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Sample records for mouse germ cell

  1. Enhanced Genetic Integrity in Mouse Germ Cells1

    PubMed Central

    Murphey, Patricia; McLean, Derek J.; McMahan, C. Alex; Walter, Christi A.; McCarrey, John R.

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT Genetically based diseases constitute a major human health burden, and de novo germline mutations represent a source of heritable genetic alterations that can cause such disorders in offspring. The availability of transgenic rodent systems with recoverable, mutation reporter genes has been used to assess the occurrence of spontaneous point mutations in germline cells. Previous studies using the lacI mutation reporter transgenic mouse system showed that the frequency of spontaneous mutations is significantly lower in advanced male germ cells than in somatic cell types from the same individuals. Here we used this same mutation reporter transgene system to show that female germ cells also display a mutation frequency that is lower than that in corresponding somatic cells and similar to that seen in male germ cells, indicating this is a common feature of germ cells in both sexes. In addition, we showed that statistically significant differences in mutation frequencies are evident between germ cells and somatic cells in both sexes as early as mid-fetal stages in the mouse. Finally, a comparison of the mutation frequency in a general population of early type A spermatogonia with that in a population enriched for Thy-1-positive spermatogonia suggests there is heterogeneity among the early spermatogonial population such that a subset of these cells are predestined to form true spermatogonial stem cells. Taken together, these results support the disposable soma theory, which posits that genetic integrity is normally maintained more stringently in the germ line than in the soma and suggests that this is achieved by minimizing the initial occurrence of mutations in early germline cells and their subsequent gametogenic progeny relative to that in somatic cells. PMID:23153565

  2. Chlorambucil effectively induces deletion mutations in mouse germ cells.

    PubMed Central

    Russell, L B; Hunsicker, P R; Cacheiro, N L; Bangham, J W; Russell, W L; Shelby, M D

    1989-01-01

    The chemotherapeutic agent chlorambucil was found to be more effective than x-rays or any chemical investigated to date in inducing high yields of mouse germ-line mutations that appear to be deletions or other structural changes. Induction of mutations involving seven specific loci was studied after exposures of various male germ-cell stages to chlorambucil at 10-25 mg/kg. A total of 60,750 offspring was scored. Mutation rates in spermatogonial stem cells were not significantly increased over control values; this negative result is not attributable to selective elimination of mutant cells. Mutations were, however, clearly induced in treated post-stem-cell stages, among which marked variations in mutational response were found. Maximum yield occurred after exposure of early spermatids, with approximately 1% of all offspring carrying a specific-locus mutation in the 10 mg/kg group. The stage-response pattern for chlorambucil differs from that of all other chemicals investigated to date in the specific-locus test. Thus far, all but one of the tested mutations induced by chlorambucil in post-stem-cell stages have been proved deletions or other structural changes by genetic, cytogenetic, and/or molecular criteria. Deletion mutations have recently been useful for molecular mapping and for structure-function correlations of genomic regions. For generating presumed large-lesion germ-line mutations at highest frequencies, chlorambucil may be the mutagen of choice. Images PMID:2726748

  3. Chlorambucil effectively induces deletion mutations in mouse germ cells

    SciTech Connect

    Russell, L.B.; Hunsicker, P.R.; Cacheiro, N.L.A.; Bangham, J.W.; Russell, W.L.; Shelby, M.D. )

    1989-05-01

    The chemotherapeutic agent chlorambucil was found to be more effective than x-rays or any chemical investigated to data in inducing high yields of mouse germ-line mutations that appear to be deletions or other structural changes. Induction of mutations involving seven specific loci was studied after exposures of various male germ-cell stages to chlorambucil at 10-25 mg/kg. A total of 60,750 offspring was scored. Mutation rates in spermatogonial stem cells were not significantly increased over control values; this negative result is not attributable to selective elimination of mutant cells. Mutations were, however, clearly induced in treated post-stem-cell stages, among which marked variations in mutational response were found. Maximum yield occurred after exposure of early spermatids, with {approx} 1% of all offspring carrying a specific-locus mutation in the 10 mg/kg group. The stage-response pattern for chlorambucil differs from that of all other chemicals investigated to date in the specific-locus test. Thus far, all but one of the tested mutations induced by chlorambucil in post-stem-cell stages have been proved deletions or other structural changes by genetic, cytogenetic, and/or molecular criteria. Deletion mutations have recently been useful for molecular mapping and for structure-function correlations of genomic regions. For generating presumed large-lesion germline mutations at highest frequencies, chlorambucil may be the mutagen of choice.

  4. Germ cells influence cord formation and Leydig cell gene expression during mouse testis development.

    PubMed

    Rios-Rojas, Clarissa; Spiller, Cassy; Bowles, Josephine; Koopman, Peter

    2016-04-01

    It is widely accepted that, during the development of testes in the mammalian embryo, male germ cells are influenced by signals from the surrounding somatic cells, but not vice versa, so that germ cells are dispensable for the formation of testes. We now demonstrate that development of the mouse fetal testis is compromised in the absence of germ cells. Using two- and three-dimensional imaging techniques, we reveal that W(e)/W(e) mutant testes devoid of germ cells have misshapen and poorly organized cords. We also found that mutant gonads have fewer Sertoli cells than normal and that the Leydig cells express key markers at higher than normal levels. These observations point to the existence of germ cell-derived signals that directly or indirectly affect the Sertoli and Leydig cell populations, and provide a new paradigm for the organogenesis of the mammalian testes. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

    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 α (DND1- α) and DND1-isoform β (DND1-β). Using isoform specific antibodies, we determined DND1-α is expressed in embryos and embryonic gonads whereas DND1-β expression is restricted to germ cells of the adult testis. Our data implicates DND1-α 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

  6. 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. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  7. 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.

  8. In vitro expansion of mouse primordial germ cell-like cells recapitulates an epigenetic blank slate.

    PubMed

    Ohta, Hiroshi; Kurimoto, Kazuki; Okamoto, Ikuhiro; Nakamura, Tomonori; Yabuta, Yukihiro; Miyauchi, Hidetaka; Yamamoto, Takuya; Okuno, Yukiko; Hagiwara, Masatoshi; Shirane, Kenjiro; Sasaki, Hiroyuki; Saitou, Mitinori

    2017-07-03

    The expansion of primordial germ cells (PGCs), the precursors for the oocytes and spermatozoa, is a key challenge in reproductive biology/medicine. Using a chemical screening exploiting PGC-like cells (PGCLCs) induced from mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs), we here identify key signaling pathways critical for PGCLC proliferation. We show that the combinatorial application of Forskolin and Rolipram, which stimulate cAMP signaling via different mechanisms, expands PGCLCs up to ~50-fold in culture. The expanded PGCLCs maintain robust capacity for spermatogenesis, rescuing the fertility of infertile mice. Strikingly, during expansion, PGCLCs comprehensively erase their DNA methylome, including parental imprints, in a manner that precisely recapitulates genome-wide DNA demethylation in gonadal germ cells, while essentially maintaining their identity as sexually uncommitted PGCs, apparently through appropriate histone modifications. By establishing a paradigm for PGCLC expansion, our system reconstitutes the epigenetic "blank slate" of the germ line, an immediate precursory state for sexually dimorphic differentiation. © 2017 The Authors.

  9. DNA methylation and chromatin accessibility profiling of mouse and human fetal germ cells

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Hongshan; Hu, Boqiang; Yan, Liying; Yong, Jun; Wu, Yan; Gao, Yun; Guo, Fan; Hou, Yu; Fan, Xiaoying; Dong, Ji; Wang, Xiaoye; Zhu, Xiaohui; Yan, Jie; Wei, Yuan; Jin, Hongyan; Zhang, Wenxin; Wen, Lu; Tang, Fuchou; Qiao, Jie

    2017-01-01

    Chromatin remodeling is important for the epigenetic reprogramming of human primordial germ cells. However, the comprehensive chromatin state has not yet been analyzed for human fetal germ cells (FGCs). Here we use nucleosome occupancy and methylation sequencing method to analyze both the genome-wide chromatin accessibility and DNA methylome at a series of crucial time points during fetal germ cell development in both human and mouse. We find 116 887 and 137 557 nucleosome-depleted regions (NDRs) in human and mouse FGCs, covering a large set of germline-specific and highly dynamic regulatory genomic elements, such as enhancers. Moreover, we find that the distal NDRs are enriched specifically for binding motifs of the pluripotency and germ cell master regulators such as NANOG, SOX17, AP2γ and OCT4 in human FGCs, indicating the existence of a delicate regulatory balance between pluripotency-related genes and germ cell-specific genes in human FGCs, and the functional significance of these genes for germ cell development in vivo. Our work offers a comprehensive and high-resolution roadmap for dissecting chromatin state transition dynamics during the epigenomic reprogramming of human and mouse FGCs. PMID:27824029

  10. Tests for urethane induction of germ-cell mutations and germ-cell killing in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Russell, L B; Hunsicker, P R; Oakberg, E F; Cummings, C C; Schmoyer, R L

    1987-08-01

    Urethane, a chemical that has given varied results in mutagenesis assays, was tested in the mouse specific-locus test, and its effect on germ-cell survival was explored. Altogether 32,828 offspring were observed from successive weekly matings of males exposed to the maximum tolerated i.p. dose of 1750 mg urethane/kg. The combined data rule out (at the 5% significance level) an induced mutation rate greater than 1.7 times the historical control rate. For spermatogonial stem cells alone, the multiple ruled out is 3.2, and for poststem-cell stages, 3.5. Litter sizes from successive conceptions made in any of the first 7 weeks give no indication of induced dominant lethality, confirming results of past dominant-lethal assays. That urethane (or an active metabolite) reaches germ cells is indicated by SCE induction in spermatogonia demonstrated by other investigators. Cytotoxic effects in spermatogonia are suggested by our finding of a slight reduction in numbers of certain types of spermatogonia in seminiferous tubule cross-sections and of a borderline decrease in the number of litters conceived during the 8th and 9th posttreatment weeks. The negative results for induction of gene mutations as well as clastogenic damage are at variance with Nomura's reports of dominant effects (F1 cancers and malformations) produced by urethane.

  11. Most regions of mouse epididymis are able to phagocytose immature germ cells.

    PubMed

    Ramos-Ibeas, P; Pericuesta, E; Fernández-González, R; Ramírez, M A; Gutierrez-Adan, A

    2013-01-01

    The role of the epididymis as a quality control organ in preventing infertile gametes entering the ejaculate has been extensively explored, and it has been suggested that a specific region of mammalian epididymis is able to phagocytose abnormal germ cells. This study examines whether the epithelium of certain zones of the mouse epididymis can act as a selection barrier by removing immature germ cells from the lumen by phagocytosis. To detect the presence of immature germ cells in the epididymis, we generated transgenic mice expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein under the deleted in azoospermia-like (mDazl) promoter to easily identify immature germ cells under fluorescence microscopy. Using this technique, we observed that during the first stage of spermatogenesis in prepuberal mice, a wave of immature germ cells is released into the epididymis and that the immature epididymis is not able to react to this abnormal situation. By contrast, when immature germ cells were artificially released into the epididymis in adult mice, a phagocytic response was observed. Phagosomes appeared inside principal cells of the epididymal epithelium and were observed to contain immature germ cells at different degradation stages in different zones of the epididymis, following the main wave of immature germ cells. In this paper, we describe how the epididymal epithelium controls sperm quality by clearing immature germ cells in response to their artificially induced massive shedding into the epididymal lumen. Our observations indicate that this phenomenon is not restricted to a given epididymis region and that phagocytic capacity is gradually acquired during epididymal development.

  12. [Derivation of germ cells from mouse embryonic stem cells in culture].

    PubMed

    Fuhrmann, G

    2005-10-01

    Mouse embryonic stem cells derive from the inner cell mass of the blastocyst and give rise to the three primitive embryonic layers, which later will form all the different tissue types of an adult. Embryonic stem cells are thus defined as totipotent cells. In vitro, these cells can give rise to all the somatic cells. Different laboratories have now shown that cultured embryonic stem cells can also differentiate into germline cells. By using the transcription factor Oct-4 as a tool for the visualization of germ cells, it has been shown the derivation of oocytes from mouse embryonic stem cells. These works should contribute to various areas, including therapeutic cloning which associates nuclear transfer and selective production of a specific cell type.

  13. Germ stem cells are active in postnatal mouse ovary under physiological conditions

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Kun; Li, Chao-hui; Wang, Xin-yi; He, Da-jian; Zheng, Ping

    2016-01-01

    STUDY HYPOTHESIS Are active ovarian germ stem cells present in postnatal mouse ovaries under physiological conditions? STUDY FINDING Active ovarian germ stem cells exist and function in adult mouse ovaries under physiological conditions. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY In vitro studies suggested the existence of germ stem cells in postnatal ovaries of mouse, pig and human. However, in vivo studies provided evidence against the existence of active germ stem cells in postnatal mouse ovaries. Thus, it remains controversial whether such germ stem cells really exist and function in vivo in postnatal mammalian ovaries. STUDY DESIGN, SAMPLES/MATERIALS, METHODS Octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (Oct4)-MerCreMer transgenic mice were crossed with R26R-enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) mice to establish a tamoxifen-inducible tracing system so that Oct4-expressing potential ovarian germ stem cells in young adult mice (5–6 weeks old) can be labeled with EYFP. The germ cell activities of DNA replication, mitotic division, entry into meiosis and progression to primordial follicle stage were investigated by means of immunofluorescent staining of ovarian tissues collected at different time points post-tamoxifen injection (1 day, 3 days, 2 months and 4 months). Meiosis entry and primordial follicle formation were also measured by EYFP-labeled single-cell RT–PCR. Germ cell proliferation and mitotic division were examined through 5-bromodeoxyuridine triphosphate incorporation assay. At each time point, ovaries from two to three animals were used for each set of experiment. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE By labeling the Oct4-expressing small germ cells and tracing their fates for up to 4 months, we observed persistent meiosis entry and primordial follicle replenishment. Furthermore, we captured the transient processes of mitotic DNA replication as well as mitotic division of the marked germ cells at various time periods after tracing. These lines of evidence unambiguously

  14. 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

    2016-05-15

    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.

  15. Mouse primordial germ cells produce cysts that partially fragment prior to meiosis

    PubMed Central

    Lei, Lei; Spradling, Allan C.

    2013-01-01

    Mammalian germ cells divide mitotically and form nests of associated cells just prior to entering meiosis. At least some nests contain germline cysts that arise by synchronous, incomplete mitotic divisions, but others may form by aggregation. To systematically investigate early murine germ cell development, we lineage marked the progeny of individual, newly arrived primordial germ cells in the E10.5 gonad. All the marked germ cells initially develop into clones containing two, four or eight cells, indicating cyst formation. Surprisingly, growing cysts in both sexes partially fragment into smaller cysts prior to completion and associate with cysts from unrelated progenitors. At the time divisions cease, female clones comprise five cysts on average that eventually give rise to about six primordial follicles. Male cyst cells break apart and probably become spermatogonial stem cells. Thus, cysts are invariant units of mouse germ cell development and cyst fragmentation provides insight into the amplification of spermatogonial stem cells and the origin of primordial follicles. PMID:23578925

  16. Expression of the adaptor protein m-Numb in mouse male germ cells.

    PubMed

    Corallini, Serena; Fera, Stefania; Grisanti, Laura; Falciatori, Ilaria; Muciaccia, Barbara; Stefanini, Mario; Vicini, Elena

    2006-12-01

    Numb is an adaptor protein that is asymmetrically inherited at mitosis and controls the fate of sibling cells in different species. The role of m-Numb (mammalian Numb) as an important cell fate-determining factor has extensively been described mostly in neural tissues, particularly in progenitor cells, in the mouse. Biochemical and genetic analyses have shown that Numb acts as an inhibitor of the Notch signaling pathway, an evolutionarily conserved pathway involved in the control of cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. In the present study, we sought to determine m-Numb distribution in germ cells in the postnatal mouse testis. We show that all four m-Numb isoforms are widely expressed during postnatal testis development. By reverse transcriptase-PCR and western blot analyses, we further identify p71 as the predominantly expressed isoform in germ cells. Moreover, we demonstrate through co-immunoprecipitation studies that m-Numb physically associates with Ap2a1, a component of the endocytotic clathrin-coated vesicles. Finally, we employed confocal immunofluorescence microscopy of whole mount seminiferous tubules and isolated germ cells to gain more insight into the subcellular localization of m-Numb. These morphological analyses confirmed m-Numb and Ap2a1 co-localization. However, we did not observe asymmetric localization of m-Numb neither in mitotic spermatogonial stem cells nor in more differentiated spermatogonial cells, suggesting that spermatogonial stem cell fate in the mouse does not rely on asymmetric partitioning of m-Numb.

  17. Immunohistochemical examination for the distribution of podoplanin-expressing cells in developing mouse molar tooth germs.

    PubMed

    Imaizumi, Yuri; Amano, Ikuko; Tsuruga, Eichi; Kojima, Hiroshi; Sawa, Yoshihiko

    2010-10-27

    We recently reported the expression of podoplanin in the apical bud of adult mouse incisal tooth. This study was aimed to investigate the distribution of podoplanin-expressing cells in mouse tooth germs at several developing stages. At the bud stage podoplanin was expressed in oral mucous epithelia and in a tooth bud. At the cap stage podoplanin was expressed on inner and outer enamel epithelia but not in mesenchymal cells expressing the neural crest stem cell marker nestin. At the early bell stage nestin and podoplanin were expressed in cervical loop and odontoblasts. At the root formation stage both nestin and podoplanin were weakly expressed in odontoblasts generating radicular dentin. Podoplanin expression was also found in the Hertwig epithelial sheath. These results suggest that epithelial cells of developing tooth germ acquire the ability to express nestin, and that tooth germ epithelial cells maintain the ability to express podoplanin in oral mucous epithelia. The expression of podoplanin in odontoblasts was induced as tooth germ development advanced, but was suppressed with the completion of the primary dentin, suggesting that podoplanin may be involved in the cell growth of odontoblasts. Nestin may function as an intermediate filament that binds podoplanin in odontoblasts.

