantation of male germ line stem cells restores fertility in infertile mice

    PubMed Central

    Ogawa, Takehiko; Dobrinski, Ina; Avarbock, Mary R.

    2016-01-01

    Azoospermia or oligozoospermia due to disruption of spermatogenesis are common causes of human male infertility. We used the technique of spermatogonial transplantation in two infertile mouse strains, Steel (Sl) and dominant white spotting (W), to determine if stem cells from an infertile male were capable of generating spermatogenesis. Transplantation of germ cells from infertile Sl/Sld mutant male mice to infertile W/Wv or Wv/W54 mutant male mice restored fertility to the recipient mice. Thus, transplantation of spermatogonial stem cells from an infertile donor to a permissive testicular environment can restore fertility and result in progeny with the genetic makeup of the infertile donor male. PMID:10613820

  6. Metabolomic Response of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Derived Germ-like Cells after Exposure to Steroid Hormones

    EPA Science Inventory

    To assess the potential risks of human exposure to endocrine active compounds (EACs), the mechanisms of toxicity must first be identified and characterized. Currently, there are no robust in vitro models for identifying the mechanisms of toxicity in germ cells resulting from EAC ...

  7. A miR-372/let-7 Axis Regulates Human Germ Versus Somatic Cell Fates.

    PubMed

    Tran, Nam D; Kissner, Michael; Subramanyam, Deepa; Parchem, Ronald J; Laird, Diana J; Blelloch, Robert H

    2016-07-01

    The embryonic stem cell cycle (ESCC) and let-7 families of miRNAs function antagonistically in the switch between mouse embryonic stem cell self-renewal and somatic differentiation. Here, we report that the human ESCC miRNA miR-372 and let-7 act antagonistically in germline differentiation from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). hESC and iPSC-derived primordial germ cell-like cells (PGCLCs) expressed high levels of miR-372 and conversely, somatic cells expressed high levels of let-7. Manipulation of miRNA levels by introduction of miRNA mimics or knockdown with miRNA sponges demonstrated that miR-372 promotes whereas let-7 antagonizes PGCLC differentiation. Knockdown of the individual miR-372 targets SMARCC1, MECP2, CDKN1, RBL2, RHOC, and TGFBR2 increased PGCLC production, whereas knockdown of the let-7 targets CMYC and NMYC suppressed PGCLC differentiation. These findings uncover a miR-372/let-7 axis regulating human primordial germ cell (PGC) specification. Stem Cells 2016;34:1985-1991. PMID:27066911

  8. Generation of Efficient Germ-Line Chimeras Using Embryonic Stem Cell Injection.

    PubMed

    Ritchie, William A

    2015-01-01

    There are many different reasons for producing germ-line chimeras, so a method for producing these is very important both for the testing of stem cells (SC) and for the production of an animal which may be genetically modified (Voncken, Methods Mol Biol 693:11-36, 2011). As with many scientific procedures the theory behind the process is very simple: in this case injection of cells into the blastocoel cavity of an embryo which has developed to the blastocyst stage so as the injected cells can contribute to the inner cell mass (ICM) and hopefully contribute to the germ line of the animal produced (Schneider et al., Stem Cell Rev 5(4):369-377, 2009). Incorporation of the cells into the gonads of the animal produced will allow the testing of those cells and the resulting animal which may be derived from the injected cells (Bradley et al., Nature 309(5965):255-256, 1984). The problems arise because of the size of the cells and the challenge of injection into the blastocoel cavity of a developing embryo. PMID:26621594

  9. Expression of the erythropoietin receptor by germline-derived cells - further support for a potential developmental link between the germline and hematopoiesis

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Expressing several markers of migrating primordial germ cells (PGCs), the rare population of quiescent, bone marrow (BM)-residing very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs) can be specified like PGCs into hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs). These two properties of VSELs support the possibility of a developmental origin of HSPCs from migrating PGCs. Methods To address a potential link between VSELs and germ line cells we analyzed by RT-PCR and FACS expression of erythropoietin receptor (EpoR) on murine bone marrow- and human umbilical cord blood-derived VSELs, murine and human teratocarcinoma cell lines and human ovarian cancer cells. A proper gating strategy and immunostaining excluded from FACS analysis potential contamination by erythroblasts. Furthermore, the transwell chemotaxis assays as well as adhesion and signaling studies were performed to demonstrate functionality of erythropoietin - EpoR axes on these cells. Results We report here that murine and human VSELs as well as murine and human teratocarcinoma cell lines and ovarian cancer cell lines share a functional EpoR. Conclusions Our data provide more evidence of a potential developmental link between germline cells, VSELs, and HSCs and sheds more light on the developmental hierarchy of the stem cell compartment in adult tissues. PMID:24982693

  10. SCE AND MEITOTIC CROSSOVER EXCHANGE IN GERM CELLS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mouse spermatogonial cells can be evaluated for SCE induction after in vivo exposure to chemical mutagens and carcinogens. In this system, cyclophosphamide and ethyl carbamate have been shown to cause significant increases in SCE which, however, tend to be lower in magnitude than...

  11. Differentiation in Stem Cell Lineages and in Life: Explorations in the Male Germ Line Stem Cell Lineage.

    PubMed

    Fuller, Margaret T

    2016-01-01

    I have been privileged to work on cellular differentiation during a great surge of discovery that has revealed the molecular mechanisms and genetic regulatory circuitry that control embryonic development and adult tissue maintenance and repair. Studying the regulation of proliferation and differentiation in the male germ line stem cell lineage has allowed us investigate how the developmental program imposes layers of additional controls on fundamental cellular processes like cell cycle progression and gene expression to give rise to the huge variety of specialized cell types in our bodies. We are beginning to understand how local signals from somatic support cells specify self-renewal versus differentiation in the stem cell niche at the apical tip of the testis. We are discovering the molecular events that block cell proliferation and initiate terminal differentiation at the switch from mitosis to meiosis-a signature event of the germ cell program. Our work is beginning to reveal how the developmental program that sets up the dramatic new cell type-specific transcription program that prepares germ cells for meiotic division and spermatid differentiation is turned on when cells become spermatocytes. I have had the privilege of working with incredible students, postdocs, and colleagues who have discovered, brainstormed, challenged, and refined our science and our ideas of how developmental pathways and cellular mechanisms work together to drive differentiation. PMID:26970629

  12. Mixed germ cell-sex cord stromal tumor of the testis with an intratubular component: a problem in differential diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Roth, Lawrence M; Cheng, Liang

    2016-05-01

    The origin of mixed germ cell-sex cord stromal tumor (MGC-SCST) of the testis is uncertain, and a controversy exists as to whether the germ cells in these tumors are neoplastic. Although intratubular components of the common and several uncommon forms of testicular germ cell tumors have been described, to our knowledge, intratubular MGC-SCST has not previously been reported in detail. In a study of 13 cases of testicular MGC-SCST, we observed entrapped seminiferous tubules in 7 cases and an intratubular component in 2, both of which were associated with extensive entrapped tubules. Intratubular MGC-SCST is distinguished from entrapped tubules by the occurrence of germ cells resembling spermatogonia in the adluminal compartment and the absence of tubular lumens. By way of contrast, the adluminal compartment of entrapped tubules is composed entirely of immature Sertoli cells, and lumen formation is observed in favorably oriented tubules. Although the germ cells in our cases of MGC-SCST do not show histologic features of malignancy, the observation of spermatogonia-like cells in the adluminal compartment of the tubule, sometimes with concomitant germ cell proliferation, and the infiltrative pattern of the germ cells in the extratubular component support their neoplastic nature. The intratubular component tends to be more centrally located than the adjacent entrapped seminiferous tubules suggesting that it originates from the latter. The tubules of intratubular MGC-SCST are not expanded except in the advanced stage and are approximately the same size as entrapped seminiferous tubules but are considerably smaller than those of the uninvolved testis that shows active spermatogenesis. PMID:27067782

  13. Specific repertoire of olfactory receptor genes in the male germ cells of several mammalian species

    SciTech Connect

    Vanderhaeghen, P.; Schurmans, S.; Vassart, G.; Parmentier, M.