  18. Toll-like receptor 11-initiated innate immune response in male mouse germ cells.

    PubMed

    Chen, Qiaoyuan; Zhu, Weiwei; Liu, Zhenghui; Yan, Keqin; Zhao, Shutao; Han, Daishu

    2014-02-01

    Toxoplasma gondii and uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) may infect the testis and impair testicular function. Mechanisms underlying testicular innate immune response to these two pathogens remain to be clarified. The present study examined the function of TLR11, which can be recognized by T. gondii-derived profilin and UPEC, in initiating innate immune response in male mouse germ cells. TLR11 is predominantly expressed in spermatids. Profilin and UPEC induced the expressions of different inflammatory cytokine profiles in the germ cells. In particular, profilin induced the expressions of macrophage chemotactic protein 1 (MCP1), interleukin 12 (IL12), and interferon gamma (IFNG) through nuclear factor KB (NFKB) activation. UPEC induced the expressions of MCP1, IL12, and IFNG, as well as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFA), IL6, and IFNB, through the activation of NFKB, IFN regulatory factor 3, and mitogen-activated protein kinases. Evidence showed that profilin induced the innate response in male germ cells through TLR11 signaling, and UPEC triggered the response through TLR11 and other TLR-signaling pathways. We also provided evidence that local injection of profilin or UPEC induces the innate immune response in the germ cells. Data describe TLR11-mediated innate immune function of male germ cells in response to T. gondii profilin and UPEC stimulations. This system may play a role in testicular defense against T. gondii and UPEC infections in mice.

  19. Transmitted mutational events induced in mouse germ cells following acrylamide or glycidamide exposure.

    PubMed

    Favor, Jack; Shelby, Michael D

    2005-02-07

    An increase in the germ line mutation rate in humans will result in an increase in the incidence of genetically determined diseases in subsequent generations. Thus, it is important to identify those agents that are mutagenic in mammalian germ cells. Acrylamide is water soluble, absorbed and distributed in the body, chemically reactive with nucleophilic sites, and there are known sources of human exposure. Here we review all seven published studies that assessed the effectiveness of acrylamide or its active metabolite, glycidamide, in inducing transmitted reciprocal translocations or gene mutations in the mouse. Major conclusions were (a) acrylamide is mutagenic in spermatozoa and spermatid stages of the male germ line; (b) in these spermatogenic stages acrylamide is mainly or exclusively a clastogen; (c) per unit dose, i.p. exposure is more effective than dermal exposure; and (d) per unit dose, glycidamide is more effective than acrylamide. Since stem cell spermatogonia persist and may accumulate mutations throughout the reproductive life of males, assessment of induced mutations in this germ cell stage is critical for the assessment of genetic risk associated with exposure to a mutagen. The two specific-locus mutation experiments which studied the stem cell spermatogonial stage yielded conflicting results. This discrepancy should be resolved. Finally, it is noted that no experiments have studied the mutagenic potential of acrylamide to increase the frequency of transmitted mutational events following exposure in the female germ line.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    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.

  2. Follistatin288 Regulates Germ Cell Cyst Breakdown and Primordial Follicle Assembly in the Mouse Ovary.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhengpin; Niu, Wanbao; Wang, Yijing; Teng, Zhen; Wen, Jia; Xia, Guoliang; Wang, Chao

    2015-01-01

    In mammals, the primordial follicle pool represents the entire reproductive potential of a female. The transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) family member activin (ACT) contributes to folliculogenesis, although the exact mechanism is not known. The role of FST288, the strongest ACT-neutralizing isoform of follistatin (FST), during cyst breakdown and primordial follicle formation in the fetal mice ovary was assessed using an in vitro culture system. FST was continuously expressed in the oocytes as well as the cuboidal granulosa cells of growing follicles in perinatal mouse ovaries. Treatment with FST288 delayed germ cell nest breakdown, particularly near the periphery of the ovary, and dramatically decreased the percentage of primordial follicles. In addition, there was a dramatic decrease in proliferation of granulosa cells and somatic cell expression of Notch signaling was impaired. In conclusion, FST288 impacts germ cell nest breakdown and primordial follicle assembly by inhibiting somatic cell proliferation.

  3. Follistatin288 Regulates Germ Cell Cyst Breakdown and Primordial Follicle Assembly in the Mouse Ovary

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhengpin; Niu, Wanbao; Wang, Yijing; Teng, Zhen; Wen, Jia; Xia, Guoliang; Wang, Chao

    2015-01-01

    In mammals, the primordial follicle pool represents the entire reproductive potential of a female. The transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) family member activin (ACT) contributes to folliculogenesis, although the exact mechanism is not known. The role of FST288, the strongest ACT-neutralizing isoform of follistatin (FST), during cyst breakdown and primordial follicle formation in the fetal mice ovary was assessed using an in vitro culture system. FST was continuously expressed in the oocytes as well as the cuboidal granulosa cells of growing follicles in perinatal mouse ovaries. Treatment with FST288 delayed germ cell nest breakdown, particularly near the periphery of the ovary, and dramatically decreased the percentage of primordial follicles. In addition, there was a dramatic decrease in proliferation of granulosa cells and somatic cell expression of Notch signaling was impaired. In conclusion, FST288 impacts germ cell nest breakdown and primordial follicle assembly by inhibiting somatic cell proliferation. PMID:26076381

  4. 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.

  5. Utility of Dexrazoxane for the Attenuation of Epirubicin-Induced Genetic Alterations in Mouse Germ Cells

    PubMed Central

    Ahmad, Sheikh F.; Ansaria, Mushtaq A.; Nadeem, Ahmed; Al-Shabanah, Othman A.; Al-Harbi, Mohammed M.; Bakheet, Saleh A.

    2016-01-01

    Dexrazoxane has been approved to treat anthracycline-induced cardiomyopathy and extravasation. However, the effect of dexrazoxane on epirubicin-induced genetic alterations in germ cells has not yet been reported. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine whether dexrazoxane modulates epirubicin-induced genetic damage in the germ cells of male mice. Our results show that dexrazoxane was not genotoxic at the tested doses. Furthermore, it protected mouse germ cells against epirubicin-induced genetic alterations as detected by the reduction in disomic and diploid sperm, spermatogonial chromosomal aberrations, and abnormal sperm heads. The attenuating effect of dexrazoxane was greater at higher dose, indicating a dose-dependent effect. Moreover, sperm motility and count were ameliorated by dexrazoxane pretreatment. Epirubicin induced marked biochemical changes characteristic of oxidative DNA damage including elevated 8-hydroxy-2ʹ-deoxyguanosine levels and reduction in reduced glutathione. Pretreatment of mice with dexrazoxane before epirubicin challenge restored these altered endpoints. We conclude that dexrazoxane may efficiently mitigate the epirubicin insult in male germ cells, and prevent the enhanced risk of abnormal reproductive outcomes and associated health risks. Thus, pretreating patients with dexrazoxane prior to epirubicin may efficiently preserve not only sperm quality but also prevent the transmission of genetic damage to future generations. PMID:27690233

  6. Retinoic acid combined with spermatogonial stem cell conditions facilitate the generation of mouse germ-like cells.

    PubMed

    Dong, Guoyi; Shang, Zhouchun; Liu, Longqi; Liu, Chuanyu; Ge, Yuping; Wang, Quanlei; Wu, Liang; Chen, Fang; Li, Baolin; Liu, Xin; Xu, Xun; Yang, Huanming; DU, Yutao; Jiang, Hui

    2017-03-17

    Spermatogenic lineage has been directly generated in spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) conditions from human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs). However, it remains unknown whether mouse ESCs can directly differentiate into advanced male germ cell lineage in the same conditions. Here, we showed that rather low efficiency of germ-like cell generation from mouse ESCs in SSC conditions. Interestingly, addition of retinoic acid (RA) into SSC conditions enabled efficient differentiation of mouse ESCs into germ-like cells, as shown by activating the expression of spermatogenesis-associated genes during differentiation process, such as Mvh , Dazl , Prdm14 , Stella , Scp1 , Scp3 , Stra8 and Rec8 In contrast, for cells cultured in control medium, the activation of these above genes barely occurred. In addition, RA with SSC conditions yielded colonies of Acrosin expressing cells and the positive ratio reached a peak at day 6. Our work thus establishes a simple and cost efficient approach for male germ-like cell differentiation from mouse pluripotent stem cells and may propose a useful strategy for studying spermatogenesis in vitro.

  7. High-frequency induction of chromosomal rearrangements in mouse germ cells by the chemotherapeutic agent chlorambucil.

    PubMed

    Rinchik, E M; Flaherty, L; Russell, L B

    1993-12-01

    Recent mutagenesis studies have demonstrated that the chemotherapeutic agent, chlorambucil (CHL), is highly mutagenic in male germ cells of the mouse. Post-meiotic germ cells, and especially early spermatids, are the most sensitive to the cytotoxic and mutagenic effects of this agent. Genetic, cytogenetic and molecular analyses of many induced mutations have shown that, in these germ-cell stages, CHL induces predominantly chromosomal rearrangements (deletions and translocations), and mutation-rate studies show that, in terms of tolerated doses, CHL is perhaps five to ten times more efficient in inducing rearrangements than is radiation exposure. Appropriate breeding protocols, along with knowledge of the advantages and limitations associated with the use of CHL, can be used to expand the current resource of chromosomal rearrangements in the mouse and to provide new phenotype-associated mutations amenable to positional-cloning techniques. The analysis of CHL-induced mutations has also contributed to understanding the factors that affect the yield and nature of chemically induced germline mutations in mammals.

  8. The Formation and Migration of Primordial Germ Cells in Mouse and Man.

    PubMed

    De Felici, Massimo

    In most multicellular organisms, including mammals, germ cells are at the origin of new organisms and ensure the continuation of the genetic and epigenetic information across the generations.In the mammalian germ line, the primordial germ cells (PGCs) are the precursors of the primary oocytes and prospermatogonia of fetal ovaries and testes, respectively. In mammals such as the primates, in which the formation of the primary oocytes is largely asynchronous and occurs during a relatively long period, PGCs after the arrival into the XX gonadal ridges are termed oogonia which then become primary oocytes when entering into meiotic prophase I. In the fetal testes, germ cells derived from the PGCs after gonad colonization are termed prospermatogonia or gonocytes.One of the most fascinating aspect of the mammalian germline development is that it is probably the first cell lineage to be established in the embryo by epigenetic mechanisms and that these inductive events happen in extraembryonic tissues much earlier that gonad develop inside the embryo proper. Moreover, such events prepare the germ cells for totipotency through genetic and epigenetic regulations of their genome function. How this occurs remained a mystery until short time ago.In this chapter, I will report and discuss the most recent advances in the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the formation in extraembryonic tissues and migration of PGCs toward the gonadal ridges made primarily by studies carried out in the mouse with some perspective in the human. Established concepts about these processes will be only summarized when necessary since they are widely described and discussed in many excellent reviews; most of them are cited in the text below.

  9. 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

  10. Mouse germ cell mutation tests in genetic risk evaluation of chemical mutagens.

    PubMed

    Generoso, W M

    1988-12-01

    That certain environmental chemicals can induce transmissible mutations in germ cells of experimental mammal is clear. The assumption that under certain conditions these chemicals are also likely to be mutagenic to human germ cells is not detectable. However, it is a difficult challenge to determine the level of human exposure at which such chemicals can be produced and used economically without significantly harming human health. Data on transmitted genetic effects in mice are necessary, not only as a measure of endpoints that are considered directly in genetic risk assessment, but also as the standard for evaluating the usefulness of non-germ-cell effects as predictors in genetic risk assessment. To carry out a "real world" genetic risk assessment exercise, in vivo mouse data are being obtained for two model chemicals--ethylene oxide and acrylamide. Both chemicals are capable of inducing transmissible genetic effects in mice; their production and use involve measurable human exposures; and, because they are socially and economically important, they are not likely to be banned altogether despite their mutagenicity. For both chemicals, data are not sufficient for accurate low-dose and low-dose-rate extrapolations.

  11. Analysis of the gene expression profile of mouse male meiotic germ cells.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Pellegrino; Dolci, Susanna; Sette, Claudio; Capolunghi, Federica; Pellegrini, Manuela; Loiarro, Maria; Di Agostino, Silvia; Paronetto, Maria Paola; Grimaldi, Paola; Merico, Daniele; Martegani, Enzo; Geremia, Raffaele

    2004-05-01

    Wide genome analysis of difference in gene expression between spermatogonial populations from 7-day-old mice and pachytene spermatocytes from 18-day-old mice was performed using Affymetrix gene chips representing approximately 12,500 mouse known genes or EST sequences, spanning approximately 1/3rd of the mouse genome. To delineate differences in the profile of gene expression between mitotic and meiotic stages of male germ cell differentiation, expressed genes were grouped in functional clusters. The analysis confirmed the previously described pre-meiotic or meiotic expression for several genes, in particular for those involved in the regulation of the mitotic and meiotic cell cycle, and for those whose transcripts are accumulated during the meiotic stages to be translated later in post-meiotic stages. Differential expression of several additional genes was discovered. In few cases (pro-apoptotic factors Bak, Bad and Bax), data were in conflict with the previously published stage-dependent expression of genes already known to be expressed in male germ cells. Northern blot analysis of selected genes confirmed the results obtained with the microarray chips. Six of these were novel genes specifically expressed in pachytene spermatocytes: a chromatin remodeling factor (chrac1/YCL1), a homeobox gene (hmx1), a novel G-coupled receptor for an unknown ligand (Gpr19), a glycoprotein of the intestinal epithelium (mucin 3), a novel RAS activator (Ranbp9), and the A630056B21Rik gene (predicted to encode a novel zinc finger protein). These studies will help to delineate the global patterns of gene expression characterizing male germ cell differentiation for a better understanding of regulation of spermatogenesis in mammals.

  12. Proteomic analysis of male 4C germ cell proteins involved in mouse meiosis.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xuejiang; Zhang, Ping; Qi, Yujuan; Chen, Wen; Chen, Xiangxiang; Zhou, Zuomin; Sha, Jiahao

    2011-01-01

    Male meiosis is a specialized type of cell division that gives rise to sperm. Errors in this process can result in the generation of aneuploid gametes, which are associated with birth defects and infertility in humans. Until now, there has been a lack of a large-scale identification of proteins involved in male meiosis in mammals. In this study, we report the high-confidence identification of 3625 proteins in mouse male germ cells with 4C DNA content undergoing meiosis I. Of these, 397 were found to be testis specific. Bioinformatics analysis of the proteome led to the identification of 28 proteins known to be essential for male meiosis in mice. We also found 172 proteins that had yeast orthologs known to be essential for meiosis. Chromosome distribution analysis of the proteome showed underrepresentation of the identified proteins on the X chromosome, which may be due to meiotic sex chromosome inactivation. Characterization of the proteome of 4C germ cells from mouse testis provides an inventory of proteins, which is useful for understanding meiosis and the mechanisms of male infertility.

  13. Retinoic acid metabolism links the periodical differentiation of germ cells with the cycle of Sertoli cells in mouse seminiferous epithelium.

    PubMed

    Sugimoto, Ryo; Nabeshima, Yo-ichi; Yoshida, Shosei

    2012-01-01

    Homeostasis of tissues relies on the regulated differentiation of stem cells. In the epithelium of mouse seminiferous tubules, the differentiation process from undifferentiated spermatogonia (A(undiff)), which harbor the stem cell functions, to sperm occurs in a periodical manner, known as the "seminiferous epithelial cycle". To identify the mechanism underlying this periodic differentiation, we investigated the roles of Sertoli cells (the somatic supporting cells) and retinoic acid (RA) in the seminiferous epithelial cycle. Sertoli cells cyclically change their functions in a coordinated manner with germ cell differentiation and support the entire process of spermatogenesis. RA is known to play essential roles in this periodic differentiation, but its precise mode of action and its regulation remains largely obscure. We showed that an experimental increase in RA signaling was capable of both inducing A(undiff) differentiation and resetting the Sertoli cell cycle to the appropriate stage. However, these actions of exogenous RA signaling on A(undiff) and Sertoli cells were strongly interfered by the differentiating germ cells of intimate location. Based on the expression of RA metabolism-related genes among multiple cell types - including germ and Sertoli cells - and their regulation by RA signaling, we propose here that differentiating germ cells play a primary role in modulating the local RA metabolism, which results in the timed differentiation of A(undiff) and the appropriate cycling of Sertoli cells. Similar regulation by differentiating progeny through the modulation of local environment could also be involved in other stem cell systems.

  14. Autonomous regulation of sex-specific developmental programming in mouse fetal germ cells.

    PubMed

    Iwahashi, Kazuhiro; Yoshioka, Hirotaka; Low, Eleanor W; McCarrey, John R; Yanagimachi, Ryuzo; Yamazaki, Yukiko

    2007-10-01

    In mice, unique events regulating epigenetic programming (e.g., genomic imprinting) and replication state (mitosis versus meiosis) occur during fetal germ cell development. To determine whether these processes are autonomously programmed in fetal germ cells or are dependent upon ongoing instructive interactions with surrounding gonadal somatic cells, we isolated male and female germ cells at 13.5 days postcoitum (dpc) and maintained them in culture for 6 days, either alone or in the presence of feeder cells or gonadal somatic cells. We examined allele-specific DNA methylation in the imprinted H19 and Snrpn genes, and we also determined whether these cells remained mitotic or entered meiosis. Our results show that isolated male germ cells are able to establish a characteristic "paternal" methylation pattern at imprinted genes in the absence of any support from somatic cells. On the other hand, cultured female germ cells maintain a hypomethylated status at these loci, characteristic of the normal "maternal" methylation pattern in endogenous female germ cells before birth. Further, the surviving female germ cells entered first meiotic prophase and reached the pachytene stage, whereas male germ cells entered mitotic arrest. These results indicate that mechanisms controlling both epigenetic programming and replication state are autonomously regulated in fetal germ cells that have been exposed to the genital ridge prior to 13.5 dpc.

  15. Germ Cells Are Not Required to Establish the Female Pathway in Mouse Fetal Gonads

    PubMed Central

    Maatouk, Danielle M.; Mork, Lindsey; Hinson, Ashley; Kobayashi, Akio; McMahon, Andrew P.; Capel, Blanche

    2012-01-01

    The fetal gonad is composed of a mixture of somatic cell lineages and germ cells. The fate of the gonad, male or female, is determined by a population of somatic cells that differentiate into Sertoli or granulosa cells and direct testis or ovary development. It is well established that germ cells are not required for the establishment or maintenance of Sertoli cells or testis cords in the male gonad. However, in the agametic ovary, follicles do not form suggesting that germ cells may influence granulosa cell development. Prior investigations of ovaries in which pre-meiotic germ cells were ablated during fetal life reported no histological changes during stages prior to birth. However, whether granulosa cells underwent normal molecular differentiation was not investigated. In cases where germ cell loss occurred secondary to other mutations, transdifferentiation of granulosa cells towards a Sertoli cell fate was observed, raising questions about whether germ cells play an active role in establishing or maintaining the fate of granulosa cells. We developed a group of molecular markers associated with ovarian development, and show here that the loss of pre-meiotic germ cells does not disrupt the somatic ovarian differentiation program during fetal life, or cause transdifferentiation as defined by expression of Sertoli markers. Since we do not find defects in the ovarian somatic program, the subsequent failure to form follicles at perinatal stages is likely attributable to the absence of germ cells rather than to defects in the somatic cells. PMID:23091613

  16. Germ-cell culture conditions facilitate the production of mouse embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Ramos-Ibeas, Priscila; Pericuesta, Eva; Fernández-González, Raúl; Gutiérrez-Adán, Alfonso; Ramírez, Miguel Ángel

    2014-09-01

    The derivation of embryonic stem-cell (ESC) lines from blastocysts is a very inefficient process. Murine ESCs are thought to arise from epiblast cells that are already predisposed to a primordial-germ-cell fate. During the process of ESC derivation from B6D2 F1 hybrid mice, if we first culture the embryo from the two-cell stage in medium supplemented with LIF, we improve the quality of the blastocyst. When the blastocyst is then cultured in a germ-line stem-cell culture medium (GSCm), we are able to more efficiently (28.3%) obtain quality ESC lines that have a normal karyotype, proper degree of chimerism, and exhibit germ-line transmission when microinjected into blastocysts. Although germ-cell-specific genes were expressed in all culture medium conditions, GSCm did not shift the transcriptome towards germ-cell specification. A correlation was further observed between ESC derivation efficiency and the expression of some imprinted genes and retrotransposable elements. In conclusion, the combination of LIF supplementation followed by culture in GSCm establishes a higher efficiency method for ESC derivation. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Symmetry breaking, germ layer specification and axial organisation in aggregates of mouse embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    van den Brink, Susanne C; Baillie-Johnson, Peter; Balayo, Tina; Hadjantonakis, Anna-Katerina; Nowotschin, Sonja; Turner, David A; Martinez Arias, Alfonso

    2014-11-01

    Mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) are clonal populations derived from preimplantation mouse embryos that can be propagated in vitro and, when placed into blastocysts, contribute to all tissues of the embryo and integrate into the normal morphogenetic processes, i.e. they are pluripotent. However, although they can be steered to differentiate in vitro into all cell types of the organism, they cannot organise themselves into structures that resemble embryos. When aggregated into embryoid bodies they develop disorganised masses of different cell types with little spatial coherence. An exception to this rule is the emergence of retinas and anterior cortex-like structures under minimal culture conditions. These structures emerge from the cultures without any axial organisation. Here, we report that small aggregates of mESCs, of about 300 cells, self-organise into polarised structures that exhibit collective behaviours reminiscent of those that cells exhibit in early mouse embryos, including symmetry breaking, axial organisation, germ layer specification and cell behaviour, as well as axis elongation. The responses are signal specific and uncouple processes that in the embryo are tightly associated, such as specification of the anteroposterior axis and anterior neural development, or endoderm specification and axial elongation. We discuss the meaning and implications of these observations and the potential uses of these structures which, because of their behaviour, we suggest to call 'gastruloids'.

  18. Notch pathway regulates female germ cell meiosis progression and early oogenesis events in fetal mouse.

    PubMed

    Feng, Yan-Min; Liang, Gui-Jin; Pan, Bo; Qin, Xun-Si; Zhang, Xi-Feng; Chen, Chun-Lei; Li, Lan; Cheng, Shun-Feng; De Felici, Massimo; Shen, Wei

    2014-01-01

    A critical process of early oogenesis is the entry of mitotic oogonia into meiosis, a cell cycle switch regulated by a complex gene regulatory network. Although Notch pathway is involved in numerous important aspects of oogenesis in invertebrate species, whether it plays roles in early oogenesis events in mammals is unknown. Therefore, the rationale of the present study was to investigate the roles of Notch signaling in crucial processes of early oogenesis, such as meiosis entry and early oocyte growth. Notch receptors and ligands were localized in mouse embryonic female gonads and 2 Notch inhibitors, namely DAPT and L-685,458, were used to attenuate its signaling in an in vitro culture system of ovarian tissues from 12.5 days post coitum (dpc) fetus. The results demonstrated that the expression of Stra8, a master gene for germ cell meiosis, and its stimulation by retinoic acid (RA) were reduced after suppression of Notch signaling, and the other meiotic genes, Dazl, Dmc1, and Rec8, were abolished or markedly decreased. Furthermore, RNAi of Notch1 also markedly inhibited the expression of Stra8 and SCP3 in cultured female germ cells. The increased methylation status of CpG islands within the Stra8 promoter of the oocytes was observed in the presence of DAPT, indicating that Notch signaling is probably necessary for maintaining the epigenetic state of this gene in a way suitable for RA stimulation. Furthermore, in the presence of Notch inhibitors, progression of oocytes through meiosis I was markedly delayed. At later culture periods, the rate of oocyte growth was decreased, which impaired subsequent primordial follicle assembly in cultured ovarian tissues. Taken together, these results suggested new roles of the Notch signaling pathway in female germ cell meiosis progression and early oogenesis events in mammals.

  19. Isolation, characterization and propagation of mitotically active germ cells from adult mouse and human ovaries.

    PubMed

    Woods, Dori C; Tilly, Jonathan L

    2013-05-01

    Accruing evidence indicates that production of new oocytes (oogenesis) and their enclosure by somatic cells (folliculogenesis) are processes not limited to the perinatal period in mammals. Endpoints ranging from oocyte counts to genetic lineage tracing and transplantation experiments support a paradigm shift in reproductive biology involving active renewal of oocyte-containing follicles during postnatal life. The recent purification of mitotically active oocyte progenitor cells, termed female germline stem cells (fGSCs) or oogonial stem cells (OSCs), from mouse and human ovaries opens up new avenues for research into the biology and clinical utility of these cells. Here we detail methods for the isolation of mouse and human OSCs from adult ovarian tissue, cultivation of the cells after purification, and characterization of the cells before and after ex vivo expansion. The latter methods include analysis of germ cell-specific markers and in vitro oogenesis, as well as the use of intraovarian transplantation to test the oocyte-forming potential of OSCs in vivo.

  20. Development of fertile mouse oocytes from mitotic germ cells in vitro.

    PubMed

    Morohaku, Kanako; Hirao, Yuji; Obata, Yayoi

    2017-09-01

    Mammalian fetal ovaries contain numerous primordial germ cells (PGCs), although few mature oocytes are obtained from females, owing to apoptosis and follicle atresia. The regulatory mechanisms underlying oogenesis/folliculogenesis remain unknown. Development of methods for obtaining mature oocytes from PGCs in fetal ovaries in vitro could contribute to clarifying these mechanisms. The failure of follicle assembly has been found to be the most challenging aspect in conventional culture conditions. Recently, we established novel culture conditions that enable successful follicle assembly, sustaining interactions between the oocyte and somatic cells, and, in turn, promoting oocyte growth and maturation. Mature oocytes were differentiated from PGCs after a 1-month culture period. A hundred mouse offspring were obtained from approximately a thousand mature oocytes, indicating that oocytes that were differentiated from PGCs in vitro acquired totipotency after fertilization. Here we provide a detailed protocol for using this in vitro system. This in vitro system will potentially provide a novel platform for studying oogenesis and preservation of female germ cells.

  1. Multiplex shRNA Screening of Germ Cell Development by in Vivo Transfection of Mouse Testis

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Nicholas R. Y.; Usmani, Abul R.; Yin, Yan; Ma, Liang; Conrad, Donald F.

    2016-01-01

    Spermatozoa are one of the few mammalian cell types that cannot be fully derived in vitro, severely limiting the application of modern genomic techniques to study germ cell biology. The current gold standard approach of characterizing single-gene knockout mice is slow as generation of each mutant line can take 6–9 months. Here, we describe an in vivo approach to rapid functional screening of germline genes based on a new nonsurgical, nonviral in vivo transfection method to deliver nucleic acids into testicular germ cells. By coupling multiplex transfection of short hairpin RNA (shRNA) constructs with pooled amplicon sequencing as a readout, we were able to screen many genes for spermatogenesis function in a quick and inexpensive experiment. We transfected nine mouse testes with a pilot pool of RNA interference (RNAi) against well-characterized genes to show that this system is highly reproducible and accurate. With a false negative rate of 18% and a false positive rate of 12%, this method has similar performance as other RNAi screens in the well-described Drosophila model system. In a separate experiment, we screened 26 uncharacterized genes computationally predicted to be essential for spermatogenesis and found numerous candidates for follow-up studies. Finally, as a control experiment, we performed a long-term selection screen in neuronal N2a cells, sampling shRNA frequencies at five sequential time points. By characterizing the effect of both libraries on N2a cells, we show that our screening results from testis are tissue-specific. Our calculations indicate that the current implementation of this approach could be used to screen thousands of protein-coding genes simultaneously in a single mouse testis. The experimental protocols and analysis scripts provided will enable other groups to use this procedure to study diverse aspects of germ cell biology ranging from epigenetics to cell physiology. This approach also has great promise as an applied tool for

  2. Identification of genes specific to mouse primordial germ cells through dynamic global gene expression.

    PubMed

    Sabour, Davood; Araúzo-Bravo, Marcos J; Hübner, Karin; Ko, Kinarm; Greber, Boris; Gentile, Luca; Stehling, Martin; Schöler, Hans R

    2011-01-01

    Molecular mechanisms underlying the commitment of cells to the germ cell lineage during mammalian embryogenesis remain poorly understood due to the limited availability of cellular materials to conduct in vitro analyses. Although primordial germ cells (PGCs)--precursors to germ cells--have been generated from embryonic stem cells (ESCs)--pluripotent stem cells derived from the inner cell mass of the blastocyst of the early embryo in vitro-the simultaneous expression of cell surface receptors and transcription factors complicates the detection of PGCs. To date, only a few genes that mark the onset of germ cell commitment in the epiblast--the outer layer of cells of the embryo--including tissue non-specific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP), Blimp1, Stella and Fragilis--have been used with some success to detect PGC formation in in vitro model systems. Here, we identified 11 genes (three of which are novel) that are specifically expressed in male and female fetal germ cells, both in vivo and in vitro, but are not expressed in ESCs. Expression of these genes allows us to distinguish committed germ cells from undifferentiated pluripotent cell populations, a prerequisite for the successful derivation of germ cells and gametes in vitro.

  3. PCGF6-PRC1 suppresses premature differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells by regulating germ cell-related genes

    PubMed Central

    Endoh, Mitsuhiro; Endo, Takaho A; Shinga, Jun; Hayashi, Katsuhiko; Farcas, Anca; Ma, Kit-Wan; Ito, Shinsuke; Sharif, Jafar; Endoh, Tamie; Onaga, Naoko; Nakayama, Manabu; Ishikura, Tomoyuki; Masui, Osamu; Kessler, Benedikt M; Suda, Toshio; Ohara, Osamu; Okuda, Akihiko; Klose, Robert; Koseki, Haruhiko

    2017-01-01

    The ring finger protein PCGF6 (polycomb group ring finger 6) interacts with RING1A/B and E2F6 associated factors to form a non-canonical PRC1 (polycomb repressive complex 1) known as PCGF6-PRC1. Here, we demonstrate that PCGF6-PRC1 plays a role in repressing a subset of PRC1 target genes by recruiting RING1B and mediating downstream mono-ubiquitination of histone H2A. PCGF6-PRC1 bound loci are highly enriched for promoters of germ cell-related genes in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Conditional ablation of Pcgf6 in ESCs leads to robust de-repression of such germ cell-related genes, in turn affecting cell growth and viability. We also find a role for PCGF6 in pre- and peri-implantation mouse embryonic development. We further show that a heterodimer of the transcription factors MAX and MGA recruits PCGF6 to target loci. PCGF6 thus links sequence specific target recognition by the MAX/MGA complex to PRC1-dependent transcriptional silencing of germ cell-specific genes in pluripotent stem cells. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.21064.001 PMID:28304275

  4. PCGF6-PRC1 suppresses premature differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells by regulating germ cell-related genes.

    PubMed

    Endoh, Mitsuhiro; Endo, Takaho A; Shinga, Jun; Hayashi, Katsuhiko; Farcas, Anca; Ma, Kit-Wan; Ito, Shinsuke; Sharif, Jafar; Endoh, Tamie; Onaga, Naoko; Nakayama, Manabu; Ishikura, Tomoyuki; Masui, Osamu; Kessler, Benedikt M; Suda, Toshio; Ohara, Osamu; Okuda, Akihiko; Klose, Robert; Koseki, Haruhiko

    2017-03-17

    The ring finger protein PCGF6 (polycomb group ring finger 6) interacts with RING1A/B and E2F6 associated factors to form a non-canonical PRC1 (polycomb repressive complex 1) known as PCGF6-PRC1. Here, we demonstrate that PCGF6-PRC1 plays a role in repressing a subset of PRC1 target genes by recruiting RING1B and mediating downstream mono-ubiquitination of histone H2A. PCGF6-PRC1 bound loci are highly enriched for promoters of germ cell-related genes in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Conditional ablation of Pcgf6 in ESCs leads to robust de-repression of such germ cell-related genes, in turn affecting cell growth and viability. We also find a role for PCGF6 in pre- and peri-implantation mouse embryonic development. We further show that a heterodimer of the transcription factors MAX and MGA recruits PCGF6 to target loci. PCGF6 thus links sequence specific target recognition by the MAX/MGA complex to PRC1-dependent transcriptional silencing of germ cell-specific genes in pluripotent stem cells.

  5. The induction of recessive mutations in mouse primordial germ cells with N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea.

    PubMed

    Shibuya, T; Murota, T; Horiya, N; Matsuda, H; Hara, T

    1993-12-01

    A specific-locus test was carried out to examine the mutagenic activity of N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) on mouse primordial germ cells (PGC). Embryos of C3H/He mice were treated transplacentally with 30 or 50 mg ENU per kg of maternal body weight on day 8.5, 10.5, or 13.5 of gestation (G8.5 day, G10.5 day, or G13.5 day). Male and female mice that had been treated with ENU in embryonic stages were mated with female or male tester PW mice to detect recessive mutations induced in PGC. ENU induced recessive mutations at a relatively high rate in PGC at these developmental stages. The most sensitive stage was G10.5 day. On G8.5 day, the induced mutation rate in males and females was not significantly different. Cluster mutations, which originate from the limited number of PGC and cell killing, were more frequently induced at an earlier developmental stage. The induced mutation rate per unit dose of ENU (1 mg/kg) was higher in G8.5 and G10.5 day PGC than in stem-cell spermatogonia. It can be concluded that mouse PGC are more sensitive than stem-cell spermatogonia to the induction of recessive mutations by ENU.

  6. NUP50 is necessary for the survival of primordial germ cells in mouse embryos.

    PubMed

    Park, Eunsook; Lee, Bobae; Clurman, Bruce E; Lee, Keesook

    2016-01-01

    Nucleoporin 50 kDa (NUP50), a component of the nuclear pore complex, is highly expressed in male germ cells, but its role in germ cells is largely unknown. In this study, we analyzed the expression and function of NUP50 during the embryonic development of germ cells using NUP50-deficient mice. NUP50 was expressed in germ cells of both sexes at embryonic day 15.5 (E15.5), E13.5, and E12.5. In addition, NUP50 expression was also detected in primordial germ cells (PGCs) migrating into the genital ridges at E9.5. The gonads of Nup50-/- embryos of both sexes contained few PGCs at both E11.5 and E12.5 and no developing germ cells at E15.5. The migratory PGCs in Nup50-/- embryos at E9.5 showed increased apoptosis but a normal rate of proliferation, resulting in the progressive loss of germ cells at later stages. Taken together, these results suggest that NUP50 plays an essential role in the survival of PGCs during embryonic development. © 2016 Society for Reproduction and Fertility.