    1997-02-01

    Olfactory receptors constitute the largest family among G protein-coupled receptors, with up to 1000 members expected. We have previously shown that genes belonging to this family were expressed in the male germ line from both dog and human. We have subsequently demonstrated the presence of one of the corresponding olfactory receptor proteins during dog spermatogenesis and in mature sperm cells. In this study, we investigated whether the unexpected pattern of expression of olfactory receptors in the male germ line was conserved in other mammalian species. Using reverse transcription-PCR with primers specific for the olfactory receptor gene family, about 20 olfactory receptor cDNA fragments were cloned from the testis of each mammalian species tested. As a whole, they displayed no sequence specificity compared to other olfactory receptors, but highly homologous, possibly orthologous, genes were amplified from different species. Finally, their pattern of expression, as determined by RNase protection assay, revealed that many but not all of these receptors were expressed predominantly in testis. The male germ line from each mammalian species tested is thus characterized by a specific repertoire of olfactory receptors, which display a pattern of expression suggestive of their potential implication in the control of sperm maturation, migration, or fertilization. 34 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  14. Current state of the opportunities for derivation of germ-like cells from pluripotent stem cells: are you a man, or a mouse?

    PubMed Central

    Petkova, Rumena; Arabadjiev, Borislav; Chakarov, Stoyan; Pankov, Roumen

    2014-01-01

    The concept of pluripotency as a prerogative of cells of early mammal embryos and cultured embryonic stem cells (ESC) has been invalidated with the advent of induced pluripotent stem cells. Later, it became clear that the ability to generate all cell types of the adult organism is also a questionable aspect of pluripotency, as there are cell types, such as germ cells, which are difficult to produce from pluripotent stem cells. Recently it has been proposed that there are at least two different states of pluripotency; namely, the naïve, or ground state, and the primed state, which may differ radically in terms of timeline of existence, signalling mechanisms, cell properties, capacity for differentiation into different cell types, etc. Germ-like male and female rodent cells have been successfully produced in vitro from ESC and induced pluripotent stem cells. The attempts to derive primate primordial germ cells (PGC) and germ cells in vitro from pluripotent stem cells, however, still have a low success rate, especially with the female germline. The paper reviews the properties of rodent and primate ESC with regard to their capacity for differentiation in vitro to germ-like cells, outlining the possible caveats to derivation of PGC and germ cells from primate and human pluripotent cells. PMID:26019504

  15. Prenatal exposure to chromium induces early reproductive senescence by increasing germ cell apoptosis and advancing germ cell cyst breakdown in the F1 offspring

    PubMed Central

    Sivakumar, Kirthiram K.; Stanley, Jone A.; Arosh, Joe A.; Pepling, Melissa E.; Burghardt, Robert C.; Banu, Sakhila K.

    2014-01-01

    Hexavalent chromium (CrVI), one of the more toxic heavy metals, is widely used in more than 50 industries such as chrome plating, welding, wood processing and tanneries. As one of the world’s leading producers of chromium compounds, the U.S. is facing growing challenges in protecting human health against multiple adverse effects of CrVI. CrVI is rapidly converted to CrIII intracellularly, and can induce apoptosis through different mechanisms. Our previous studies demonstrated postnatal exposure to CrVI results in a delay or arrest in follicle development and puberty. Pregnant rats were treated with 25 ppm potassium dichromate (CrVI) from gestational day (GD) 9.5 to 14.5 through drinking water, placentae were removed on GD 20, and total Cr was estimated in the placentae; ovaries were removed from the F1 offspring on postnatal day (PND)-1 and various analyses were performed. Our results show that gestational exposure to CrVI resulted in (i) increased Cr concentration in the placenta, (ii) increased germ cell apoptosis by up-regulating p53/p27–Bax–caspase-3 proteins and by increasing p53–SOD-2 co-localization; (iii) accelerated germ cell cyst (GCC) breakdown; (iv) advanced primordial follicle assembly and primary follicle transition and (v) down regulation of p-AKT, p-ERK and XIAP. As a result of the above events, CrVI induced early reproductive senescence and decrease in litter size in F1 female progeny. PMID:24530425

  16. FACS-sorted putative oogonial stem cells from the ovary are neither DDX4-positive nor germ cells

    PubMed Central

    Zarate-Garcia, Larissa; Lane, Simon I. R.; Merriman, Julie A.; Jones, Keith T.

    2016-01-01

    Whether the adult mammalian ovary contains oogonial stem cells (OSCs) is controversial. They have been isolated by a live-cell sorting method using the germ cell marker DDX4, which has previously been assumed to be cytoplasmic, not surface-bound. Furthermore their stem cell and germ cell characteristics remain disputed. Here we show that although OSC-like cells can be isolated from the ovary using an antibody to DDX4, there is no good in silico modelling to support the existence of a surface-bound DDX4. Furthermore these cells when isolated were not expressing DDX4, and did not initially possess germline identity. Despite these unremarkable beginnings, they acquired some pre-meiotic markers in culture, including DDX4, but critically never expressed oocyte-specific markers, and furthermore were not immortal but died after a few months. Our results suggest that freshly isolated OSCs are not germ stem cells, and are not being isolated by their DDX4 expression. However it may be that culture induces some pre-meiotic markers. In summary the present study offers weight to the dogma that the adult ovary is populated by a fixed number of oocytes and that adult de novo production is a rare or insignificant event. PMID:27301892

  17. FACS-sorted putative oogonial stem cells from the ovary are neither DDX4-positive nor germ cells.

    PubMed

    Zarate-Garcia, Larissa; Lane, Simon I R; Merriman, Julie A; Jones, Keith T

    2016-01-01

    Whether the adult mammalian ovary contains oogonial stem cells (OSCs) is controversial. They have been isolated by a live-cell sorting method using the germ cell marker DDX4, which has previously been assumed to be cytoplasmic, not surface-bound. Furthermore their stem cell and germ cell characteristics remain disputed. Here we show that although OSC-like cells can be isolated from the ovary using an antibody to DDX4, there is no good in silico modelling to support the existence of a surface-bound DDX4. Furthermore these cells when isolated were not expressing DDX4, and did not initially possess germline identity. Despite these unremarkable beginnings, they acquired some pre-meiotic markers in culture, including DDX4, but critically never expressed oocyte-specific markers, and furthermore were not immortal but died after a few months. Our results suggest that freshly isolated OSCs are not germ stem cells, and are not being isolated by their DDX4 expression. However it may be that culture induces some pre-meiotic markers. In summary the present study offers weight to the dogma that the adult ovary is populated by a fixed number of oocytes and that adult de novo production is a rare or insignificant event. PMID:27301892

  18. Condensation behavior of the human x chromosome in male germ cells and Sertoli cells examined by flourescence in situ hybridisation

    SciTech Connect

    Kofman-Alfaro, S.; Cervantes, A.; Speed, R.M.

    1994-09-01

    The chromatin condensation behavior of the human x chromosome has been studied by FISH analysis in germ cells and Sertoli cells of the adult testes. Comparisons are made with previous findings for the human Y chromosome and for chromosome 7. In meiotic prophase, the X chromosome can be seen to extend greatly at zygotene and to contract through pachytene into the sex vesicle. Such extension, which has also been noted for the human Y chromosome at this state of meiosis, could be a prerequisite for XY pairing crossing-over. In patients with {open_quotes}Sertoli-cell-only{close_quotes} syndrome, the sex chromosomes, by in situ hybridization analysis, appear extremely contracted compared with their normal extended state seen in adult Sertoli cells of fertile men. By contrast, the state of expansion of chromosome 7 in Sertoli cells appears identical for sterile and fertile testes. This could suggest an association between gene-controlled germ cell losses and failure of expansion of the sex chromosome axes. The variable patterns of extension and contraction for the X and Y chromosome axes in germ cells and Sertoli cells might provide underlying clues to pattern of expression noted for sex-linked genes in the human testis.

  19. Salvage therapy in patients with germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Einhorn, Lawrence H

    2015-01-01

    Testicular cancer is the most curable metastatic solid tumor. Initial chemotherapy is evidence based with risk stratification into three prognostic categories: good, intermediate, and advanced disease. Guidelines for disease management following progression after initial cisplatin combination chemotherapy are less clear. Options include salvage surgery for patients with anatomically confined relapse, standard-dose cisplatin combination chemotherapy, or high-dose chemotherapy with carboplatin plus etoposide with peripheral blood stem cell transplantation. Proper interpretation of a presumed relapse can be complicated. Growing masses on imaging studies might reflect a growing teratoma. Persistent elevations of serum human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) or alpha fetoprotein (AFP) are only an indication for salvage therapy if there is a definitive rise in the tumor marker. Elevated and rising serum hCG as the only evidence of recurrence can be because of cross reactivity with luteinizing hormone or usage of marijuana rather than progressive cancer. Elevated liver function tests can cause rising serum AFP. PMID:25993183

  20. Large, Male Germ Cell-Specific Hypomethylated DNA Domains With Unique Genomic and Epigenomic Features on the Mouse X Chromosome

    PubMed Central

    Ikeda, Rieko; Shiura, Hirosuke; Numata, Koji; Sugimoto, Michihiko; Kondo, Masayo; Mise, Nathan; Suzuki, Masako; Greally, John M.; Abe, Kuniya

    2013-01-01

    To understand the epigenetic regulation required for germ cell-specific gene expression in the mouse, we analysed DNA methylation profiles of developing germ cells using a microarray-based assay adapted for a small number of cells. The analysis revealed differentially methylated sites between cell types tested. Here, we focused on a group of genomic sequences hypomethylated specifically in germline cells as candidate regions involved in the epigenetic regulation of germline gene expression. These hypomethylated sequences tend to be clustered, forming large (10 kb to ∼9 Mb) genomic domains, particularly on the X chromosome of male germ cells. Most of these regions, designated here as large hypomethylated domains (LoDs), correspond to segmentally duplicated regions that contain gene families showing germ cell- or testis-specific expression, including cancer testis antigen genes. We found an inverse correlation between DNA methylation level and expression of genes in these domains. Most LoDs appear to be enriched with H3 lysine 9 dimethylation, usually regarded as a repressive histone modification, although some LoD genes can be expressed in male germ cells. It thus appears that such a unique epigenomic state associated with the LoDs may constitute a basis for the specific expression of genes contained in these genomic domains. PMID:23861320

  1. The role of MAPK and FAS death receptor pathways in testicular germ cell apoptosis induced by lead.

    PubMed

    Dong, Shuying; Liang, Duoping; An, Na; Jia, Li; Shan, Yujuan; Chen, Chao; Sun, Kuo; Niu, Fei; Li, Huiyan; Fu, Songbin

    2009-09-01

    The aim of the present study is to investigate gene expression involved in the signal pathway of MAPK and death signal receptor pathway of FAS in lead-induced apoptosis of testicular germ cells. First, cell viabilities were determined by MTT assay. Second, using single cell gel-electrophoresis test (comet assay) and TUNEL staining technique, apoptotic rate and cell apoptosis localization of testicular germ cells were measured in mice treated with 0.15%, 0.3%, and 0.6% lead, respectively. Third, the immunolocalization of K-ras, c-fos, Fas, and active caspase-3 proteins was determined by immunohistochemistry. Finally, changes in the translational levels of K-ras, c-fos, Fas, and active caspase-3 were further detected by western blot analysis. Our results showed that lead could significantly induce testicular germ cell apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner (P<0.01). The mechanisms were closely related to the increased expressions of K-ras, c-fos, Fas, and active caspase-3 in apoptotic germ cells. In conclusion, K-ras/c-fos and Fas/caspase-3 death signaling receptor pathways were involved in the lead-induced apoptosis of the testicular germ cells in mice. PMID:19727529

  2. Immunoglobulin knockout chickens via efficient homologous recombination in primordial germ cells.

    PubMed

    Schusser, Benjamin; Collarini, Ellen J; Yi, Henry; Izquierdo, Shelley Mettler; Fesler, Jeffrey; Pedersen, Darlene; Klasing, Kirk C; Kaspers, Bernd; Harriman, William D; van de Lavoir, Marie-Cecile; Etches, Robert J; Leighton, Philip A

    2013-12-10

    Gene targeting by homologous recombination or by sequence-specific nucleases allows the precise modification of genomes and genes to elucidate their functions. Although gene targeting has been used extensively to modify the genomes of mammals, fish, and amphibians, a targeting technology has not been available for the avian genome. Many of the principles of humoral immunity were discovered in chickens, yet the lack of gene targeting technologies in birds has limited biomedical research using this species. Here we describe targeting the joining (J) gene segment of the chicken Ig heavy chain gene by homologous recombination in primordial germ cells to establish fully transgenic chickens carrying the knockout. In homozygous knockouts, Ig heavy chain production is eliminated, and no antibody response is elicited on immunization. Migration of B-lineage precursors into the bursa of Fabricius is unaffected, whereas development into mature B cells and migration from the bursa are blocked in the mutants. Other cell types in the immune system appear normal. Chickens lacking the peripheral B-cell population will provide a unique experimental model to study avian immune responses to infectious disease. More generally, gene targeting in avian primordial germ cells will foster advances in diverse fields of biomedical research such as virology, stem cells, and developmental biology, and provide unique approaches in biotechnology, particularly in the field of antibody discovery. PMID:24282302

  3. Bone Formation from Porcine Dental Germ Stem Cells on Surface Modified Polybutylene Succinate Scaffolds

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Designing and providing a scaffold are very important for the cells in tissue engineering. Polybutylene succinate (PBS) has high potential as a scaffold for bone regeneration due to its capacity in cell proliferation and differentiation. Also, stem cells from 3rd molar tooth germs were favoured in this study due to their developmentally and replicatively immature nature. In this study, porcine dental germ stem cells (pDGSCs) seeded PBS scaffolds were used to investigate the effects of surface modification with fibronectin or laminin on these scaffolds to improve cell attachment, proliferation, and osteogenic differentiation for tissue engineering applications. The osteogenic potentials of pDGSCs on these modified and unmodified foams were examined to heal bone defects and the effects of fibronectin or laminin modified PBS scaffolds on pDGSC differentiation into bone were compared for the first time. For this study, MTS assay was used to assess the cytotoxic effects of modified and unmodified surfaces. For the characterization of pDGSCs, flow cytometry analysis was carried out. Besides, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) assay, von Kossa staining, real-time PCR, CM-Dil, and immunostaining were applied to analyze osteogenic potentials of pDGSCs. The results of these studies demonstrated that pDGSCs were differentiated into osteogenic cells on fibronectin modified PBS foams better than those on unmodified and laminin modified PBS foams. PMID:27413380

  4. Bone Formation from Porcine Dental Germ Stem Cells on Surface Modified Polybutylene Succinate Scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Abay, Nergis; Gurel Pekozer, Gorke; Ramazanoglu, Mustafa; Kose, Gamze Torun

    2016-01-01

    Designing and providing a scaffold are very important for the cells in tissue engineering. Polybutylene succinate (PBS) has high potential as a scaffold for bone regeneration due to its capacity in cell proliferation and differentiation. Also, stem cells from 3rd molar tooth germs were favoured in this study due to their developmentally and replicatively immature nature. In this study, porcine dental germ stem cells (pDGSCs) seeded PBS scaffolds were used to investigate the effects of surface modification with fibronectin or laminin on these scaffolds to improve cell attachment, proliferation, and osteogenic differentiation for tissue engineering applications. The osteogenic potentials of pDGSCs on these modified and unmodified foams were examined to heal bone defects and the effects of fibronectin or laminin modified PBS scaffolds on pDGSC differentiation into bone were compared for the first time. For this study, MTS assay was used to assess the cytotoxic effects of modified and unmodified surfaces. For the characterization of pDGSCs, flow cytometry analysis was carried out. Besides, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) assay, von Kossa staining, real-time PCR, CM-Dil, and immunostaining were applied to analyze osteogenic potentials of pDGSCs. The results of these studies demonstrated that pDGSCs were differentiated into osteogenic cells on fibronectin modified PBS foams better than those on unmodified and laminin modified PBS foams. PMID:27413380