  7. SKAP, an outer kinetochore protein, is required for mouse germ cell development

    PubMed Central

    Grey, Corinne; Espeut, Julien; Ametsitsi, Rachel; Kumar, Rajeev; Luksza, Malgorzata; Brun, Christine; Verlhac, Marie-Hélene; Suja, José Angél; de Massy, Bernard

    2016-01-01

    In sexually reproducing organisms, accurate gametogenesis is crucial for the transmission of genetic material from one generation to the next. This requires the faithful segregation of chromosomes during mitotic and meiotic divisions. One of the main players in this process is the kinetochore, a large multi-protein complex that forms at the interface of centromeres and microtubules. Here, we analyzed the expression profile and function of small kinetochore-associated protein (SKAP) in the mouse. We found that two distinct SKAP isoforms are specifically expressed in the germline: a smaller isoform, which is detected in spermatogonia and spermatocytes and localized in the outer mitotic and meiotic kinetochores from metaphase to telophase, and a larger isoform, which is expressed in the cytoplasm of elongating spermatids. We generated SKAP-deficient mice and found that testis size and sperm production were severely reduced in mutant males. This phenotype was partially caused by defects during spermatogonia proliferation before entry into meiosis. We conclude that mouse SKAP, while being dispensable for somatic cell divisions, has an important role in the successful outcome of male gametogenesis. In germ cells, analogous to what has been suggested in studies using immortalized cells, SKAP most likely stabilizes the interaction between kinetochores and microtubules, where it might be needed as an extra safeguard to ensure the correct segregation of mitotic and meiotic chromosomes. PMID:26667018

  8. 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

  9. Germ cell loss is associated with fading Lin28a expression in a mouse model for Klinefelter's syndrome.

    PubMed

    Werler, Steffi; Demond, Hannah; Damm, Oliver S; Ehmcke, Jens; Middendorff, Ralf; Gromoll, Jörg; Wistuba, Joachim

    2014-03-01

    Klinefelter's syndrome is a male sex-chromosomal disorder (47,XXY), causing hypogonadism, cognitive and metabolic deficits. The majority of patients are infertile due to complete germ cell loss after puberty. As the depletion occurs during development, the possibilities to study the underlying causes in humans are limited. In this study, we used the 41,XX(Y*) mouse model to characterise the germ line postnatally. We examined marker expression of testicular cells focusing on the spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) and found that the number of germ cells was approximately reduced fivefold at day 1pp in the 41,XX(Y*) mice, indicating the loss to start prenatally. Concurrently, immunohistochemical SSC markers LIN28A and PGP9.5 also showed decreased expression on day 1pp in the 41,XX(Y*) mice (48.5 and 38.9% of all germ cells were positive), which dropped to 7.8 and 7.3% on 3dpp, and were no longer detectable on days 5 and 10pp respectively. The differences in PCNA-positive proliferating cells in XY* and XX(Y*) mice dramatically increased towards day 10pp. The mRNA expression of the germ cell markers Lin28a (Lin28), Pou5f1 (Oct4), Utf1, Ddx4 (Vasa), Dazl, and Fapb1 (Sycp3) was reduced and the Lin28a regulating miRNAs were deregulated in the 41,XX(Y*) mice. We suggest a model for the course of germ cell loss starting during the intrauterine period. Neonatally, SSC marker expression by the already lowered number of spermatogonia is reduced and continues fading during the first postnatal week, indicating the surviving cells of the SSC population to be disturbed in their stem cell characteristics. Subsequently, the entire germ line is then generally lost when entering meiosis.

  10. BOULE, a Deleted in Azoospermia Homolog, Is Recruited to Stress Granules in the Mouse Male Germ Cells

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Byunghyuk; Rhee, Kunsoo

    2016-01-01

    High temperature adversely affects normal development of male germ cells in mammals. Acute heat stress induces the formation of stress granules (SGs) in a set of male germ cells, and the SGs have been proposed to protect those cells from heat-induced apoptosis. DAZL, one of DAZ (Deleted in Azoospermia) family proteins, was shown to be an essential component of SGs, which is required for SG formation in the mouse testis. In the present study, we asked whether BOULE, the founding member of DAZ family proteins, is a component of the SGs. We show that BOULE is recruited to the SGs upon heat stress, and that these SGs are developmental stage-specific. These results suggest that DAZ family proteins may have conserved roles in the SGs of male germ cells. PMID:27632217

  11. 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

  12. Differential expression of sex-linked and autosomal germ-cell-specific genes during spermatogenesis in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Wang, P Jeremy; Page, David C; McCarrey, John R

    2005-10-01

    We have examined expression during spermatogenesis in the mouse of three Y-linked genes, 11 X-linked genes and 22 autosomal genes, all previously shown to be germ-cell-specific and expressed in premeiotic spermatogonia, plus another 21 germ-cell-specific autosomal genes that initiate expression in meiotic spermatocytes. Our data demonstrate that, like sex-linked housekeeping genes, germ-cell-specific sex-linked genes are subject to meiotic sex-chromosome inactivation (MSCI). Although all the sex-linked genes we investigated underwent MSCI, 14 of the 22 autosomal genes expressed in spermatogonia showed no decrease in expression in meiotic spermatocytes. This along with our observation that an additional 21 germ-cell-specific autosomal genes initiate or significantly up-regulate expression in spermatocytes confirms that MSCI is indeed a sex-chromosome-specific effect. Our results further demonstrate that the chromosome-wide repression imposed by MSCI is limited to meiotic spermatocytes and that postmeiotic expression of sex-linked genes is variable. Thus, 13 of the 14 sex-linked genes we examined showed some degree of postmeiotic reactivation. The extent of postmeiotic reactivation of germ-cell-specific X-linked genes did not correlate with proximity to the X inactivation center or the Xist gene locus. The implications of these findings are discussed with respect to differential gene regulation and the function of MSCI during spermatogenesis, including epigenetic programming of the future paternal genome during spermatogenesis.

  13. A single, mild, transient scrotal heat stress causes hypoxia and oxidative stress in mouse testes, which induces germ cell death.

    PubMed

    Paul, Catriona; Teng, Serena; Saunders, Philippa T K

    2009-05-01

    Spermatogenesis is a temperature-dependent process, and increases in scrotal temperature can disrupt its progression. We previously showed that heat stress causes DNA damage in germ cells, an increase in germ cell death (as seen on TUNEL staining), and subfertility. The present study evaluated the stress response in mouse testes following a single mild transient scrotal heat exposure (40 degrees C or 42 degrees C for 30 min). We investigated markers of three types of stress response, namely, hypoxia, oxidative stress, and apoptosis. Heat stress caused an increase in expression of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha (Hif1a) mRNA expression and translocation of HIF1A protein to the germ cell nucleus, consistent with hypoxic stress. Increased expression of heme oxygenase 1 (Hmox1) and the antioxidant enzymes glutathione peroxidase 1 (GPX1) and glutathione S-transferase alpha (GSTA) was consistent with a robust oxidative stress response. Germ cell death was associated with an increase in expression of the effector caspase cleaved caspase 3 and a decrease in expression of the protein inhibitor of caspase-activated DNase (ICAD). Reduced expression of ICAD contributes to increased activity of caspase-activated DNase and is consistent with the increased rates of DNA fragmentation that have been detected previously using TUNEL staining. These studies confirmed that transient mild testicular hyperthermia results in temperature-dependent germ cell death and demonstrated that elevated temperature results in a complex stress response, including induction of genes associated with oxidative stress and hypoxia.

  14. 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.

  15. Aged mouse ovaries possess rare premeiotic germ cells that can generate oocytes following transplantation into a young host environment.

    PubMed

    Niikura, Yuichi; Niikura, Teruko; Tilly, Jonathan L

    2009-12-12

    Of all the major organ systems in the body, the ovaries of females are the first to exhibit impaired function with advancing age. Until recently, traditional thinking was that female mammals are provided with a non-renewable pool of oocyte-containing follicles at birth that are depleted during postnatal life to exhaustion, driving ovarian failure. However, a growing body of evidence, including the isolation of germline stem cells (GSC) from adult mouse ovaries that produce developmentally-competent oocytes, has challenged this belief. In addition, rare germline stem-like cells capable of generating oocytes in vitro that undergo parthenogenesis to form blastocyst-like structures have recently been identified in postmenopausal human ovaries. Here we show that the germline-specific meiosis-commitment genes,Stimulated by retinoic acid gene 8 (Stra8) and Deleted in azoospermia-like (Dazl), are highly expressed in aged mouse ovaries. However, histological and marker analyses fail to demonstrate the presence of oocytes, supporting that Stra8 and Dazl are expressed in premeiotic germ cells that do not undergo further differentiation. Through the use of aged germline-specific GFP-expressing transgenic mice, we further show that these germ cells can generate GFP-positive oocytes that co-express the primordial oocyte marker NOBOX and form follicles when grafted into young adult wild-type female hosts. Thus, aged mouse ovaries possess a rare population of premeiotic germ cells that retain the capacity to form oocytes if exposed to a young host environment.

  16. Retinoic acid derived from the fetal ovary initiates meiosis in mouse germ cells.

    PubMed

    Mu, Xinyi; Wen, Jing; Guo, Meng; Wang, Jianwei; Li, Ge; Wang, Zhengpin; Wang, Yijing; Teng, Zhen; Cui, Yan; Xia, Guoliang

    2013-03-01

    Meiotic initiation of germ cells at 13.5 dpc (days post-coitus) indicates female sex determination in mice. Recent studies reveal that mesonephroi-derived retinoic acid (RA) is the key signal for induction of meiosis. However, whether the mesonephroi is dispensable for meiosis is unclear and the role of the ovary in this meiotic process remains to be clarified. This study provides data that RA derived from fetal ovaries is sufficient to induce germ cell meiosis in a fetal ovary culture system. When fetal ovaries were collected from 11.5 to 13.5 dpc fetuses, isolated and cultured in vitro, germ cells enter meiosis in the absence of mesonephroi. To exclude RA sourcing from mesonephroi, 11.5 dpc urogenital ridges (UGRs; mesonephroi and ovary complexes) were treated with diethylaminobenzaldehyde (DEAB) to block retinaldehyde dehydrogenase (RALDH) activity in the mesonephros and the ovary. Meiosis occurred when DEAB was withdrawn and the mesonephros was removed 2 days later. Furthermore, RALDH1, rather than RALDH2, serves as the major RA synthetase in UGRs from 12.5 to 15.5 dpc. DEAB treatment to the ovary alone was able to block germ cell meiotic entry. We also found that exogenously supplied RA dose-dependently reduced germ cell numbers in ovaries by accelerating the entry into meiosis. These results suggest that ovary-derived RA is responsible for meiosis initiation.

  17. In vitro responses to known in vivo genotoxic agents in mouse germ cells.

    PubMed

    Habas, Khaled; Brinkworth, Martin H; Anderson, Diana

    2017-03-01

    Genotoxic compounds have induced DNA damage in male germ cells and have been associated with adverse clinical outcomes including enhanced risks for maternal, paternal and offspring health. DNA strand breaks represent a great threat to the genomic integrity of germ cells. Such integrity is essential to maintain spermatogenesis and prevent reproduction failure. The Comet assay results revealed that the incubation of isolated germ cells with n-ethyl-n-nitrosourea (ENU), 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) and methyl methanesulphonate (MMS) led to increase in length of Olive tail moment and % tail DNA when compared with the untreated control cells and these effects were concentration-dependent. All compounds were significantly genotoxic in cultured germ cells. Exposure of isolated germ cells to ENU produced the highest concentration-related increase in both DNA damage and gene expression changes in spermatogonia. Spermatocytes were most sensitive to 6-MP, with DNA damage and gene expression changes while spermatids were particularly susceptible to MMS. Real-time PCR results showed that the mRNA level expression of p53 increased and bcl-2 decreased significantly with the increasing ENU, 6-MP and MMS concentrations in spermatogonia, spermatocytes and spermatids respectively for 24 hr. Both are gene targets for DNA damage response and apoptosis. These observations may help explain the cell alterations caused by ENU, 6-MP and MMS in spermatogonia, spermatocytes and spermatids. Taken together, ENU, 6-MP and MMS induced DNA damage and decreased apoptosis associated gene expression in the germ cells in vitro. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 58:99-107, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. DIFFERENTIAL SENSITIVITY OF MALE GERM CELLS TO MAINSTREAM AND SIDESTREAM TOBACCO SMOKE IN THE MOUSE

    SciTech Connect

    Polyzos, Aris; Schmid, Thomas Ernst; Pina-Guzman, Belem; Quintanilla-Vega, Betzabet; Marchetti, Francesco

    2009-03-13

    Cigarette smoking in men has been associated with increased chromosomal abnormalities in sperm and with increased risks for spontaneous abortions, birth defects and neonatal death. Little is known, however, about the reproductive consequences of paternal exposure to second-hand smoke. We used a mouse model to investigate the effects of paternal exposure to sidestream (SS) smoke, the main constituent of second-hand smoke, on the genetic integrity and function of sperm, and to determine whether male germ cells were equally sensitive to mainstream (MS) and SS smoke. A series of sperm DNA quality and reproductive endpoints were investigated after exposing male mice for two weeks to MS or SS smoke. Our results indicated that: (i) only SS smoke significantly affected sperm motility; (ii) only MS smoke induced DNA strand breaks in sperm; (iii) both MS and SS smoke increased sperm chromatin structure abnormalities; and (iv) MS smoke affected both fertilization and the rate of early embryonic development, while SS smoke affected fertilization only. These results show that MS and SS smoke have differential effects on the genetic integrity and function of sperm and provide further evidence that male exposure to second-hand smoke, as well as direct cigarette smoke, may diminish a couple's chance for a successful pregnancy and the birth of a healthy baby.

  19. Developmental control of sumoylation pathway proteins in mouse male germ cells.

    PubMed

    La Salle, Sophie; Sun, Fengyun; Zhang, Xiang-Dong; Matunis, Michael J; Handel, Mary Ann

    2008-09-01

    Protein sumoylation regulates a variety of nuclear functions and has been postulated to be involved in meiotic chromosome dynamics as well as other processes of spermatogenesis. Here, the expression and distribution of sumoylation pathway genes and proteins were determined in mouse male germ cells, with a particular emphasis on prophase I of meiosis. Immunofluorescence microscopy revealed that SUMO1, SUMO2/3 and UBE2I (also known as UBC9) were localized to the XY body in pachytene and diplotene spermatocytes, while only SUMO2/3 and UBE2I were detected near centromeres in metaphase I spermatocytes. Quantitative RT-PCR and Western blotting were used to examine the expression of sumoylation pathway genes and proteins in enriched preparations of leptotene/zygotene spermatocytes, prepubertal and adult pachytene spermatocytes, as well as round spermatids. Two general expression profiles emerged from these data. The first profile, where expression was more prominent during meiosis, identified sumoylation pathway participants that could be involved in meiotic chromosome dynamics. The second profile, elevated expression in post-meiotic spermatids, suggested proteins that could be involved in spermiogenesis-related sumoylation events. In addition to revealing differential expression of protein sumoylation mediators, which suggests differential functioning, these data demonstrate the dynamic nature of SUMO metabolism during spermatogenesis.

  20. Temporal Transcriptional Profiling of Somatic and Germ Cells Reveals Biased Lineage Priming of Sexual Fate in the Fetal Mouse Gonad

    PubMed Central

    Jameson, Samantha A.; Natarajan, Anirudh; Cool, Jonah; DeFalco, Tony; Maatouk, Danielle M.; Mork, Lindsey; Munger, Steven C.; Capel, Blanche

    2012-01-01

    The divergence of distinct cell populations from multipotent progenitors is poorly understood, particularly in vivo. The gonad is an ideal place to study this process, because it originates as a bipotential primordium where multiple distinct lineages acquire sex-specific fates as the organ differentiates as a testis or an ovary. To gain a more detailed understanding of the process of gonadal differentiation at the level of the individual cell populations, we conducted microarrays on sorted cells from XX and XY mouse gonads at three time points spanning the period when the gonadal cells transition from sexually undifferentiated progenitors to their respective sex-specific fates. We analyzed supporting cells, interstitial/stromal cells, germ cells, and endothelial cells. This work identified genes specifically depleted and enriched in each lineage as it underwent sex-specific differentiation. We determined that the sexually undifferentiated germ cell and supporting cell progenitors showed lineage priming. We found that germ cell progenitors were primed with a bias toward the male fate. In contrast, supporting cells were primed with a female bias, indicative of the robust repression program involved in the commitment to XY supporting cell fate. This study provides a molecular explanation reconciling the female default and balanced models of sex determination and represents a rich resource for the field. More importantly, it yields new insights into the mechanisms by which different cell types in a single organ adopt their respective fates. PMID:22438826

  1. Expression and epigenomic landscape of the sex chromosomes in mouse post-meiotic male germ cells.

    PubMed

    Moretti, Charlotte; Vaiman, Daniel; Tores, Frederic; Cocquet, Julie

    2016-01-01

    During meiosis, the X and Y chromosomes are transcriptionally silenced. The persistence of repressive chromatin marks on the sex chromatin after meiosis initially led to the assumption that XY gene silencing persists to some extent in spermatids. Considering the many reports of XY-linked genes expressed and needed in the post-meiotic phase of mouse spermatogenesis, it is still unclear whether or not the mouse sex chromatin is a repressive or permissive environment, after meiosis. To determine the transcriptional and chromatin state of the sex chromosomes after meiosis, we re-analyzed ten ChIP-Seq datasets performed on mouse round spermatids and four RNA-seq datasets from male germ cells purified at different stages of spermatogenesis. For this, we used the last version of the genome (mm10/GRCm38) and included reads that map to several genomic locations in order to properly interpret the high proportion of sex chromosome-encoded multicopy genes. Our study shows that coverage of active epigenetic marks H3K4me3 and Kcr is similar on the sex chromosomes and on autosomes. The post-meiotic sex chromatin nevertheless differs from autosomal chromatin in its enrichment in H3K9me3 and its depletion in H3K27me3 and H4 acetylation. We also identified a posttranslational modification, H3K27ac, which specifically accumulates on the Y chromosome. In parallel, we found that the X and Y chromosomes are enriched in genes expressed post-meiotically and display a higher proportion of spermatid-specific genes compared to autosomes. Finally, we observed that portions of chromosome 14 and of the sex chromosomes share specific features, such as enrichment in H3K9me3 and the presence of multicopy genes that are specifically expressed in round spermatids, suggesting that parts of chromosome 14 are under the same evolutionary constraints than the sex chromosomes. Based on our expression and epigenomic studies, we conclude that, after meiosis, the mouse sex chromosomes are no longer silenced

  2. Germ cell differentiation in cryopreserved, immature, Indian spotted mouse deer (Moschiola indica) testes xenografted onto mice.

    PubMed

    Pothana, Lavanya; Makala, Himesh; Devi, Lalitha; Varma, Vivek Phani; Goel, Sandeep

    2015-03-01

    Death of immature animals is one of the reasons for the loss of genetic diversity of rare and endangered species. Because sperm cannot be collected from immature males, cryobanking of testicular tissue combined with testis xenografting is a potential option for conservation. The objective of this study was to evaluate the establishment of spermatogenesis in cryopreserved immature testicular tissues from Indian spotted mouse deer (Moschiola indica) after ectopic xenografting onto immunodeficient nude mice. Results showed that testis tissues that were frozen in cryomedia containing either 10% DMSO with 80% fetal bovine serum (D10S80) or 20% DMSO with 20% fetal bovine serum (D20S20) had significantly more (P < 0.01) terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeled positive interstitial cells when compared with fresh testis tissues (46.3 ± 3.4 and 51.9 ± 4.0 vs. 22.8 ± 2.0). Xenografted testicular tissues showed degenerated seminiferous tubules 24 weeks after grafting in testes that had been cryopreserved in D20S20; alternatively, pachytene spermatocytes were the most advanced germ cells in testes that were cryopreserved in D10S80. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen staining confirmed the proliferative status of spermatocytes, and the increases in tubular and lumen diameters indicated testicular maturation in xenografts. However, persistent anti-Müllerian hormone staining in Sertoli cells of xenografts revealed incomplete testicular maturation. This study reports that cryopreserved testis tissue that had been xenografted from endangered animals onto mice resulted in the establishment of spermatogenesis with initiation of meiosis. These findings are encouraging for cryobanking of testicular tissues from immature endangered animals to conserve their germplasm. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Studies on glycoproteins produced by wild type and wheat germ agglutinin-resistant B16 mouse melanoma cells

    SciTech Connect

    Pinnaduwage, P.D.