  5. Treatment-related Cardiovascular Late-effects and Exercise Training Countermeasures in Testicular Germ Cell Cancer Survivorship

    PubMed Central

    Christensen, Jesper F; Bandak, Mikkel; Campbell, Anna; Jones, Lee W.; Højman, Pernille

    2016-01-01

    Background Treatment of testicular germ cell cancer constitutes a major success story in modern oncology. Today, the vast majority of patients are cured by a therapeutic strategy using one or more highly effective components including surgery (orchiectomy), radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy. However, the excellent cancer specific survival comes at considerable costs, as individuals with a history of germ cell cancer experience serious long-term complications, including markedly increased risk of cardiovascular morbidities and premature cardiovascular death. The factors responsible, as well as their mode of action, are not fully understood and there is a lack of knowledge concerning optimal evidence-based long-term follow-up strategies. Results Here, we present the growing body of evidence suggesting that germ cell cancer patients as a consequence of the different treatment components, are subjected to toxicities, which individually, and synergistically, can cause physiological impairments leading to sub-clinical or clinical cardiovascular disorders the ‘multiple-hit hypothesis’). Furthermore, we discuss the efficacy and utility of structured exercise training to ameliorate treatment-induced cardiovascular dysfunction to prevent premature onset of clinical cardiovascular disease in germ cell cancer survivors, with a view towards highlighting future directions of exercise-based survivorship research in the germ cell cancer setting. Conclusion Since exercise training may have the potential to ameliorate and/or reverse long-term cardiovascular disease sequelae in germ cell cancer survivors, a strong rationale exists for the promotion of exercise-oncology research in this setting, in order to provide exercise-recommendations for optimal germ cell cancer survivorship. PMID:25751759

  6. Single exposure to heat induces stage-specific germ cell apoptosis in rats: role of intratesticular testosterone on stage specificity.

    PubMed

    Lue, Y H; Hikim, A P; Swerdloff, R S; Im, P; Taing, K S; Bui, T; Leung, A; Wang, C

    1999-04-01

    Short term exposure of the testis to heat causes degeneration of germ cells. However, the mechanisms underlying this process are poorly understood. The major objectives of this study were to determine whether the heat-induced loss of germ cells in the adult rat occurs via apoptosis, to document its stage-specific and cell-specific distribution, and to examine whether intratesticular testosterone (T) plays any role in the stage specificity of heat-induced germ cell death. Testes of adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to 22 C (control) or 43 C for 15 min. Animals were killed on days 1, 2, 9, and 56 after heat exposure. Germ cell apoptosis was characterized by DNA gel electrophoresis and in situ terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxy-UTP nick end labeling assay. The incidence of germ cell apoptosis [apoptotic index (AI)] was quite low in control rats (AI = 0.04-0.1). Mild hyperthermia within 1 or 2 days resulted in a marked activation (AI = 4.7-5.6) of germ cell apoptosis predominantly at early (I-IV) and late (XII-XIV) stages. Stages V-VI and VII-VIII were relatively protected from heat-induced apoptosis. Spermatocytes, including pachytenes at stages I-IV and IX-XII, diplotene and dividing spermatocytes at stages XIII-XIV, and early (steps 1-4) spermatids, were most susceptible to heat. On day 9, the majority of the tubules were severely damaged and displayed only a few remaining apoptotic germ cells. By day 56, spermatogenesis was completely recovered, and the incidence of germ cell apoptosis was compatible with the control levels. To determine whether intratesticular T plays a role in protecting germ cells at stages VII-VIII against heat-induced cell death, adult rats were exposed to local testicular heating on day 2 or were given a daily sc injection of GnRH antagonist (GnRH-A) for 4 days with and without a single exposure of testes to heat applied on day 2. By day 4, the incidence of increased germ cell apoptosis at stages other than VII

  7. Selective de-repression of germ cell-specific genes in mouse embryonic fibroblasts in a permissive epigenetic environment

    PubMed Central

    Sekinaka, Tamotsu; Hayashi, Yohei; Noce, Toshiaki; Niwa, Hitoshi; Matsui, Yasuhisa

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications play crucial roles on establishment of tissue-specific transcription profiles and cellular characteristics. Direct conversions of fibroblasts into differentiated tissue cells by over-expression of critical transcription factors have been reported, but the epigenetic mechanisms underlying these conversions are still not fully understood. In addition, conversion of somatic cells into germ cells has not yet been achieved. To understand epigenetic mechanisms that underlie germ cell characteristics, we attempted to use defined epigenetic factors to directly convert mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) into germ cells. Here, we successfully induced germ cell-specific genes by inhibiting repressive epigenetic modifications via RNAi or small-molecule compounds. Under these conditions, some tissue-specific genes and stimulus-inducible genes were also induced. Meanwhile, the treatments did not result in genome-wide transcriptional activation. These results suggested that a permissive epigenetic environment resulted in selective de-repression of stimulus- and differentiation-inducible genes including germ cell-specific genes in MEFs. PMID:27608931

  8. Selective de-repression of germ cell-specific genes in mouse embryonic fibroblasts in a permissive epigenetic environment.

    PubMed

    Sekinaka, Tamotsu; Hayashi, Yohei; Noce, Toshiaki; Niwa, Hitoshi; Matsui, Yasuhisa

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications play crucial roles on establishment of tissue-specific transcription profiles and cellular characteristics. Direct conversions of fibroblasts into differentiated tissue cells by over-expression of critical transcription factors have been reported, but the epigenetic mechanisms underlying these conversions are still not fully understood. In addition, conversion of somatic cells into germ cells has not yet been achieved. To understand epigenetic mechanisms that underlie germ cell characteristics, we attempted to use defined epigenetic factors to directly convert mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) into germ cells. Here, we successfully induced germ cell-specific genes by inhibiting repressive epigenetic modifications via RNAi or small-molecule compounds. Under these conditions, some tissue-specific genes and stimulus-inducible genes were also induced. Meanwhile, the treatments did not result in genome-wide transcriptional activation. These results suggested that a permissive epigenetic environment resulted in selective de-repression of stimulus- and differentiation-inducible genes including germ cell-specific genes in MEFs. PMID:27608931

  9. Oestrogen receptors and small nuclear ring finger protein 4 (RNF4) in malignant ovarian germ cell tumours.

    PubMed

    Salonen, Jonna; Butzow, Ralf; Palvimo, Jorma J; Heikinheimo, Markku; Heikinheimo, Oskari

    2009-08-13

    The peak incidence of malignant ovarian germ cell tumours occurs soon after puberty. Thus, gonadal steroids may play a role in their development. Oestrogen receptors (ERalpha and ERbeta) and their co-regulators, including small nuclear ring finger protein 4 (SNURF/RNF4) mediate oestrogen actions. While ERbeta and SNURF are down-regulated in testicular germ cell tumours, their role in the ovarian germ cell tumours remains unknown. We herein studied the different subtypes of malignant ovarian germ cell tumours, and found that they all express ERalpha, ERbeta, and SNURF. Stimulation with oestradiol (E2), ERalpha, ERbeta and SNURF significantly up-regulated mRNA expression in the human germinoma derived NCC-IT cells. Further, the effects of E2 were counteracted by an anti-oestrogen (ICI 182,780). Neither E2 nor ICI 182,780 had an effect on the proliferation of NCC-IT cells as assessed by flow cytometric analysis. Our results suggest that oestrogen signalling has a role in malignant ovarian germ cell tumours. PMID:19524139

  10. Germline replacement by blastula cell transplantation in the fish medaka.

    PubMed

    Li, Mingyou; Hong, Ni; Xu, Hongyan; Song, Jianxing; Hong, Yunhan

    2016-01-01

    Primordial germ cell (PGC) specification early in development establishes the germline for reproduction and reproductive technologies. Germline replacement (GR) is a powerful tool for conservation of valuable or endangered animals. GR is achievable by germ cell transplantation into the PGC migration pathway or gonads. Blastula cell transplantation (BCT) can also lead to the chimeric germline containing PGCs of both donor and host origins. It has remained largely unknown whether BCT is able to achieve GR at a high efficiency. Here we report efficient GR by BCT into blastula embryos in the fish medaka (Oryzias latipes). Specifically, dnd depletion completely ablated host PGCs and fertility, and dnd overexpression remarkably boosted PGCs in donor blastulae. BCT between normal donor and host produced a germline transmission rate of ~4%. This rate was enhanced up to ~30% upon PGC boosting in donors. Most importantly, BCT between PGC-boosted donors and PGC-ablated hosts led to more than 90% fertility restoration and 100% GR. Therefore, BCT features an extremely high efficiency of fertility recovery and GR in medaka. This finding makes medaka an ideal model to analyze genetic and physiological donor-host compatibilities for BCT-mediated surrogate production and propagation of endangered lower vertebrates and biodiversity. PMID:27406328

  11. Germline replacement by blastula cell transplantation in the fish medaka

    PubMed Central

    Li, Mingyou; Hong, Ni; Xu, Hongyan; Song, Jianxing; Hong, Yunhan

    2016-01-01

    Primordial germ cell (PGC) specification early in development establishes the germline for reproduction and reproductive technologies. Germline replacement (GR) is a powerful tool for conservation of valuable or endangered animals. GR is achievable by germ cell transplantation into the PGC migration pathway or gonads. Blastula cell transplantation (BCT) can also lead to the chimeric germline containing PGCs of both donor and host origins. It has remained largely unknown whether BCT is able to achieve GR at a high efficiency. Here we report efficient GR by BCT into blastula embryos in the fish medaka (Oryzias latipes). Specifically, dnd depletion completely ablated host PGCs and fertility, and dnd overexpression remarkably boosted PGCs in donor blastulae. BCT between normal donor and host produced a germline transmission rate of ~4%. This rate was enhanced up to ~30% upon PGC boosting in donors. Most importantly, BCT between PGC-boosted donors and PGC-ablated hosts led to more than 90% fertility restoration and 100% GR. Therefore, BCT features an extremely high efficiency of fertility recovery and GR in medaka. This finding makes medaka an ideal model to analyze genetic and physiological donor-host compatibilities for BCT-mediated surrogate production and propagation of endangered lower vertebrates and biodiversity. PMID:27406328

  12. Germ cell toxicity: significance in genetic and fertility effects of radiation and chemicals

    SciTech Connect

    Oakberg, E.F.

    1983-01-01

    The response of the male and female to radiation and chemicals is different. Any loss of oocytes in the female cannot be replaced, and if severe enough, will result in a shortening of the reproductive span. In the male, a temporary sterile period may be induced owing to destruction of the differentiating spermatogonia, but the stem cells are the most resistant spermatogonial type, are capable of repopulating the seminiferous epithelium, and fertility usually returns. The response of both the male and female changes with development of the embryonic to the adult gonad, and with differentiation and maturation in the adult. The primordial germ cells, early oocytes, and differentiating spermatogonia of the adult male are unusually sensitive to the cytotoxic action of noxious agents, but each agent elicits a specific response owing to the intricate biochemical and physiological changes associated with development and maturation of the gametes. The relationship of germ cell killing to fertility is direct, and long-term fertility effects can be predicted from histological analysis of the gonads. The relationship to genetic effects, on the other hand, is indirect, and acts primarily by limiting the cell stages available for testing, by affecting the distribution of mitotically active stem cells among the different stages of the mitotic cycle, and thereby, changing both the type and frequency of genetic effects observed. 100 references, 38 figures, 7 tables.

  13. Reversal of informational entropy and the acquisition of germ-like immortality by somatic cells.

    PubMed

    Kyriazis, Marios

    2014-01-01

    We live within an increasingly technological, information-laden environment for the first time in human evolution. This subjects us (and will continue to subject us in an accelerating fashion) to an unremitting exposure to 'meaningful information that requires action'. Directly dependent upon this new environment are novel evolutionary pressures, which can modify existing resource allocation mechanisms and may eventually favour the survival of somatic cells (particularly neurons) at the expense of germ line cells. In this theoretical paper I argue that persistent, structured information-sharing in both virtual and real domains, leads to increased biological complexity and functionality, which reflects upon human survival characteristics. Certain biological immortalisation mechanisms currently employed by germ cells may thus need to be downgraded in order to enable somatic cells to manage these new energy demands placed by our modern environment. Relevant concepts from a variety of disciplines such as the evolution of complex adaptive systems, information theory, digital hyper-connectivity, and cell immortalisation will be reviewed. Using logical, though sometimes speculative arguments, I will attempt to describe a new biology. A biology not driven by sex and reproduction but by information and somatic longevity. PMID:24852017

  14. Effect of Antioxidants and Apoptosis Inhibitors on Cryopreservation of Murine Germ Cells Enriched for Spermatogonial Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Yong-An; Kim, Yong-Hee; Kim, Bang-Jin; Jung, Sang-Eun; Pang, Myeong-Geol; Ryu, Buom-Yong

    2016-01-01

    Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) are germline stem cells that serve as the foundation of spermatogenesis to maintain fertility throughout a male’s lifetime. To treat male infertility using stem cell banking systems and transplantation, it is important to be able to preserve SSCs for long periods of time. Therefore, this study was conducted to develop an optimal cryopreservation protocol for SSCs using antioxidants and apoptosis inhibitors in freezing medium. No differences were observed compared to controls when SSCs were cryopreserved in the presence of apoptosis inhibitors by themselves. However, mouse germ cells cryopreserved in basal medium containing the antioxidant hypotaurine (14 mM) resulted in significantly greater proliferation potential and mitochondrial activity. Furthermore, treatment groups with combinations containing 200 mM trehalose and 14 mM hypotaurine showed higher proliferation rates compared to controls. In addition, several serum free conditions were evaluated for SSC cryopreservation. Treatment media containing 10% or 20% knockout serum replacement resulted in similar cryopreservation results compared to media containing FBS. SSC transplantation was also performed to confirm the functionality of SSCs frozen in 14 mM hypotaurine. Donor SSCs formed normal spermatogenic colonies and sperm in the recipient testis. These data indicate that inclusion of 14 mM hypotaurine in cryopreservation media is an effective way to efficiently cryopreserve germ cells enriched for SSCs and that knockout serum replacement can replace FBS in germ cell cryopreservation media. PMID:27548381

  15. Evidence for estrogen receptor expression in germ cell and somatic cell subpopulations in the ovary of the newly hatched chicken.