    1985-01-01

    Two variants of B16 mouse melanoma cells have been selected in serum-free medium for their resistance to toxic levels of wheat germ agglutinin isolation 1 (WGA). Chromosome analysis and characteristic melanin production showed that the variants are derived from the parent mouse melanoma cell lines. However, the two variants were less tumorigenic in mice compared to the parent B16 mouse melanoma cells. The variants showed a marked decrease in cell agglutination with WGA. Cell agglutination with recin and peanut lectin was not different between the three cell lines, but the two variants showed a slight increase in agglutination with concanavalin A. The binding of /sup 125/I-labeled wheat germ agglutinin to the two variant cells was reduced compared to that of the parent cell. Glycoproteins secreted or shed by the three lines were isolated after growth in serum-free medium in the presence of (/sup 3/He)glucosamine and bovine serum albumin (1%). These metabolically labeled products were fractionated on the basis of their interaction with WGA-Sepharose (2 mg/ml). The WGA-Sepharose affinity chromatographic data suggested a decrease in WGA-binding glycoprotein(s) secreted to the medium by the two variants. The WGA-bound glycoproteins from the two variants upon SDS-PAGE revealed three bands of approximate molecular weights, 92,000, 56,000, and 42,000, none of which were present in the parent cell line (50,000 molecular weight).

  4. Homologous recombination-mediated double-strand break repair in mouse testicular extracts and comparison with different germ cell stages.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, Niloo; Raman, Mercy J

    2007-01-01

    Homologous recombination (HR) is established as a significant contributor to double-strand break (DSB) repair in mammalian somatic cells; however, its role in mammalian germ cells has not been characterized, although being conservative in nature it is anticipated to be the major pathway in germ cells. The germ cell system has inherent limitations by which intact cell approaches are not feasible. The present study, therefore, investigates HR-mediated DSB repair in mouse germ cell extracts by using an in vitro plasmid recombination assay based on functional rescue of a neomycin (neo) gene. A significantly high-fold increase in neo+ (Kan(R)) colonies following incubation of two plasmid substrates (neo delta1 and neo delta2) with testicular extracts demonstrated the extracts' ability to catalyze intermolecular recombination. A significant enhancement in recombinants upon linearization of one of the plasmids suggested the existence of an HR-mediated DSB repair activity. Comparison of the activity at sequential developmental stages, spermatogonia, spermatocytes and spermatids revealed its presence at all the stages; spermatocyte being the most proficient stage. Further, restriction analysis of recombinant plasmids indicated the predominance of gene conversion in enriched spermatocytes (mostly pachytenes), in contrast to gonial and spermatid extracts that showed higher reciprocal exchange. In conclusion, this study demonstrates HR repair activity at all stages of male germ cells, suggesting an important role of HR-mediated DSB repair during mammalian spermatogenesis. Further, the observed preference of gene conversion over reciprocal exchange at spermatocyte stage correlates with the close association of gene conversion with the meiotic recombination program.

  5. Efficient carboplatin single therapy in a mouse model of human testicular nonseminomatous germ cell tumor.

    PubMed

    Aharinejad, Seyedhossein; Fink, Melanie; Abri, Hojatollah; Nedwed, Stephan; Schlag, Michael G; Macfelda, Karin; Abraham, Dietmar; Miksovsky, Aurelia; Höltl, Eva; Höltl, Wolfgang

    2002-01-01

    Cisplatin based combination therapy has shown excellent clinical results in patients with testicular nonseminomatous germ cell tumor but chemotherapy induced morbidity and reduced patient compliance are limiting factors in this regimen. To decrease cisplatin based combination therapy induced morbidity we examined carboplatin versus etoposide single therapy in an animal model. A total of 180 SCID mice bearing testicular nonseminomatous germ cell tumor xenografts received 120 mg./kg. carboplatin as a single cycle, 60 or 30 mg./kg. carboplatin cycled twice, 80, 50 or 30 mg./kg. etoposide cycled twice, or Ringer solution as the control. An additional 20 sham treated and 20 untreated mice also served as controls. Histological and immunocytochemical testing, in vivo microscopy, vascular corrosion casting, serum tumor markers, complete blood count and real-time polymerase chain reaction were used to monitor therapy efficacy. Carboplatin at 60 mg./kg. cycled twice eradicated the tumor and significantly reduced vascular density and vascular endothelial growth factor-A messenger RNA (p <0.05). Elevated tumor markers returned to baseline after carboplatin administration. Therapy was well tolerated, resulting thrombocytopenia disappeared 6 weeks after therapy and the animals were tumor-free 6 months after treatment. Although 120 mg./kg. carboplatin eradicated the tumor, it resulted in extensive mortality and morbidity. Single treatment 30, 50 and 80 mg./kg. etoposide failed. Carboplatin single therapy was highly effective in our nonseminomatous germ cell tumor model and it may be examined in future clinical trials in patients with high risk stage I nonseminomatous germ cell cancer for reducing cisplatin based combination therapy induced morbidity. Vascular density and vascular endothelial growth factor messenger RNA were elevated in our animal model and deserve further study in nonseminomatous germ cell tumor cases as potential risk factors.

  6. Abnormal sperm morphology in mouse germ cells after short-term exposures to acetamiprid, propineb, and their mixture.

    PubMed

    Rasgele, Pinar Göç

    2014-03-01

    Pesticides are one of the most potent environmental contaminants, which accumulate in biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems. Acetamiprid (Acm), a neonicotinoid insecticide, and Propineb (Pro), a dithiocarbamate fungicide, are widely used to control sucking insects and fungal infections on crops, respectively. The present study was undertaken to investigate the genotoxic effects of these compounds, individually and in mixtures, in mouse germ cells by using the sperm morphology assay. Mice were injected intraperitoneally with 0.625, 1.25, and 2.50 μg mL⁻¹ of Acm, 12.5, 25, and 50 μg mL⁻¹ of Pro, and their mixture at the same concentrations over 24 and 48 h. Acm did not significantly increase the percentage of abnormal sperm at any concentration. The frequency of abnormal sperm significantly increased after 24 and 48 h of exposure to 50 μg mL⁻¹ of Pro. The mixtures of 2.50 μg mL⁻¹ of Acm and 50 μg mL⁻¹ of Pro induced sperm abnormalities antagonistically both after 24 and 48 h of exposure. Results suggest that Acm was non-genotoxic for mouse germ cells, while Pro may have been a germ cell mutagen due to the observed increase in the frequency of sperm abnormalities. However, to gain better insight into the mutagenicity and DNA damaging potential of both of these pesticides, further studies at molecular level should be done.

  7. In utero bisphenol A exposure disrupts germ cell nest breakdown and reduces fertility with age in the mouse

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Wei Hafner, Katlyn S. Flaws, Jodi A.

    2014-04-15

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is a known reproductive toxicant in rodents. However, the effects of in utero BPA exposure on early ovarian development and the consequences of such exposure on female reproduction in later reproductive life are unclear. Thus, we determined the effects of in utero BPA exposure during a critical developmental window on germ cell nest breakdown, a process required for establishment of the finite primordial follicle pool, and on female reproduction. Pregnant FVB mice (F0) were orally dosed daily with tocopherol-striped corn oil (vehicle), diethylstilbestrol (DES; 0.05 μg/kg, positive control), or BPA (0.5, 20, and 50 μg/kg) from gestational day 11 until birth. Ovarian morphology and gene expression profiles then were examined in F1 female offspring on postnatal day (PND) 4 and estrous cyclicity was examined daily after weaning for 30 days. F1 females were also subjected to breeding studies with untreated males at three to nine months. The results indicate that BPA inhibits germ cell nest breakdown via altering expression of selected apoptotic factors. BPA also significantly advances the age of first estrus, shortens the time that the females remain in estrus, and increases the time that the females remain in metestrus and diestrus compared to controls. Further, F1 females exposed to low doses of BPA exhibit various fertility problems and have a significantly higher percentage of dead pups compared to controls. These results indicate that in utero exposure to low doses of BPA during a critical ovarian developmental window interferes with early ovarian development and reduces fertility with age. - Highlights: • In utero BPA exposure inhibits germ cell nest breakdown in female mouse offspring. • In utero BPA exposure alters expression of apoptosis regulators in the ovaries of mouse offspring. • In utero BPA exposure advances first estrus age and alters cyclicity in mouse offspring. • In utero BPA exposure causes various fertility problems in

  8. Aged mouse ovaries possess rare premeiotic germ cells that can generate oocytes following transplantation into a young host environment

    PubMed Central

    Niikura, Yuichi; Niikura, Teruko; Tilly, Jonathan L.

    2009-01-01

    Of all the major organ systems in the body, the ovaries of females are the first to exhibit impaired function with advancing age. Until recently, traditional thinking was that female mammals are provided with a non-renewable pool of oocyte-containing follicles at birth that are depleted during postnatal life to exhaustion, driving ovarian failure. However, a growing body of evidence, including the isolation of germline stem cells (GSC) from adult mouse ovaries that produce developmentally-competent oocytes, has challenged this belief. In addition, rare germline stem-like cells capable of generating oocytes in vitro that undergo parthenogenesis to form blastocyst-like structures have recently been identified in postmenopausal human ovaries. Here we show that the germline-specific meiosis-commitment genes,Stimulated by retinoic acid gene 8 (Stra8) and Deleted in azoospermia-like (Dazl), are highly expressed in aged mouse ovaries. However, histological and marker analyses fail to demonstrate the presence of oocytes, supporting that Stra8 and Dazl are expressed in premeiotic germ cells that do not undergo further differentiation. Through the use of aged germline-specific GFP-expressing transgenic mice, we further show that these germ cells can generate GFP-positive oocytes that co-express the primordial oocyte marker NOBOX and form follicles when grafted into young adult wild-type female hosts. Thus, aged mouse ovaries possess a rare population of premeiotic germ cells that retain the capacity to form oocytes if exposed to a young host environment. PMID:20157580

  9. Acrylamide: dermal exposure produces genetic damage in male mouse germ cells.

    PubMed

    Gutierrez-Espeleta, G A; Hughes, L A; Piegorsch, W W; Shelby, M D; Generoso, W M

    1992-02-01

    Acrylamide is used extensively in sewage and wastewater treatment plants, in the paper and pulp industry, in treatment of potable water, and in research laboratories for chromatography, electrophoresis, and electron microscopy. Dermal contact is a major route of human exposure. It has been shown that acrylamide is highly effective in breaking chromosomes of germ cells of male mice and rats when administered intraperitoneally or orally, resulting both in the early death of conceptuses and in the transmission of reciprocal translocations to live-born progeny. It is now reported that acrylamide is absorbed through the skin of male mice, reaches the germ cells, and induces chromosomal damage. The magnitude of genetic damage appears to be proportional to the dose administered topically.

  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. 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

    2016-08-09

    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.

  12. 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

  13. [Retroperitoneal germ cell tumor].

    PubMed

    Borrell Palanca, A; García Garzón, J; Villamón Fort, R; Domenech Pérez, C; Martínez Lorente, A; Gunthner, S; García Sisamón, F

    1999-03-01

    We report a case of retroperitoneal extragonadal germ-cell tumor in an 17 years old patient who presented with aedema and pain in left inferior extremity asociated with hemopthysis caused by pulmonar metastasis, who was treated with chemotherapy and resection of residual mass and pulmonary nodes. Dyagnosis was stableshed by fine neadle aspiration biopsy of the wass. We comment on the difficult of stableshing differential dyagnosis between retroperitoneal extragonadal germ-cell tumor and metastasis of a testicular tumor. Dyagnosis is stableshed by the finding of a histologically malignant germ-cell tumor with normal testis. We considered physical examination and ecographyc exploration enough for a correct dyagnosis.

  14. Isolation and analyses of enriched populations of male mouse germ cells by sedimentation velocity: the centrifugal elutriation.

    PubMed

    Barchi, Marco; Geremia, Raffaele; Magliozzi, Roberto; Bianchi, Enrica

    2009-01-01

    The studies of molecular events that occur in single cell types within a tissue often require the disaggregation of the tissue into a single cell suspension, followed by isolation of distinct cell populations. The germinal epithelium of mammals is composed of several cell types, which divide mitotically, before entering meiosis. In this chapter, we describe the isolation of five mouse germ-cell fractions by centrifugal elutriation, and characterize them by their DNA content (flow cytometry), cell morphology (DAPI staining of nuclei, Giemsa staining of squashed cells) and deposition of stage-specific meiotic markers (SYCP3, H1t, SAM68) on chromosome spreads and whole cells. Within 2 h it is possible to obtain enriched populations of elongated spermatids (up to approximately 50% of the fraction), round spermatids (up to approximately 80%), primary spermatocytes (up to approximately 89%), and secondary spermatocytes (up to approximately 17%). Furthermore, most of the collected spermatocytes of the primary spermatocyte fraction are in early-mid pachytene stage as judged by chromosome spreads, enriched up to approximately 89%. Elutriation and techniques used for characterization of germ cell fractions are described.

  15. Mouse embryos lacking Smad1 signals display defects in extra-embryonic tissues and germ cell formation.

    PubMed

    Tremblay, K D; Dunn, N R; Robertson, E J

    2001-09-01

    The Smad proteins are important intracellular mediators of the transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) family of secreted growth factors. Smad1 is an effector of signals provided by the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) sub-group of TGFbeta molecules. To understand the role of Smad1 in mouse development, we have generated a Smad1 loss-of-function allele using homologous recombination in ES cells. Smad1-/- embryos die by 10.5 dpc because they fail to connect to the placenta. Mutant embryos are first recognizable by 7.0 dpc, owing to a characteristic localized outpocketing of the visceral endoderm at the posterior embryonic/extra-embryonic junction, accompanied by a dramatic twisting of the epiblast and nascent mesoderm. Chimera analysis reveals that these two defects are attributable to a requirement for Smad1 in the extra-embryonic tissues. By 7.5 dpc, Smad1-deficient embryos show a marked impairment in allantois formation. By contrast, the chorion overproliferates, is erratically folded within the extra-embryonic space and is impeded in proximal migration. BMP signals are known to be essential for the specification and proliferation of primordial germ cells. We find a drastic reduction of primordial germ cells in Smad1-deficient embryos, suggesting an essential role for Smad1-dependent signals in primordial germ cell specification. Surprisingly, despite the key involvement of BMP signaling in tissues of the embryo proper, Smad1-deficient embryos develop remarkably normally. An examination of the expression domains of Smad1, Smad5 and Smad8 in early mouse embryos show that, while Smad1 is uniquely expressed in the visceral endoderm at 6.5 dpc, in other tissues Smad1 is co-expressed with Smad5 and/or Smad8. Collectively, these data have uncovered a unique function for Smad1 signaling in coordinating the growth of extra-embryonic structures necessary to support development within the uterine environment.

  16. HENMT1 and piRNA Stability Are Required for Adult Male Germ Cell Transposon Repression and to Define the Spermatogenic Program in the Mouse.

    PubMed

    Lim, Shu Ly; Qu, Zhi Peng; Kortschak, R Daniel; Lawrence, David M; Geoghegan, Joel; Hempfling, Anna-Lena; Bergmann, Martin; Goodnow, Christopher C; Ormandy, Christopher J; Wong, Lee; Mann, Jeff; Scott, Hamish S; Jamsai, Duangporn; Adelson, David L; O'Bryan, Moira K

    2015-10-01

    piRNAs are critical for transposable element (TE) repression and germ cell survival during the early phases of spermatogenesis, however, their role in adult germ cells and the relative importance of piRNA methylation is poorly defined in mammals. Using a mouse model of HEN methyltransferase 1 (HENMT1) loss-of-function, RNA-Seq and a range of RNA assays we show that HENMT1 is required for the 2' O-methylation of mammalian piRNAs. HENMT1 loss leads to piRNA instability, reduced piRNA bulk and length, and ultimately male sterility characterized by a germ cell arrest at the elongating germ cell phase of spermatogenesis. HENMT1 loss-of-function, and the concomitant loss of piRNAs, resulted in TE de-repression in adult meiotic and haploid germ cells, and the precocious, and selective, expression of many haploid-transcripts in meiotic cells. Precocious expression was associated with a more active chromatin state in meiotic cells, elevated levels of DNA damage and a catastrophic deregulation of the haploid germ cell gene expression. Collectively these results define a critical role for HENMT1 and piRNAs in the maintenance of TE repression in adult germ cells and setting the spermatogenic program.

  17. HENMT1 and piRNA Stability Are Required for Adult Male Germ Cell Transposon Repression and to Define the Spermatogenic Program in the Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Shu Ly; Geoghegan, Joel; Hempfling, Anna-Lena; Bergmann, Martin; Goodnow, Christopher C.; Ormandy, Christopher J.; Wong, Lee; Mann, Jeff; Scott, Hamish S.; Jamsai, Duangporn; Adelson, David L.

    2015-01-01

    piRNAs are critical for transposable element (TE) repression and germ cell survival during the early phases of spermatogenesis, however, their role in adult germ cells and the relative importance of piRNA methylation is poorly defined in mammals. Using a mouse model of HEN methyltransferase 1 (HENMT1) loss-of-function, RNA-Seq and a range of RNA assays we show that HENMT1 is required for the 2’ O-methylation of mammalian piRNAs. HENMT1 loss leads to piRNA instability, reduced piRNA bulk and length, and ultimately male sterility characterized by a germ cell arrest at the elongating germ cell phase of spermatogenesis. HENMT1 loss-of-function, and the concomitant loss of piRNAs, resulted in TE de-repression in adult meiotic and haploid germ cells, and the precocious, and selective, expression of many haploid-transcripts in meiotic cells. Precocious expression was associated with a more active chromatin state in meiotic cells, elevated levels of DNA damage and a catastrophic deregulation of the haploid germ cell gene expression. Collectively these results define a critical role for HENMT1 and piRNAs in the maintenance of TE repression in adult germ cells and setting the spermatogenic program. PMID:26496356

  18. 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.