    PubMed

    Méndez, M C; Chávez, B; Echeverría, O; Vilchis, F; Vázquez Nin, G H; Pedernera, E

    1999-10-01

    Estrogens are involved in the gonadal morphogenesis of vertebrates, and almost all hormonal effects of 17beta-estradiol are mediated through specific receptors. At the time of sexual differentiation in the chicken, or even before, there is evidence of the presence of estrogen receptors and the secretion of 17beta-estradiol. However, no information is available regarding the cellular types that express the estrogen receptor in the immature chick ovary. The present study analyzes estrogen receptor expression in germ and somatic cells of the ovary in the newly hatched chicken. Highly purified cell subpopulations of germ and somatic cells were evaluated for specific 17beta-estradiol nuclear binding. In addition, the estrogen receptor was localized at the ultrastructural level by the immunogold technique. Finally, reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction procedures detected a steady-state level of mRNA for the estrogen receptor. Somatic cells including typical steroidogenic cells showed specific 17beta-estradiol nuclear binding, displayed the estrogen receptor, and possessed estrogen receptor transcripts. The same result was observed in primary oocytes, together with the ultrastructural localization of estrogen receptor in extended chromatin filaments. Our experimental data support the hypothesis that estrogens are involved in the function of somatic and germ cells subpopulations in the immature chicken ovary. PMID:10555548

  16. Effect of Antioxidants and Apoptosis Inhibitors on Cryopreservation of Murine Germ Cells Enriched for Spermatogonial Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    Ha, Seung-Jung; Kim, Byung-Gak; Lee, Yong-An; Kim, Yong-Hee; Kim, Bang-Jin; Jung, Sang-Eun; Pang, Myeong-Geol; Ryu, Buom-Yong

    2016-01-01

    Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) are germline stem cells that serve as the foundation of spermatogenesis to maintain fertility throughout a male's lifetime. To treat male infertility using stem cell banking systems and transplantation, it is important to be able to preserve SSCs for long periods of time. Therefore, this study was conducted to develop an optimal cryopreservation protocol for SSCs using antioxidants and apoptosis inhibitors in freezing medium. No differences were observed compared to controls when SSCs were cryopreserved in the presence of apoptosis inhibitors by themselves. However, mouse germ cells cryopreserved in basal medium containing the antioxidant hypotaurine (14 mM) resulted in significantly greater proliferation potential and mitochondrial activity. Furthermore, treatment groups with combinations containing 200 mM trehalose and 14 mM hypotaurine showed higher proliferation rates compared to controls. In addition, several serum free conditions were evaluated for SSC cryopreservation. Treatment media containing 10% or 20% knockout serum replacement resulted in similar cryopreservation results compared to media containing FBS. SSC transplantation was also performed to confirm the functionality of SSCs frozen in 14 mM hypotaurine. Donor SSCs formed normal spermatogenic colonies and sperm in the recipient testis. These data indicate that inclusion of 14 mM hypotaurine in cryopreservation media is an effective way to efficiently cryopreserve germ cells enriched for SSCs and that knockout serum replacement can replace FBS in germ cell cryopreservation media. PMID:27548381

  17. Diagnostic markers for germ cell neoplasms: from placental-like alkaline phosphatase to micro-RNAs.

    PubMed

    Rajpert-De Meyts, Ewa; Nielsen, John E; Skakkebaek, Niels E; Almstrup, Kristian

    2015-01-01

    This concise review summarises tissue and serum markers useful for differential diagnosis of germ cell tumours (GCT), with focus on the most common testicular GCT (TGCT). GCT are characterised by phenotypic heterogeneity due to largely retained embryonic pluripotency and aberrant somatic differentiation. TGCT that occur in young men are divided into two main types, seminoma and nonseminoma, both derived from a pre-invasive germ cell neoplasia in situ (GCNIS), which originates from transformed foetal gonocytes. In severely dysgenetic gonads, a GCNIS-resembling lesion is called gonadoblastoma. GCT occur rarely in young children (infantile GCT) in whom the pathogenesis is different (no GCNIS/gonadoblastoma stage) but the histopathological features are similar to the adult GCT. The rare spermatocytic tumour of older men is derived from post-pubertal spermatogonia that clonally expand due to gain-of function mutations in survival-promoting genes (e.g. FGFR3, HRAS), thus this tumour has a different expression profile than GCNIS-derived TGCT. Clinically most informative immunohistochemical markers for GCT, except teratoma, are genes expressed in primordial germ cells/gonocytes and embryonic pluripotency-related factors, such as placental-like alkaline phosphatase (PLAP), OCT4 (POU5F1), NANOG, AP-2γ (TFAP2C) and LIN28, which are not expressed in normal adult germ cells. Some of these markers can also be used for immunocytochemistry to detect GCNIS or incipient tumours in semen samples. Gene expression in GCT is regulated in part by DNA and histone modifications, and the epigenetic profile of these tumours is characterised by genome-wide demethylation, except nonseminomas. In addition, a recently discovered mechanism of post-genomic gene expression regulation involves small non-coding RNAs, predominantly micro-RNA (miR). Testicular GCT display micro-RNA profiles similar to embryonic stem cells. Targeted miRNA-based blood tests for miR-371-3 and miR-367 clusters are

  18. A Novel Piggybac Transposon Inducible Expression System Identifies a Role for Akt Signalling in Primordial Germ Cell Migration

    PubMed Central

    Glover, James D.; Taylor, Lorna; Sherman, Adrian; Zeiger-Poli, Caroline; Sang, Helen M.; McGrew, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    In this work, we describe a single piggyBac transposon system containing both a tet-activator and a doxycycline-inducible expression cassette. We demonstrate that a gene product can be conditionally expressed from the integrated transposon and a second gene can be simultaneously targeted by a short hairpin RNA contained within the transposon, both in vivo and in mammalian and avian cell lines. We applied this system to stably modify chicken primordial germ cell (PGC) lines in vitro and induce a reporter gene at specific developmental stages after injection of the transposon-modified germ cells into chicken embryos. We used this vector to express a constitutively-active AKT molecule during PGC migration to the forming gonad. We found that PGC migration was retarded and cells could not colonise the forming gonad. Correct levels of AKT activation are thus essential for germ cell migration during early embryonic development. PMID:24223709

  19. Protective Effects of Thymoquinone against Methotrexate-Induced Germ Cell Apoptosis in Male Mice

    PubMed Central

    Sheikhbahaei, Fatemeh; Khazaei, Mozafar; Rabzia, Arezou; Mansouri, Kamran; Ghanbari, Ali

    2016-01-01

    Background Toxic effects of anti-cancer and other drugs on the normal tissues could be reduced by the herbal plants and their fractions. This study investigated the protective effect of thymoquinone (TQ) as a fraction of Nigella sativa on methotrexate (MTX)- induced germ cell apoptosis in male mice. Materials and Methods In this experimental study, thirty male Balb/c mice were divided randomly into 5 groups (n=6). A single dose of MTX (20 mg/kg) and different concentrations of TQ were administrated for 4 consecutive days. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay was performed on paraffin embedded tissue sections to analysis the occurrence of apoptosis in the testis. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of apoptosis-related genes was performed with RNA extracted from testes of the mice. Statistical analysis was done using one-way ANOVA. Results In the MTX group, there was a significant increase in morphologic sign of germ cell degeneration of tubules (48 ± 0.6%), apoptotic index (AI; 2.3 ± 0.6%), as well as mRNA expression of p53 (P=0.008), caspase 8 (P=0.002), caspase 3 (P=0.005), caspase 9 (P=0.000), bax (P=0.004) and the ratio of bax/bcl-2 (P=0.000), whereas there was an decrease in the expression of bcl-2 (P=0.003), as compared to control group. In MTX+TQ groups, the data showed that different concentrations of TQ could improve the harmful effects caused by the MTX. The best protective effects were achieved in MTX+TQ (10 mg/kg). Conclusion TQ protects testicular germ cell against MTX-induced apoptosis by affecting related genes regulation. PMID:26985343

  20. Delayed Effects of Whole Brain Radiotherapy in Germ Cell Tumor Patients With Central Nervous System Metastases

    SciTech Connect

    Doyle, Danielle M. Einhorn, Lawrence H.

    2008-04-01

    Purpose: Central nervous system (CNS) metastases are uncommon in patients with germ cell tumors, with an incidence of 2-3%. CNS metastases have been managed with whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) and concomitant cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy. Our previous study did not observe serious CNS toxicity (Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 1991;22:17-22). We now report on 5 patients who developed delayed significant CNS toxicity. Patients and Methods: We observed 5 patients with delayed CNS toxicity. The initial diagnosis was between 1981 and 2003. All patients had poor-risk disease according to the International Germ Cell Consensus Collaborative Group criteria. Of the 5 patients, 3 had CNS metastases at diagnosis and 2 developed relapses with CNS metastases. These 5 patients underwent WBRT to 4,000-5,000 cGy in 18-28 fractions concurrently with cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Results: All 5 patients developed delayed symptoms consistent with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. The symptoms included seizures, hemiparesis, cranial neuropathy, headaches, blindness, dementia, and ataxia. The median time from WBRT to CNS symptoms was 72 months (range, 9-228). Head imaging revealed multiple abnormalities consistent with gliosis and diffuse cerebral atrophy. Of the 5 patients, 3 had progressive and 2 stable symptoms. Treatment with surgery and/or steroids had modest benefit. The progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy resulted in significant debility in all 5 patients, resulting in death (3 patients), loss of work, steroid-induced morbidity, and recurrent hospitalizations. Conclusion: Whole brain radiotherapy is not innocuous in young patients with germ cell tumors and can cause late CNS toxicity.

  1. Wnt signaling-mediated redox regulation maintains the germ line stem cell differentiation niche

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Su; Gao, Yuan; Song, Xiaoqing; Ma, Xing; Zhu, Xiujuan; Mao, Ying; Yang, Zhihao; Ni, Jianquan; Li, Hua; Malanowski, Kathryn E; Anoja, Perera; Park, Jungeun; Haug, Jeff; Xie, Ting

    2015-01-01

    Adult stem cells continuously undergo self-renewal and generate differentiated cells. In the Drosophila ovary, two separate niches control germ line stem cell (GSC) self-renewal and differentiation processes. Compared to the self-renewing niche, relatively little is known about the maintenance and function of the differentiation niche. In this study, we show that the cellular redox state regulated by Wnt signaling is critical for the maintenance and function of the differentiation niche to promote GSC progeny differentiation. Defective Wnt signaling causes the loss of the differentiation niche and the upregulated BMP signaling in differentiated GSC progeny, thereby disrupting germ cell differentiation. Mechanistically, Wnt signaling controls the expression of multiple glutathione-S-transferase family genes and the cellular redox state. Finally, Wnt2 and Wnt4 function redundantly to maintain active Wnt signaling in the differentiation niche. Therefore, this study has revealed a novel strategy for Wnt signaling in regulating the cellular redox state and maintaining the differentiation niche. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.08174.001 PMID:26452202

  2. Primary germ cell tumor of the mediastinum - presenting as a huge mass.

    PubMed

    Dalal, Usha; Jora, Manjit Singh; Dalal, Ashwani K; Attri, Ashok K; Singal, Rikki; Gupta, Samita

    2014-02-01

    Germ cell tumors compromise 15-20% of all anterior mediastinal masses; 50-60% of these are benign mediastinal teratoma. There may be mature, immature, and rarely with malignant component within the tumor mass. There are more chances of malignancy with immature type. We are reporting a case in 20-year young male diagnosed as giant benign cystic teratoma which was adherent to superior vena cava. The patient underwent surgical excision. In follow up of 2 years, the patient is not having any complaints. PMID:24627752

  3. Primary Germ Cell Tumor of the Mediastinum - Presenting as a Huge Mass

    PubMed Central

    Dalal, Usha; Jora, Manjit Singh; Dalal, Ashwani K.; Attri, Ashok K.; Singal, Rikki; Gupta, Samita

    2014-01-01

    Germ cell tumors compromise 15-20% of all anterior mediastinal masses; 50-60% of these are benign mediastinal teratoma. There may be mature, immature, and rarely with malignant component within the tumor mass. There are more chances of malignancy with immature type. We are reporting a case in 20-year young male diagnosed as giant benign cystic teratoma which was adherent to superior vena cava. The patient underwent surgical excision. In follow up of 2 years, the patient is not having any complaints. PMID:24627752

  4. Mixed ovarian germ cell tumor composed of immature teratoma, yolk sac tumor and embryonal carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying; Zhou, Feng; Qian, Zhida; Qing, Jiale; Zhao, Mengdam; Huang, Lili

    2014-11-01

    We report the case of a 19-year-old woman experiencing lower abdominal distension and pain. Laboratory tests indicated elevated serum levels of Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) and human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG). A large mass was detected in the abdomen by physical examination and by transvaginal ultrasonography. Exploratory laparotomy was performed, and a smooth-surfaced, spherical, solid tumor was found on the left ovary, measuring 11.5 x 9.9 x 6.9 cm. Histological evaluation revealed that the tumor consisted of a combination of immature teratoma, Yolk Sac Tumor, and embryonal carcinoma; this is a very rare combination in mixed germ cell tumors. PMID:25518772

  5. Crosstalk between endoplasmic reticulum stress and mitochondrial pathway mediates cadmium-induced germ cell apoptosis in testes.

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

    Cadmium (Cd) is associated with male infertility and poor semen quality in humans. Increasing evidence demonstrates that Cd induces testicular germ cell apoptosis in rodent animals. However, the molecular mechanisms of Cd-induced testicular germ cell apoptosis remain poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated the role of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress on Cd-evoked germ cell apoptosis in testes. We show that spliced form of XBP-1, the target of the IRE1 pathway, was significantly increased in testes of mice injected with CdCl(2). GRP78, an 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 caused eIF2α and JNK phosphorylation in testes, indicating that the unfolded protein response pathway in testes was activated by Cd. Interestingly, phenylbutyric acid (PBA), an ER chemical chaperone, attenuated Cd-induced ER stress and protected against germ cell apoptosis in testes. In addition, PBA significantly attenuated Cd-evoked release of cytochrome c from mitochondria to cytoplasm in testes. Taken together, these results suggest that crosstalk between ER stress signaling and mitochondrial pathway mediates Cd-induced testicular germ cell apoptosis. PMID:21908765

  6. PAR6, A Potential Marker for the Germ Cells Selected to Form Primordial Follicles in Mouse Ovary

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Jing; Zhang, Hua; Li, Ge; Mao, Guanping; Chen, Xiufen; Wang, Jianwei; Guo, Meng; Mu, Xinyi; Ouyang, Hong; Zhang, Meijia; Xia, Guoliang

    2009-01-01

    Partitioning-defective proteins (PAR) are detected to express mainly in the cytoplast, and play an important role in cell polarity. However, we showed here that PAR6, one kind of PAR protein, was localized in the nuclei of mouse oocytes that formed primordial follicles during the perinatal period, suggesting a new role of PAR protein. It is the first time we found that, in mouse fetal ovaries, PAR6 appeared in somatic cell cytoplasm and fell weak when somatic cells invaded germ cell cysts at 17.5 days post coitus (dpc). Meanwhile, the expression of PAR6 was observed in cysts, and became strong in the nuclei of some germ cells at 19.5 dpc and all primordial follicular oocytes at 3 day post parturition (dpp), and then obviously declined when the primordial follicles entered the folliculogenic growth phase. During the primordial follicle pool foundation, the number of PAR6 positive germ cells remained steady and was consistent with that of formed follicles at 3 dpp. There were no TUNEL (apoptosis examination) positive germ cells stained with PAR6 at any time studied. The number of follicles significantly declined when 15.5 dpc ovaries were treated with the anti-PAR6 antibody and PAR6 RNA interference. Carbenoxolone (CBX, a known blocker of gap junctions) inhibited the expression of PAR6 in germ cells and the formation of follicles. Our results suggest that PAR6 could be used as a potential marker of germ cells for the primordial follicle formation, and the expression of PAR6 by a gap junction-dependent process may contribute to the formation of primordial follicles and the maintenance of oocytes at the diplotene stage. PMID:19809506

  7. A mitotic kinase scaffold depleted in testicular seminomas impacts spindle orientation in germ line stem cells.

    PubMed

    Hehnly, Heidi; Canton, David; Bucko, Paula; Langeberg, Lorene K; Ogier, Leah; Gelman, Irwin; Santana, L Fernando; Wordeman, Linda; Scott, John D