  19. Global Landscape and Regulatory Principles of DNA Methylation Reprogramming for Germ Cell Specification by Mouse Pluripotent Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    Shirane, Kenjiro; Kurimoto, Kazuki; Yabuta, Yukihiro; Yamaji, Masashi; Satoh, Junko; Ito, Shinji; Watanabe, Akira; Hayashi, Katsuhiko; Saitou, Mitinori; Sasaki, Hiroyuki

    2016-10-10

    Specification of primordial germ cells (PGCs) activates epigenetic reprogramming for totipotency, the elucidation of which remains a fundamental challenge. Here, we uncover regulatory principles for DNA methylation reprogramming during in vitro PGC specification, in which mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are induced into epiblast-like cells (EpiLCs) and then PGC-like cells (PGCLCs). While ESCs reorganize their methylome to form EpiLCs, PGCLCs essentially dilute the EpiLC methylome at constant, yet different, rates between unique sequence regions and repeats. ESCs form hypomethylated domains around pluripotency regulators for their activation, whereas PGCLCs create demethylation-sensitive domains around developmental regulators by accumulating abundant H3K27me3 for their repression. Loss of PRDM14 globally upregulates methylation and diminishes the hypomethylated domains, but it preserves demethylation-sensitive domains. Notably, female ESCs form hypomethylated lamina-associated domains, while female PGCLCs effectively reverse such states into a more normal configuration. Our findings illuminate the unique orchestration of DNA methylation and histone modification reprogramming during PGC specification. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Induction of specific-locus mutations in male germ cells of the mouse by acrylamide monomer.

    PubMed

    Russell, L B; Hunsicker, P R; Cacheiro, N L; Generoso, W M

    1991-02-01

    Acrylamide monomer (AA), injected into male mice at the maximum tolerated dose of 5 x 50 mg/kg (24-h intervals), significantly increased the specific-locus mutation rate in certain poststem-cell stages of spermatogenesis, but not in spermatogonial stem cells. Germ-cell stages in which the treatment induced dominant lethals--namely, exposed spermatozoa and late spermatids (number of surviving offspring only 3% and 27%, respectively, of those in concurrent controls)--jointly yielded the highest frequency of specific-locus mutations. AA thus conforms to Pattern 1 in our earlier classification of chemicals according to the spermatogenic stage at which they elicit maximum response (Russell et al., 1990). No specific-locus mutations were observed among 17,112 offspring derived from exposed spermatogonial stem cells, a result which rules out (at the 5% significance level) an induced mutation rate greater than 2.3 times the historical control rate. A sustained high productivity in matings made for several months following week 3 indicates that there is no significant spermatogonial killing and that cell selection is presumably not the explanation for the negative result. On the basis of genetic and/or cytogenetic evidence, the mutations induced postmeiotically by AA were 'large lesions' (multi-locus), while one of 2 recovered from exposure of differentiating spermatogonia is probably a small lesion. An earlier survey of mammalian mutagenesis results led us to conclude that, regardless of the classification of a chemical according to the stage at which it elicits its maximum response, the nature of mutations is determined by the germ-cell stage in which they are induced (Russell et al., 1990). The AA results on lesion size and on distribution of mutations among the loci fit the general pattern.

  1. [Testicular germ cell tumors].

    PubMed

    Dourthe, L M; Ouachet, M; Fizazi, K; Droz, J P

    1998-09-01

    Testicle germ cells tumors are the most common young men neoplasm. The incidence is maximal in Scandinavian countries. Cryptorchidism is a predisposing factor. Diagnosis is clinic, first treatment is radical orchidectomy by inguinal incision, after study of tumor markers. Histology shows seminoma or non seminomatous tumor. Carcinoma in situ is the precursor of invasive germ cell tumors. Germ cell tumors have no p53 mutation, and have isochrome of the short arm of chromosome 12 as a specific marker. With the results of histological, biochemical and radiographic evaluation, patient are classified as follows: good, intermediate and poor risk prognosis. Standard treatment of stage I seminoma is prophylactic irradiation. Stage II with less than 3 cm lymph node too. Other situations need a cisplatin based chemotherapy. In case of metastatic residuals masses more than 3 cm, surgery need to be discussed. Stage I non seminomatous germ cell tumors are treated by retroperitoneal lymphadenectomy, by surveillance or by two cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy with cisplatin, etoposide and bleomycin (BEP). Standard treatment of good prognosis stage II and III is three cycles of BEP, four for poor prognosis. Residual mass need surgery, adjuvant chemotherapy is necessary in presence of viable germ cell. Standard treatment for relapses is chemotherapy with cisplatin, ifosfamide and vinblastine with a 30% remission rate. The place of high dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation is not yet standardised. New drugs, as paclitaxel, are under studies.

  2. Activin A balances Sertoli and germ cell proliferation in the fetal mouse testis.

    PubMed

    Mendis, Sirisha H S; Meachem, Sarah J; Sarraj, Mai A; Loveland, Kate L

    2011-02-01

    Activin affects many aspects of cellular development, including those essential for reproductive fitness. This study examined the contribution of activin A to murine fetal testicular development, revealing contrasting outcomes of activin actions on Sertoli cells and gonocytes. Shortly after sex determination, from Embryonic Day 12.5 (E12.5) through to birth (0 dpp), the activin A subunit transcript (Inhba) level rises in testis but not ovary, followed closely by the Inha transcript (encoding the inhibitory inhibin alpha subunit). Activin receptor transcript levels also change, with Acvr1 (encoding ALK2) and Acvr2b (ActRIIB) significantly higher and lower, respectively, at 0 dpp compared with E13.5 and E15.5. Transcripts encoding the signaling mediators Smad1, Smad3, and Smad4 were higher at 0 dpp compared with E13.5 and E15.5, whereas Smad2, Smad5, and Smad7 were lower. Detection of phosphorylated (P-)SMAD2/3 in nearly all testis cell nuclei indicated widespread transforming growth factor beta (TGFB) and/or activin ligand signaling activity. In contrast to wild-type littermates, activin betaA subunit knockout (Inhba(-/-)) mice have significantly smaller testes at birth, attributable to a 50% lower Sertoli cell number and decreased Sertoli cell proliferation from E13.5. Inhba(-/-) testes contained twice the normal gonocyte number at birth, with some appearing to bypass quiescence. Persistence of widespread P-SMAD2/3 in Inhba(-/-) cells indicates other TGFB superfamily ligands are active in fetal testes. Significant differences in Smad and cell cycle regulator transcript levels correlating to Inhba gene dosage correspond to differences in Sertoli and germ cell numbers. In Inhba(-/-) testes, Cdkn1a (encoding p21(cip1)), identified previously in fetal gonocytes, was lower at E13.5, whereas Cdkn1b (encoding p(27kip1) in somatic cells) was lower at birth, and cyclin D2 mRNA and protein were lower at E15.5 and 0 dpp. Thus, activin A dosage contributes to establishing the

  3. Roles of RNA-binding Proteins and Post-transcriptional Regulation in Driving Male Germ Cell Development in the Mouse.

    PubMed

    Licatalosi, Donny D

    Tissue development and homeostasis are dependent on highly regulated gene expression programs in which cell-specific combinations of regulatory factors determine which genes are expressed and the post-transcriptional fate of the resulting RNA transcripts. Post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression by RNA-binding proteins has critical roles in tissue development-allowing individual genes to generate multiple RNA and protein products, and the timing, location, and abundance of protein synthesis to be finely controlled. Extensive post-transcriptional regulation occurs during mammalian gametogenesis, including high levels of alternative mRNA expression, stage-specific expression of mRNA variants, broad translational repression, and stage-specific activation of mRNA translation. In this chapter, an overview of the roles of RNA-binding proteins and the importance of post-transcriptional regulation in male germ cell development in the mouse is presented.

  4. In vitro three-dimensional development of mouse molar tooth germs in a rotary cell culture system.

    PubMed

    Sun, Liang; Yang, Chao; Ge, Yaneng; Yu, Mei; Chen, Guoqing; Guo, Weihua; Tian, Weidong

    2014-05-01

    In vitro tooth germ cultivation is an effective method to explore the mechanism of odontogenesis. The three-dimensional rotary cell culture system (RCCS) is typically used to culture simulated organs such as cartilage, skin, and bone. In this study, we established an in vitro tooth germ culture model using RCCS to investigate whether RCCS could provide an appropriate environment for tooth germ development in vitro. Mandibular first molar tooth germs from 1-day post-natal mice were cultured in RCCS for 3, 6, and 9 days. Tooth germ development was monitored via histology (hematoxylin & eosin staining), stereoscopic microscopy, and quantitative real-time PCR (RT-PCR). Tooth germs cultured in RCCS maintained their typical spatial shape. Blood vessels were maintained on the dental follicle surface surrounding the crown. After cultivation, thick layers of dentin and enamel were secreted. Compared with tooth germs grown in jaw, the tooth germs grown in RCCS exhibited no significant difference in DMP1 or FGF10 expression at all time points. Use of RCCS enhanced the development of tooth germs and allowed the tooth germs to maintain their spatial morphology. These results indicate that RCCS may be an effective culture system to investigate the mechanism of tooth development. © 2013 BSPD, IAPD and John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Locus- and domain-dependent control of DNA methylation at mouse B1 retrotransposons during male germ cell development.

    PubMed

    Ichiyanagi, Kenji; Li, Yufeng; Li, Yungfeng; Watanabe, Toshiaki; Ichiyanagi, Tomoko; Fukuda, Kei; Kitayama, Junko; Yamamoto, Yasuhiro; Kuramochi-Miyagawa, Satomi; Nakano, Toru; Yabuta, Yukihiro; Seki, Yoshiyuki; Saitou, Mitinori; Sasaki, Hiroyuki

    2011-12-01

    In mammals, germ cells undergo striking dynamic changes in DNA methylation during their development. However, the dynamics and mode of methylation are poorly understood for short interspersed elements (SINEs) dispersed throughout the genome. We investigated the DNA methylation status of mouse B1 SINEs in male germ cells at different developmental stages. B1 elements showed a large locus-to-locus variation in methylation; loci close to RNA polymerase II promoters were hypomethylated, while most others were hypermethylated. Interestingly, a mutation that eliminates Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), which are involved in methylation of long interspersed elements (LINEs), did not affect the level of B1 methylation, implying a piRNA-independent mechanism. Methylation at B1 loci in SINE-poor genomic domains showed a higher dependency on the de novo DNA methyltransferase DNMT3A but not on DNMT3B, suggesting that DNMT3A plays a major role in methylation of these domains. We also found that many genes specifically expressed in the testis possess B1 elements in their promoters, suggesting the involvement of B1 methylation in transcriptional regulation. Taken altogether, our results not only reveal the dynamics and mode of SINE methylation but also suggest how the DNA methylation profile is created in the germline by a pair of DNA methyltransferases.

  6. The ligand binding domain of GCNF is not required for repression of pluripotency genes in mouse fetal ovarian germ cells.

    PubMed

    Okumura, Leah M; Lesch, Bluma J; Page, David C

    2013-01-01

    In mice, successful development and reproduction require that all cells, including germ cells, transition from a pluripotent to a differentiated state. This transition is associated with silencing of the pluripotency genes Oct4 and Nanog. Interestingly, these genes are repressed at different developmental timepoints in germ and somatic cells. Ovarian germ cells maintain their expression until about embryonic day (E) 14.5, whereas somatic cells silence them much earlier, at about E8.0. In both somatic cells and embryonic stem cells, silencing of Oct4 and Nanog requires the nuclear receptor GCNF. However, expression of the Gcnf gene has not been investigated in fetal ovarian germ cells, and whether it is required for silencing Oct4 and Nanog in that context is not known. Here we demonstrate that Gcnf is expressed in fetal ovarian germ cells, peaking at E14.5, when Oct4 and Nanog are silenced. However, conditional ablation of the ligand-binding domain of Gcnf using a ubiquitous, tamoxifen-inducible Cre indicates that Gcnf is not required for the down-regulation of pluripotency genes in fetal ovarian germ cells, nor is it required for initiation of meiosis and oogenesis. These results suggest that the silencing of Oct4 and Nanog in germ cells occurs via a different mechanism from that operating in somatic cells during gastrulation.

  7. Sertoli Cell Number Defines and Predicts Germ and Leydig Cell Population Sizes in the Adult Mouse Testis.

    PubMed

    Rebourcet, Diane; Darbey, Annalucia; Monteiro, Ana; Soffientini, Ugo; Tsai, Yi Ting; Handel, Ian; Pitetti, Jean-Luc; Nef, Serge; Smith, Lee B; O'Shaughnessy, Peter J

    2017-09-01

    Sertoli cells regulate differentiation and development of the testis and are essential for maintaining adult testis function. To model the effects of dysregulating Sertoli cell number during development or aging, we have used acute diphtheria toxin-mediated cell ablation to reduce Sertoli cell population size. Results show that the size of the Sertoli cell population that forms during development determines the number of germ cells and Leydig cells that will be present in the adult testis. Similarly, the number of germ cells and Leydig cells that can be maintained in the adult depends directly on the size of the adult Sertoli cell population. Finally, we have used linear modeling to generate predictive models of testis cell composition during development and in the adult based on the size of the Sertoli cell population. This study shows that at all ages the size of the Sertoli cell population is predictive of resulting testicular cell composition. A reduction in Sertoli cell number/proliferation at any age will therefore lead to a proportional decrease in germ cell and Leydig cell numbers, with likely consequential effects on fertility and health.

  8. A replication-dependent passive mechanism modulates DNA demethylation in mouse primordial germ cells.

    PubMed

    Ohno, Rika; Nakayama, Megumi; Naruse, Chie; Okashita, Naoki; Takano, Osamu; Tachibana, Makoto; Asano, Masahide; Saitou, Mitinori; Seki, Yoshiyuki

    2013-07-01

    Germline cells reprogramme extensive epigenetic modifications to ensure the cellular totipotency of subsequent generations and to prevent the accumulation of epimutations. Notably, primordial germ cells (PGCs) erase genome-wide DNA methylation and H3K9 dimethylation marks in a stepwise manner during migration and gonadal periods. In this study, we profiled DNA and histone methylation on transposable elements during PGC development, and examined the role of DNA replication in DNA demethylation in gonadal PGCs. CpGs in short interspersed nuclear elements (SINEs) B1 and B2 were substantially demethylated in migrating PGCs, whereas CpGs in long interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs), such as LINE-1, were resistant to early demethylation. By contrast, CpGs in both LINE-1 and SINEs were rapidly demethylated in gonadal PGCs. Four major modifiers of DNA and histone methylation, Dnmt3a, Dnmt3b, Glp and Uhrf1, were actively repressed at distinct stages of PGC development. DNMT1 was localised at replication foci in nascent PGCs, whereas the efficiency of recruitment of DNMT1 into replication foci was severely impaired in gonadal PGCs. Hairpin bisulphite sequencing analysis showed that strand-specific hemi-methylated CpGs on LINE-1 were predominant in gonadal PGCs. Furthermore, DNA demethylation in SINEs and LINE-1 was impaired in Cbx3-deficient PGCs, indicating abnormalities in G1 to S phase progression. We propose that PGCs employ active and passive mechanisms for efficient and widespread erasure of genomic DNA methylation.

  9. Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors Treatment

    MedlinePlus

    ... Tube, & Primary Peritoneal Cancer Screening Research Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors Treatment (PDQ®)–Patient Version General Information About Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors Go to Health Professional Version Key Points ...

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. In vivo epigenomic profiling of germ cells reveals germ cell molecular signatures.

    PubMed

    Ng, Jia-Hui; Kumar, Vibhor; Muratani, Masafumi; Kraus, Petra; Yeo, Jia-Chi; Yaw, Lai-Ping; Xue, Kun; Lufkin, Thomas; Prabhakar, Shyam; Ng, Huck-Hui

    2013-02-11

    The limited number of in vivo germ cells poses an impediment to genome-wide studies. Here, we applied a small-scale chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq) method on purified mouse fetal germ cells to generate genome-wide maps of four histone modifications (H3K4me3, H3K27me3, H3K27ac, and H2BK20ac). Comparison of active chromatin state between somatic, embryonic stem, and germ cells revealed promoters and enhancers needed for stem cell maintenance and germ cell development. We found the nuclear receptor Nr5a2 motif to be enriched at a subset of germ cell cis-regulatory regions, and our results implicate Nr5a2 in germ cell biology. Interestingly, in germ cells, the H3K27me3 histone modification occurs more frequently at regions that are enriched for retrotransposons and MHC genes, indicating that these loci are specifically silenced in germ cells. Together, our study provides genome-wide histone modification maps of in vivo germ cells and reveals the molecular chromatin signatures of germ cells. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Spata22, a novel vertebrate-specific gene, is required for meiotic progress in mouse germ cells.

    PubMed

    La Salle, Sophie; Palmer, Kristina; O'Brien, Marilyn; Schimenti, John C; Eppig, John; Handel, Mary Ann

    2012-02-01

    The N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea-induced repro42 mutation, identified by a forward genetics strategy, causes both male and female infertility, with no other apparent phenotypes. Positional cloning led to the discovery of a nonsense mutation in Spata22, a hitherto uncharacterized gene conserved among bony vertebrates. Expression of both transcript and protein is restricted predominantly to germ cells of both sexes. Germ cells of repro42 mutant mice express Spata22 transcript, but not SPATA22 protein. Gametogenesis is profoundly affected by the mutation, and germ cells in repro42 mutant mice do not progress beyond early meiotic prophase, with subsequent germ cell loss in both males and females. The Spata22 gene is essential for one or more key events of early meiotic prophase, as homologous chromosomes of mutant germ cells do not achieve normal synapsis or repair meiotic DNA double-strand breaks. The repro42 mutation thus identifies a novel mammalian germ cell-specific gene required for meiotic progression.