    2015-01-01

    Correct orientation of the mitotic spindle in stem cells underlies organogenesis. Spindle abnormalities correlate with cancer progression in germ line-derived tumors. We discover a macromolecular complex between the scaffolding protein Gravin/AKAP12 and the mitotic kinases, Aurora A and Plk1, that is down regulated in human seminoma. Depletion of Gravin correlates with an increased mitotic index and disorganization of seminiferous tubules. Biochemical, super-resolution imaging, and enzymology approaches establish that this Gravin scaffold accumulates at the mother spindle pole during metaphase. Manipulating elements of the Gravin-Aurora A-Plk1 axis prompts mitotic delay and prevents appropriate assembly of astral microtubules to promote spindle misorientation. These pathological responses are conserved in seminiferous tubules from Gravin(-/-) mice where an overabundance of Oct3/4 positive germ line stem cells displays randomized orientation of mitotic spindles. Thus, we propose that Gravin-mediated recruitment of Aurora A and Plk1 to the mother (oldest) spindle pole contributes to the fidelity of symmetric cell division. PMID:26406118

  8. Differential expression of boule and dazl in adult germ cells of the Asian seabass.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-10

    Fertility genes boule and dazl constitute the evolutionarily conserved DAZ (Deleted in AZoospermia) family of RNA binding proteins essential for germline development across animal phyla. Here we report the cloning and expression analysis of boule and dazl from the Asian seabass (Lates calcarifer), a marine fish that undergoes sequential male-to-female sex reversal. Molecular cloning and sequence comparison led to the identification of boule and dazl cDNAs. RT-PCR analysis showed that both boule and dazl RNAs were restricted to the gonads among adult organs examined. Chromogenic in situ hybridization revealed germ cell-specific expression for both boule and dazl in female and male adults. Importantly, distinct differences were found between boule and dazl in terms of temporospatial expression and subcellular distribution. The boule RNA was abundant in late gametogenic cells except sperm. Interestingly, dazl expression increases in early oocytes and concentrates in a perinuclear speckle that appears to develop ultimately into the Balbiani body in advanced oocytes. The dazl RNA was found to be abundant in spermatocytes but hardly detectable in sperm. These data demonstrate that boule and dazl are germ cell markers in the adult Asian seabass, and that bisexual germline-specific expression has been conserved for boule and dazl in fish. PMID:25084124

  9. A mitotic kinase scaffold depleted in testicular seminomas impacts spindle orientation in germ line stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Hehnly, Heidi; Canton, David; Bucko, Paula; Langeberg, Lorene K; Ogier, Leah; Gelman, Irwin; Santana, L Fernando; Wordeman, Linda; Scott, John D

    2015-01-01

    Correct orientation of the mitotic spindle in stem cells underlies organogenesis. Spindle abnormalities correlate with cancer progression in germ line-derived tumors. We discover a macromolecular complex between the scaffolding protein Gravin/AKAP12 and the mitotic kinases, Aurora A and Plk1, that is down regulated in human seminoma. Depletion of Gravin correlates with an increased mitotic index and disorganization of seminiferous tubules. Biochemical, super-resolution imaging, and enzymology approaches establish that this Gravin scaffold accumulates at the mother spindle pole during metaphase. Manipulating elements of the Gravin-Aurora A-Plk1 axis prompts mitotic delay and prevents appropriate assembly of astral microtubules to promote spindle misorientation. These pathological responses are conserved in seminiferous tubules from Gravin−/− mice where an overabundance of Oct3/4 positive germ line stem cells displays randomized orientation of mitotic spindles. Thus, we propose that Gravin-mediated recruitment of Aurora A and Plk1 to the mother (oldest) spindle pole contributes to the fidelity of symmetric cell division. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09384.001 PMID:26406118

  10. Mouse Tafazzin Is Required for Male Germ Cell Meiosis and Spermatogenesis.

    PubMed

    Cadalbert, Laurence C; Ghaffar, Farah Naz; Stevenson, David; Bryson, Sheila; Vaz, Frédéric M; Gottlieb, Eyal; Strathdee, Douglas

    2015-01-01

    Barth syndrome is an X-linked mitochondrial disease, symptoms of which include neutropenia and cardiac myopathy. These symptoms are the most significant clinical consequences of a disease, which is increasingly recognised to have a variable presentation. Mutation in the Taz gene in Xq28 is thought to be responsible for the condition, by altering mitochondrial lipid content and mitochondrial function. Male chimeras carrying a targeted mutation of Taz on their X-chromosome were infertile. Testes from the Taz knockout chimeras were smaller than their control counterparts and this was associated with a disruption of the progression of spermatocytes through meiosis to spermiogenesis. Taz knockout ES cells also showed a defect when differentiated to germ cells in vitro. Mutant spermatocytes failed to progress past the pachytene stage of meiosis and had higher levels of DNA double strand damage and increased levels of endogenous retrotransposon activity. Altogether these data revealed a novel role for Taz in helping to maintain genome integrity in meiosis and facilitating germ cell differentiation. We have unravelled a novel function for the Taz protein, which should contribute to an understanding of how a disruption of the Taz gene results in the complex symptoms underlying Barth Syndrome. PMID:26114544

  11. Mouse Tafazzin Is Required for Male Germ Cell Meiosis and Spermatogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Cadalbert, Laurence C.; Ghaffar, Farah Naz; Stevenson, David; Bryson, Sheila; Vaz, Frédéric M.; Gottlieb, Eyal; Strathdee, Douglas

    2015-01-01

    Barth syndrome is an X-linked mitochondrial disease, symptoms of which include neutropenia and cardiac myopathy. These symptoms are the most significant clinical consequences of a disease, which is increasingly recognised to have a variable presentation. Mutation in the Taz gene in Xq28 is thought to be responsible for the condition, by altering mitochondrial lipid content and mitochondrial function. Male chimeras carrying a targeted mutation of Taz on their X-chromosome were infertile. Testes from the Taz knockout chimeras were smaller than their control counterparts and this was associated with a disruption of the progression of spermatocytes through meiosis to spermiogenesis. Taz knockout ES cells also showed a defect when differentiated to germ cells in vitro. Mutant spermatocytes failed to progress past the pachytene stage of meiosis and had higher levels of DNA double strand damage and increased levels of endogenous retrotransposon activity. Altogether these data revealed a novel role for Taz in helping to maintain genome integrity in meiosis and facilitating germ cell differentiation. We have unravelled a novel function for the Taz protein, which should contribute to an understanding of how a disruption of the Taz gene results in the complex symptoms underlying Barth Syndrome. PMID:26114544

  12. Localization of early germ cells in a stony coral, Euphyllia ancora: potential implications for a germline stem cell system in coral gametogenesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shikina, Shinya; Chung, Yi-Jou; Wang, Hsiang-Ming; Chiu, Yi-Ling; Shao, Zih-Fang; Lee, Yan-Horn; Chang, Ching-Fong

    2015-06-01

    Most corals exhibit annual or multiple gametogenic cycles. Thus far, coral gametogenesis has been studied in many species and locations during the past three decades; however, currently, only a few papers exist that describe the origin of germ cells, such as germline stem cells (GSCs), which support the continuous production of gametes in every reproductive cycle. To address this issue, in this study, we focused on and identified piwi gene, which has been used as a marker of germline cells, including GSCs, in various metazoans, in a scleractinian coral, Euphyllia ancora. Reverse-transcription PCR and Western blotting analyses revealed that E. ancora piwi-like ( Eapiwi) is expressed in mesentery tissues where the sites of gametogenesis are located for both sexes. Immunohistochemistry with a specific antibody against Eapiwi revealed strong immunoreactivity in the spermatogonia in males and in the oogonia and early oocytes in females, demonstrating that Eapiwi could be used as an early germ cell marker in E. ancora. Subsequent immunohistochemical analyses regarding the spatial and temporal distribution patterns of early germ cells in mesentery tissues revealed that early germ cells were present throughout the year in the mesentery tissue we examined, regardless of the sexual reproductive cycle. In particular, small numbers of early germ cells were observed in specific sites of mesentery tissues with fully matured gonads in both sexes. These early germ cells were not released together with mature gametes during the spawning period and remained in the mesentery tissues. These results suggested that these early germ cells mo