  14. Retinoic acid can induce mouse embryonic stem cell R1/E to differentiate toward female germ cells while oleanolic acid can induce R1/E to differentiate toward both types of germ cells.

    PubMed

    Wan, Qian; Lu, Hua; Wu, Lin-Tao; Liu, Xia; Xiang, Jun-Bei

    2014-12-01

    Retinoic acid (RA) and oleanolic acid (OA) were studied about their potential to induce mouse embryonic stem cell R1/E (MESC-R1/E) to differentiate toward germ cells. Embryoid bodies (EBs) first formed from MESC-R1/E and EBs were allowed to attach to the bottoms of normal cell-culturing plate and grow. Then, different compounds including RA, OA and so on were respectively added to induce MESC-R1/E to differentiate. After 72 h, microscopy images were taken for all interventions, then total RNAs were extracted, cDNAs were synthesized and real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR (qPCR) was performed to detect the transcriptional expression patterns of 11 reproductive-differentiation-related genes for different compounds respectively. During the data analysis, it was found RA significantly up-regulated the expression levels of GDF-9, Stra8, SCP3, Mvh, ZP1, ZP2, and ZP3, while significantly down-regulated the levels of Itag6 and Itgb1, and the level of Oct-4 was down-regulated insignificantly, while the level of TP2 was up-regulated insignificantly; OA significantly up-regulated the expression levels of Stra8, SCP3, Mvh, ZP1, ZP2, Itgb1, and TP2, and the levels of Oct-4, GDF-9, ZP3, and Itga6 were up-regulated insignificantly. The data showed that RA can induce MESC-R1/E to differentiate toward female germ cells while OA can induce MESC-R1/E to differentiate toward male and female germ cells.

  15. Isolation and characterization of germ line DNA from mouse sperm.

    PubMed Central

    Shiurba, R; Nandi, S

    1979-01-01

    Mouse germ line DNA was isolated from sperm by a physicochemical procedure that preferentially destroys contaminating somatic cell DNA. The use of reducing conditions and chelating agents in combination with phenol permitted extraction of molecular weight DNA from mature sperm nuclei with approximately 80% efficiency. Less than 0.1% somatic cell DNA contamination remained in sperm DNA prepared by this method. Germ line DNA was characterized by determination of its ultraviolet absorbance spectrum, buoyant density in cesium chloride, and melting profile on a hydroxyapatite column. Contamination by mitochondrial DNA was assessed by cesium chloride/ethidium bromide gradient centrifugation. The significance of the mouse germ line DNA isolation procedure is discussed with respect to the possible genetic transmission of mammary tumor virus and leukemia virus, the origin of antibody diversity, and the origin of testicular teratomas. PMID:291053

  16. 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

  17. Sex determination in mammalian germ cells.

    PubMed

    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.

  18. Regulation of germ cell function by SUMOylation

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez, Amanda; Pangas, Stephanie A.

    2015-01-01

    Oogenesis and spermatogenesis are tightly regulated complex processes that are critical for fertility function. Germ cells undergo meiosis to generate haploid cells necessary for reproduction. Errors in meiosis, including the generation of chromosomal abnormalities, can result in reproductive defects and infertility. Meiotic proteins are regulated by post-translational modifications including SUMOylation, the covalent attachment of small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) proteins. Here, we review the role of SUMO proteins in controlling germ cell development and maturation based on recent findings from mouse models. Several studies have characterized the localization of SUMO proteins in male and female germ cells. However, a deeper understanding of how SUMOylation regulates proteins with essential roles in oogenesis and spermatogenesis will provide useful insight into the underlying mechanisms of germ cell development and fertility. PMID:26374733

  19. ARX/Arx is expressed in germ cells during spermatogenesis in both marsupial and mouse.

    PubMed

    Yu, Hongshi; Pask, Andrew J; Hu, Yanqiu; Shaw, Geoff; Renfree, Marilyn B

    2014-03-01

    The X-linked aristaless gene, ARX, is essential for the development of the gonads, forebrain, olfactory bulb, pancreas, and skeletal muscle in mice and humans. Mutations cause neurological diseases, often accompanied by ambiguous genitalia. There are a disproportionately high number of testis and brain genes on the human and mouse X chromosomes. It is still unknown whether the X chromosome accrued these genes during its evolution or whether genes that find themselves on the X chromosome evolve such roles. ARX was originally autosomal in mammals and remains so in marsupials, whereas in eutherian mammals it translocated to the X chromosome. In this study, we examined autosomal ARX in tammars and compared it with the X-linked Arx in mice. We detected ARX mRNA in the neural cells of the forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain, and olfactory bulbs in developing tammars, consistent with the expression in mice. ARX was detected by RT-PCR and mRNA in situ hybridization in the developing tammar wallaby gonads of both sexes, suggestive of a role in sexual development as in mice. We also detected ARX/Arx mRNA in the adult testis in both tammars and mice, suggesting a potential novel role for ARX/Arx in spermiogenesis. ARX transcripts were predominantly observed in round spermatids. Arx mRNA localization distributions in the mouse adult testis suggest that it escaped meiotic sex chromosome inactivation during spermatogenesis. Our findings suggest that ARX in the therian mammal ancestor already played a role in male reproduction before it was recruited to the X chromosome in eutherians.

  20. In Vivo Functional Requirement of the Mouse Ifitm1 Gene for Germ Cell Development, Interferon Mediated Immune Response and Somitogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Klymiuk, Ingeborg; Kenner, Lukas; Adler, Thure; Busch, Dirk H.; Boersma, Auke; Irmler, Martin; Gailus-Durner, Valérie; Fuchs, Helmut; Leitner, Nicole; Müller, Mathias; Kühn, Ralf; Schlederer, Michaela; Treise, Irina; de Angelis, Martin Hrabě; Beckers, Johannes

    2012-01-01

    The mammalian Interferon induced transmembrane protein 1 (Ifitm1) gene was originally identified as a member of a gene family highly inducible by type I and type II interferons. Based on expression analyses, it was suggested to be required for normal primordial germ cell migration. The knockdown of Ifitm1 in mouse embryos provided evidence for a role in somitogenesis. We generated the first targeted knockin allele of the Ifitm1 gene to systematically reassess all inferred functions. Sperm motility and the fertility of male and female mutant mice are as in wild type littermates. Embryonic somites and the adult vertebral column appear normal in homozygous Ifitm1 knockout mice, demonstrating that Ifitm1 is not essential for normal segmentation of the paraxial mesoderm. Proportions of leucocyte subsets, including granulocytes, monocytes, B-cells, T-cells, NK-cells, and NKT-cells, are unchanged in mutant mice. Based on a normal immune response to Listeria monocytogenes infection, there is no evidence for a dysfunction in downstream IFNγ signaling in Ifitm1 mutant mice. Expression from the Ifitm1 locus from E8.5 to E14.5 is highly dynamic. In contrast, in adult mice, Ifitm1 expression is highly restricted and strong in the bronchial epithelium. Intriguingly, IFITM1 is highly overexpressed in tumor epithelia cells of human squamous cell carcinomas and in adenocarcinomas of NSCLC patients. These analyses underline the general importance of targeted in vivo studies for the functional annotation of the mammalian genome. The first comprehensive description of the Ifitm1 expression pattern provides a rational basis for the further examination of Ifitm1 gene functions. Based on our data, the fact that IFITM1 can function as a negative regulator of cell proliferation, and because the gene maps to chromosome band 11p15.5, previously associated with NSCLC, it is likely that IFITM1 in man has a key role in tumor formation. PMID:23115618

  1. Mouse autosomal homolog of DAZ, a candidate male sterility gene in humans, is expressed in male germ cells before and after puberty

    SciTech Connect

    Reijo, R.; Seligman, J.; Jaffe, T.

    1996-07-15

    Deletion of the Azoospermia Factor (AZF) region of the human Y chromosome results in spermatogenic failure. While the identity of the critical missing gene has yet to be established, a strong candidate is the putative RNA-binding protein DAZ (Deleted in Azoospermia). Here we describe the mouse homolog of DAZ. Unlike human DAZ, which is Y-linked, in mouse the Dazh (DAZ homolog) gene maps to chromosome 17. Nonetheless, the predicted amino acid sequences of the gene products are quite similar, especially in their RNP/RRM (putative RNA-binding) domains, and both genes are transcribed predominantly in testes; the mouse gene is transcribed at a lower level in ovaries. Dazh transcripts were not detected in testes of mice that lack germ cells. In testes of wildtype mice, Dazh transcription is detectable 1 day after birth (when the only germ cells are prospermatogonia), increases steadily as spermatogonial stem cells appear, plateaus as the first wave of spermatogenic cells enters meiosis (10 days after birth), and is sustained at this level thereafter. This unique pattern of expression suggests the Dazh participates in differentiation, proliferation, or maintenance of germ cell founder populations before, during, and after the pubertal onset of spermatogenesis. Such functions could readily account for the diverse spermatogenic defects observed in human males with AZF deletion. 29 refs., 4 figs.

  2. Retinoic acid promotes the proliferation of primordial germ cell-like cells differentiated from mouse skin-derived stem cells in vitro.

    PubMed

    Tan, Hui; Wang, Jun-Jie; Cheng, Shun-Feng; Ge, Wei; Sun, Yuan-Chao; Sun, Xiao-Feng; Sun, Rui; Li, Lan; Li, Bo; Shen, Wei

    2016-02-01

    Skin-derived stem cells (SDSCs) have the potential to differentiate into gametes and are a potential resource for research and clinical applications. Sufficient amount of primordial germ cells (PGCs) is an important requirement for successful differentiation of SDSCs into gametes in vitro. Retinoic acid (RA), a vitamin A-derived small lipophilic molecule, promotes the growth of PGCs in vivo; however, the role of RA on the proliferation of PGC-like cells (PGCLCs) derived from SDSCs remains unknown. In this study, SDSCs were induced to differentiate into the embryoid body and cocultured with mouse fibroblasts to form PGCLCs. The proliferation of PGCLCs with the presence of various concentrations of RA was investigated in vitro. Immunofluorescence labeling showed that the 5-Bromo-2-deoxyUridine-positive ratio of PGCLCs was increased after the cells were treated with 5-μM RA, and flow cytometry results showed that the number of cells in the S phase was increased significantly. The messenger RNA expression levels of cell cycle-related genes, CCND1 and CDK2, were also increased. Furthermore, RA effectively promoted the external proliferation of endogenous PGCs when 11.5-days postcoitum fetal mouse genital ridges were cultured in vitro. In conclusion, 5-μM RA promoted the proliferation of SDSCs-derived PGCLCs and endogenous PGCs. Our study will provide a valuable model system for studying the differentiation of stem cells into gametes in vitro.

  3. Interaction between NANOS2 and the CCR4-NOT deadenylation complex is essential for male germ cell development in mouse.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Atsushi; Saba, Rie; Miyoshi, Kei; Morita, Yoshinori; Saga, Yumiko

    2012-01-01

    Nanos is one of the evolutionarily conserved proteins implicated in germ cell development and we have previously shown that it interacts with the CCR4-NOT deadenylation complex leading to the suppression of specific RNAs. However, the molecular mechanism and physiological significance of this interaction have remained elusive. In our present study, we identify CNOT1, a component of the CCR4-NOT deadenylation complex, as a direct factor mediating the interaction with NANOS2. We find that the first 10 amino acids (AAs) of NANOS2 are required for this binding. We further observe that a NANOS2 mutant lacking these first 10 AAs (NANOS2-ΔN10) fails to rescue defects in the Nanos2-null mouse. Our current data thus indicate that the interaction with the CCR4-NOT deadenylation complex is essential for NANOS2 function. In addition, we further demonstrate that NANOS2-ΔN10 can associate with specific mRNAs as well as wild-type NANOS2, suggesting the existence of other NANOS2-associated factor(s) that determine the specificity of RNA-binding independently of the CCR4-NOT deadenylation complex.

  4. Dynamic expression of DNMT3a and DNMT3b isoforms during male germ cell development in the mouse.

    PubMed

    La Salle, Sophie; Trasler, Jacquetta M

    2006-08-01

    In the male germ line, sequence-specific methylation patterns are initially acquired prenatally in diploid gonocytes and are further consolidated after birth during spermatogenesis. It is still unclear how DNA methyltransferases are involved in establishing and/or maintaining these patterns in germ cells, or how their activity is regulated. We compared the temporal expression patterns of the postulated de novo DNA methyltransferases DNMT3a and DNMT3b in murine male germ cells. Mitotic, meiotic and post-meiotic male germ cells were isolated, and expression of various transcript variants and isoforms of Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b was examined using Quantitative RT-PCR and Western blotting. We found that proliferating and differentiating male germ cells were marked by distinctive expression profiles. Dnmt3a2 and Dnmt3b transcripts were at their highest levels in type A spermatogonia, decreased dramatically in type B spermatogonia and preleptotene spermatocytes and rose again in leptotene/zygotene spermatocytes, while Dnmt3a expression was mostly constant, except in type B spermatogonia where it increased. In all cases, expression declined as pachynema progressed. At the protein level, DNMT3a was the predominant isoform in type B spermatogonia, while DNMT3a2, DNMT3b2, and DNMT3b3 were expressed throughout most of spermatogenesis, except in pachytene spermatocytes. We also detected DNMT3a2 and DNMT3b2 in round spermatids. Taken together, these data highlight the tightly regulated expression of these genes during spermatogenesis and provide evidence that DNMTs may be contributing differentially to the establishment and/or maintenance of methylation patterns in male germ cells.

  5. Use of DEAD-box polypeptide-4 (Ddx4) gene promoter-driven fluorescent reporter mice to identify mitotically active germ cells in post-natal mouse ovaries

    PubMed Central

    Park, Eun-Sil; Tilly, Jonathan L.

    2015-01-01

    Several laboratories have independently isolated mitotically active germ cells, termed female germline stem cells or oogonial stem cells (OSCs), from adult mouse ovaries. However, a recent study using Ddx4-Cre;Rosa26 reporter mice concluded that such germ cells do not exist. Given the disparity in conclusions drawn in this study compared with others, we felt it was important to re-assess the utility of Ddx4-Cre;Rosa26 reporter mice for identification of OSCs in adult mouse ovaries. Transgenic Ddx4-Cre mice were crossed with Rosa26tdTm/tdTm mice to drive restricted tomato red (tdTm) gene expression in cells in which the Ddx4 gene promoter has been activated. Crude dispersion of ovaries from recombined offspring generated cell fractions containing tdTm-positive immature oocytes, which are incapable of proliferation and thus probably represent the uncharacterized reporter-positive ovarian cells identified in the paper Zhang et al. (2012) as being mitotically inactive. Dispersed ovaries further subjected to fluorescence-activated cell sorting yielded a large population of non-germline tdTm-positive cells, indicative of promoter ‘leakiness’ in the Ddx4-Cre mouse line. Nonetheless, a small percentage of these tdTm-positive cells exhibited externalized (extracellular, ec) expression of Ddx4 protein (ecDdx4-positive), expressed markers of primitive germ cells but not of oocytes, and actively proliferated in culture, all of which are characteristic features of OSCs. Thus, crude dispersion of ovaries collected from Ddx4 gene promoter-driven reporter mice is not, by itself, a reliable approach to identify OSCs, whereas the same ovarian dispersates further subjected to cell sorting strategies yield purified OSCs that can be expanded in culture. PMID:25147160

  6. Use of DEAD-box polypeptide-4 (Ddx4) gene promoter-driven fluorescent reporter mice to identify mitotically active germ cells in post-natal mouse ovaries.

    PubMed

    Park, Eun-Sil; Tilly, Jonathan L

    2015-01-01

    Several laboratories have independently isolated mitotically active germ cells, termed female germline stem cells or oogonial stem cells (OSCs), from adult mouse ovaries. However, a recent study using Ddx4-Cre;Rosa26 reporter mice concluded that such germ cells do not exist. Given the disparity in conclusions drawn in this study compared with others, we felt it was important to re-assess the utility of Ddx4-Cre;Rosa26 reporter mice for identification of OSCs in adult mouse ovaries. Transgenic Ddx4-Cre mice were crossed with Rosa26(tdTm/tdTm) mice to drive restricted tomato red (tdTm) gene expression in cells in which the Ddx4 gene promoter has been activated. Crude dispersion of ovaries from recombined offspring generated cell fractions containing tdTm-positive immature oocytes, which are incapable of proliferation and thus probably represent the uncharacterized reporter-positive ovarian cells identified in the paper Zhang et al. (2012) as being mitotically inactive. Dispersed ovaries further subjected to fluorescence-activated cell sorting yielded a large population of non-germline tdTm-positive cells, indicative of promoter 'leakiness' in the Ddx4-Cre mouse line. Nonetheless, a small percentage of these tdTm-positive cells exhibited externalized (extracellular, ec) expression of Ddx4 protein (ecDdx4-positive), expressed markers of primitive germ cells but not of oocytes, and actively proliferated in culture, all of which are characteristic features of OSCs. Thus, crude dispersion of ovaries collected from Ddx4 gene promoter-driven reporter mice is not, by itself, a reliable approach to identify OSCs, whereas the same ovarian dispersates further subjected to cell sorting strategies yield purified OSCs that can be expanded in culture. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. 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.

  8. Germ Cell Intercellular Bridges

    PubMed Central

    Greenbaum, Michael P.; Iwamori, Tokuko; Buchold, Gregory M.; Matzuk, Martin M.

    2011-01-01

    Stable intercellular bridges are a conserved feature of gametogenesis in multicellular animals observed more than 100 years ago, but their function was unknown. Many of the components necessary for this structure have been identified through the study of cytokinesis in Drosophila; however, mammalian intercellular bridges have distinct properties from those of insects. Mammalian germ cell intercellular bridges are composed of general cytokinesis components with additional germ cell–specific factors including TEX14. TEX14 is an inactive kinase essential for the maintenance of stable intercellular bridges in gametes of both sexes but whose loss specifically impairs male meiosis. TEX14 acts to impede the terminal steps of abscission by competing for essential component CEP55, blocking its interaction in nongerm cells with ALIX and TSG101. Additionally, TEX14-interacting protein RBM44, whose localization in stabile intercellular bridges is limited to pachytene and secondary spermatocytes, may participate in processes such as RNA transport but is nonessential to the maintenance of intercellular bridge stability. PMID:21669984

  9. Treatment Option Overview (Extragonadal Germ Cell Tumors)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Professional Extragonadal Germ Cell Tumors Treatment Extragonadal Germ Cell Tumors Treatment (PDQ®)–Patient Version General Information About Extragonadal Germ Cell Tumors Go to Health Professional Version Key Points ...

  10. General Information about Extragonadal Germ Cell Tumors

    MedlinePlus

    ... Professional Extragonadal Germ Cell Tumors Treatment Extragonadal Germ Cell Tumors Treatment (PDQ®)–Patient Version General Information About Extragonadal Germ Cell Tumors Go to Health Professional Version Key Points ...

  11. Cadmium increases human fetal germ cell apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Angenard, Gaëlle; Muczynski, Vincent; Coffigny, Hervé; Pairault, Catherine; Duquenne, Clotilde; Frydman, René; Habert, René; Rouiller-Fabre, Virginie; Livera, Gabriel

    2010-03-01

    Cadmium (Cd) is a common environmental pollutant and a major constituent of tobacco smoke. Adverse effects of this heavy metal on reproductive function have been identified in adults; however, no studies have examined its effects on human reproductive organs during development. Using our previously developed organ culture system, we investigated the effects of cadmium chloride on human gonads at the beginning of fetal life, a critical stage in the development of reproductive function. Human fetal gonads were recovered during the first trimester (711 weeks postconception) and cultured with or without Cd. We used different concentrations of Cd and compared results with those obtained with mouse fetal gonads at similar stages. Cd, at concentrations as low as 1 microM, significantly decreased the germ cell density in human fetal ovaries. This correlated with an increase in germ cell apoptosis, but there was no effect on proliferation. Similarly, in the human fetal testis, Cd (1 microM) reduced germ cell number without affecting testosterone secretion. In mouse fetal gonads, Cd increased only female germ cell apoptosis. This is the first experimental demonstration that Cd, at low concentrations, alters the survival of male and female germ cells in humans. Considering data demonstrating extensive human exposure, we believe that current environmental levels of Cd could be deleterious to early gametogenesis.

  12. Fatty acid degradation plays an essential role in proliferation of mouse female primordial germ cells via the p53-dependent cell cycle regulation.

    PubMed

    Teng, Hui; Sui, Xuesong; Zhou, Cheng; Shen, Cong; Yang, Ye; Zhang, Pang; Guo, Xuejiang; Huo, Ran

    2016-01-01

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are embryonic founders of germ cells that ultimately differentiate into oocytes and spermatogonia. Embryonic proliferation of PGCs starting from E11.5 ensures the presence of germ cells in adulthood, especially in female mammals whose total number of oocytes declines after this initial proliferation period. To better understand mechanisms underlying PGC proliferation in female mice, we constructed a proteome profile of female mouse gonads at E11.5. Subsequent KEGG pathway analysis of the 3,662 proteins profiled showed significant enrichment of pathways involved in fatty acid degradation. Further, the number of PGCs found in in vitro cultured fetal gonads significantly decreased with application of etomoxir, an inhibitor of the key rate-limiting enzyme of fatty acid degradation carnitine acyltransferase I (CPT1). Decrease in PGCs was further determined to be the result of reduced proliferation rather than apoptosis. The inhibition of fatty acid degradation by etomoxir has the potential to activate the Ca(2+)/CamKII/5'-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway; while as an upstream activator, activated AMPK can function as activator of p53 to induce cell cycle arrest. Thus, we detected the expressional level of AMPK, phosphorylated AMPK (P-AMPK), phosphorylated p53 (P-p53) and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1 (p21) by Western blots, the results showed increased expression of them after treatment with etomoxir, suggested the activation of p53 pathway was the reason for reduced proliferation of PGCs. Finally, the involvement of p53-dependent G1 cell cycle arrest in defective proliferation of PGCs was verified by rescue experiments. Our results demonstrate that fatty acid degradation plays an important role in proliferation of female PGCs via the p53-dependent cell cycle regulation.

  13. Fatty acid degradation plays an essential role in proliferation of mouse female primordial germ cells via the p53-dependent cell cycle regulation

    PubMed Central

    Teng, Hui; Sui, Xuesong; Zhou, Cheng; Shen, Cong; Yang, Ye; Zhang, Pang; Guo, Xuejiang; Huo, Ran

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are embryonic founders of germ cells that ultimately differentiate into oocytes and spermatogonia. Embryonic proliferation of PGCs starting from E11.5 ensures the presence of germ cells in adulthood, especially in female mammals whose total number of oocytes declines after this initial proliferation period. To better understand mechanisms underlying PGC proliferation in female mice, we constructed a proteome profile of female mouse gonads at E11.5. Subsequent KEGG pathway analysis of the 3,662 proteins profiled showed significant enrichment of pathways involved in fatty acid degradation. Further, the number of PGCs found in in vitro cultured fetal gonads significantly decreased with application of etomoxir, an inhibitor of the key rate-limiting enzyme of fatty acid degradation carnitine acyltransferase I (CPT1). Decrease in PGCs was further determined to be the result of reduced proliferation rather than apoptosis. The inhibition of fatty acid degradation by etomoxir has the potential to activate the Ca2+/CamKII/5′-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway; while as an upstream activator, activated AMPK can function as activator of p53 to induce cell cycle arrest. Thus, we detected the expressional level of AMPK, phosphorylated AMPK (P-AMPK), phosphorylated p53 (P-p53) and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1 (p21) by Western blots, the results showed increased expression of them after treatment with etomoxir, suggested the activation of p53 pathway was the reason for reduced proliferation of PGCs. Finally, the involvement of p53-dependent G1 cell cycle arrest in defective proliferation of PGCs was verified by rescue experiments. Our results demonstrate that fatty acid degradation plays an important role in proliferation of female PGCs via the p53-dependent cell cycle regulation. PMID:26716399

  14. Enhancement of mouse germ cell-associated genes expression by injection of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells into the testis of chemical-induced azoospermic mice.

    PubMed

    Yang, Rui-Feng; Liu, Tai-Hua; Zhao, Kai; Xiong, Cheng-Liang

    2014-01-01

    Various methods are currently under investigation to preserve fertility in males treated with high-dose chemotherapy and radiation for malignant and nonmalignant disorders. Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (HUC-MSCs), which possess potent immunosuppressive function and secrete various cytokines and growth factors, have the potential clinical applications. As a potential alternative, we investigate whether injection of HUC-MSCs into the interstitial compartment of the testes to promote spermatogenic regeneration efficiently. HUC-MSCs were isolated from different sources of umbilical cords and injected into the interstitial space of one testis from 10 busulfan-treated mice (saline and HEK293 cells injections were performed in a separate set of mice) and the other testis remained uninjected. Three weeks after MSCs injection, Relative quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction was used to identify the expression of 10 of germ cell associated, which are all related to meiosis, demonstrated higher levels of spermatogenic gene expression (2-8 fold) in HUC-MSCs injected testes compared to the contralateral uninjected testes (five mice). Protein levels for germ cell-specific genes, miwi, vasa and synaptonemal complex protein (Scp3) were also higher in MSC-treated testes compared to injected controls 3 weeks after treatment. However, no different expression was detected in saline water and HEK293 cells injection control group. We have demonstrated HUC-MSCs could affect mouse germ cell-specific genes expression. The results also provide a possibility that the transplanted HUC-MSCs may promote the recovery of spermatogenesis. This study provides further evidence for preclinical therapeutic effects of HUC-MSCs, and explores a new approach to the treatment of azoospermia.

  15. Genetic disorders in house mouse germ cells after the Chernobyl catastrophe.

    PubMed

    Pomerantseva, M D; Ramaiya, L K; Chekhovich, A V

    1997-11-19

    Genetic effects were studied in house mice caught from 1986 to 1994 in regions polluted by radionuclides as a result of the Chernobyl disaster. The dose rates of gamma-radiation on the soil surface ranged from 0.0002 to 2 mGy/h. The frequency of reciprocal translocations in mouse spermatocytes was relatively low, but increased with the dose rate. Embryo mortality was increased only in the progeny of male mice in males caught in 1987 in the area with maximal contamination. The frequency of mice heterozygous for recessive lethal mutations decreased with time after the accident.

  16. A TB-RBP and Ter ATPase complex accompanies specific mRNAs from nuclei through the nuclear pores and into intercellular bridges in mouse male germ cells.

    PubMed

    Morales, Carlos R; Lefrancois, Stephane; Chennathukuzhi, Vargheese; El-Alfy, Mohamed; Wu, XinQi; Yang, Juxiang; Gerton, George L; Hecht, Norman B

    2002-06-15

    The testis brain RNA-binding protein (TB-RBP) functions as an RNA-binding protein in brain and testis, binding to conserved sequence elements present in specific mRNAs, such as protamine 1 and 2. We show here by RNA gel shift assays, immunoprecipitation, and by a novel in situ hybridization immunohistochemical technique that TB-RBP binds to AKAP4 mRNA in male mouse germ cells. AKAP4 is a component of the fibrous sheath and functions as a scaffolding protein in the sperm flagellum. AKAP4 is encoded by an X-linked gene, is expressed solely in postmeiotic (haploid) male germ cells, and is an essential protein in all spermatozoa, requiring its transport between spermatids as a protein or mRNA. AKAP4 mRNA forms a complex with TB-RBP and the Ter ATPase in nuclei and remains associated with these proteins as it exits nuclei into the cytoplasm and as it passes through intercellular bridges between spermatids. A similar mRNA-TB-RBP-Ter ATPase association is seen for protamine 2 mRNA, which is stored in the cytoplasm of postmeiotic germ cells about 7 days before translation. In contrast, no association is seen with PGK-2 mRNA which is initially transcribed early in meiosis with increased transcription in postmeiotic male germ cells. Although PGK-2 mRNA is subject to translational control, it lacks TB-RBP-binding sequences in its mRNA. The AKAP4 or protamine 2 mRNA-protein complexes dissociate in late-stage male germ cells when the mRNAs are translated. We propose that TB-RBP and the Ter ATPase are part of a complex that accompanies specific mRNAs in haploid mouse male germ cells in intracellular and intercellular movement. The temporal relationship of TB-RBP binding and mRNA inactivation in conjunction with the subsequent dissociation of the mRNA-protein complex at the time of mRNA translation suggests a role in translational suppression and/or mRNA stabilization.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  18. Cytotoxic effects of benzene on mouse germ cells determined by flow cytometry

    SciTech Connect

    Spano, M.; Pacchierotti, F.; Ucelli, R.; Amendola, R.; Bartoleschi, C. )

    1989-01-01

    Flow cytometric (FCM) DNA content measurements were performed on testicular monocellular suspensions obtained from mice exposed per os to 0, 1, 2, 4, 6, and 7 ml/kg body weight of benzene in order to investigate its cytotoxic action on gem cells. The effects of benzene were measured 7, 14, 21, 28, and 70 d after treatment. Benzene had no effect on testis weight, but FCM analysis showed the relative percentages of some cell subpopulations (tetraploid and haploid cells) to be different from the control pattern, indicating the occurrence of some cytotoxic damage to differentiating spermatogonia. These data demonstrate that spermatogenesis is sensitive to benzene single exposures as evidenced by an altered cell ratio of testicular cell types.

  19. Extragonadal Germ Cell Cancer (EGC)

    MedlinePlus

    ... germ cells are first seen outside of the embryo in the yolk sac. At about 4 to ... weeks of development, these cells migrate into the embryo where they populate the developing testes or ovaries. ...

  20. Testis-specific transcriptional regulators selectively occupy BORIS-bound CTCF target regions in mouse male germ cells

    PubMed Central

    Rivero-Hinojosa, Samuel; Kang, Sungyun; Lobanenkov, Victor V.; Zentner, Gabriel E.

    2017-01-01

    Despite sharing the same sequence specificity in vitro and in vivo, CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) and its paralog brother of the regulator of imprinted sites (BORIS) are simultaneously expressed in germ cells. Recently, ChIP-seq analysis revealed two classes of CTCF/BORIS-bound regions: single CTCF target sites (1xCTSes) that are bound by CTCF alone (CTCF-only) or double CTCF target sites (2xCTSes) simultaneously bound by CTCF and BORIS (CTCF&BORIS) or BORIS alone (BORIS-only) in germ cells and in BORIS-positive somatic cancer cells. BORIS-bound regions (CTCF&BORIS and BORIS-only sites) are, on average, enriched for RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) binding and histone retention in mature spermatozoa relative to CTCF-only sites, but little else is known about them. We show that subsets of CTCF&BORIS and BORIS-only sites are occupied by several testis-specific transcriptional regulators (TSTRs) and associated with highly expressed germ cell-specific genes and histone retention in mature spermatozoa. We also demonstrate a physical interaction between BORIS and one of the analyzed TSTRs, TATA-binding protein (TBP)-associated factor 7-like (TAF7L). Our data suggest that CTCF and BORIS cooperate with additional TSTRs to regulate gene expression in developing male gametes and histone retention in mature spermatozoa, potentially priming certain regions of the genome for rapid activation following fertilization. PMID:28145452

  1. Is Tobacco Smoke a Germ-Cell Mutagen?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Although no international organization exists to declare whether an agent is a germ-cell mutagen, tobacco smoke may be a human germ-cell mutagen. In the mouse, tobacco smoke induces a significant increase in the mutation frequency at an expanded simple tandem repeat (ESTR) locus....

  2. Is Tobacco Smoke a Germ-Cell Mutagen?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Although no international organization exists to declare whether an agent is a germ-cell mutagen, tobacco smoke may be a human germ-cell mutagen. In the mouse, tobacco smoke induces a significant increase in the mutation frequency at an expanded simple tandem repeat (ESTR) locus....

  3. The SMAGE gene family is expressed in post-meiotic spermatids during mouse germ cell differentiation

    SciTech Connect

    Chomez, P.; Williams, R.; Vennstroem, B.

    1996-06-01

    The human melanoma cell line MZ2-MEL expresses several tumor antigens defined in vitro by autologous cytolytic T lymphocytes. One of these antigens, MZ2-E, has been identified as a nonapeptide encoded by the MAGE1 gene and presented at the tumor cell surface by the HLA-Al molecule. Gene MAGE1 belongs to a family of closely related genes. The MAGE genes are clustered within two distinct regions on chromosome X. MAGE1 to -12 are located in the q terminal region of the chromosome (Xq26-qter), while an additional member (MAGE-Xp) has been identified in the Xp21.3 locus. The MAGE gene family is silent in healthy adult tissues, with two important exceptions: testis, where all members but MAGE7 are expressed, and placenta, where transcripts for MAGE3 and -4 have been detected. In contrast, MAGE1, -2, -3, -4, -6, and -12 are frequently expressed at high levels in a significant proportion of tumors of various histological types, including melanomas, colon carcinomas, leukemias, lung cancers, sarcomas, and breast cancers. In addition to the peptide corresponding to antigen MZ2-E, an additional peptide derived from MAGE1 and a peptide derived from MAGE3 have recently been identified as tumor antigens recognized by autologous cytolytic T cells. The MAGE proteins are therefore considered to be attractive targets for cancer immunotherapy. However, it remains to be demonstrated that such a therapy will not affect tissues, like testis, where the corresponding genes are expressed. 15 refs., 3 figs.

  4. Efficient generation of hepatic cells from multipotent adult mouse germ-line stem cells using an OP9 co-culture system.

    PubMed

    Streckfuss-Bömeke, Katrin; Jende, Jörg; Cheng, I-Fen; Hasenfuss, Gerd; Guan, Kaomei

    2014-02-01

    On the basis of their self-renewal capacity and their ability to differentiate into derivatives of all three germ layers, germ line-derived multipotent adult stem cells (maGSCs) from mouse testis might serve as one of preferable sources for pluripotent stem cells in regenerative medicine. In our study, we aimed for an efficient hepatic differentiation protocol that is applicable for both maGSCs and embryonic stem cells (ESCs). We attempted to accomplish this goal by using a new established co-culture system with OP9 stroma cells for direct differentiation of maGSCs and ESCs into hepatic cells. We found that the hepatic differentiation of maGSCs was induced by the OP9 co-culture system in comparison to the gelatin culture. Furthermore, we showed that the combination of OP9 co-culture with activin A resulted in the increased expression of endodermal and early hepatic markers Gata4, Sox17, Foxa2, Hnf4, Afp, and Ttr compared to differentiated cells on gelatin or on OP9 alone. Moreover, the hepatic progenitors were capable of differentiating further into mature hepatic cells, demonstrated by the expression of liver-specific markers Aat, Alb, Tdo2, Krt18, Krt8, Krt19, Cps1, Sek, Cyp7a1, Otc, and Pah. A high percentage of maGSC-derived hepatic progenitors (51% AFP- and 61% DLK1-positive) and mature hepatic-like cells (26% ALB-positive) were achieved using this OP9 co-culture system. These generated hepatic cells successfully demonstrated in vitro functions associated with mature hepatocytes, including albumin and urea secretion, glycogen storage, and uptake of low-density lipoprotein. The established co-culture system for maGSCs into functional hepatic cells might serve as a suitable model to delineate the differentiation process for the generation of high numbers of mature hepatocytes in humans without genetic manipulations and make germ line-derived stem cells a potential autologous and alternative cell source for hepatic transplants in metabolic liver disorders.

  5. Disperse Red 1 (textile dye) induces cytotoxic and genotoxic effects in mouse germ cells.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Fábio Henrique; Bustos-Obregon, Eduardo; Salvadori, Daisy Maria Fávero

    2015-06-01

    Disperse Red 1 (DR1), which is widely used in the textile industry, is an azo dye that contributes to the toxicity and pollution of wastewater. To assess the toxic effects of DR1 on reproduction, sexually mature male mice (Mus musculus, strain CF-1) were orally (gavage) treated with single doses of the compound at 20, 100 and 500 mg/kg body weight. Testicular features and sperm parameters were evaluated 8.3, 16.6 and 24.9 days after treatments. In addition to testicular toxicity caused by the dye, the data clearly showed an increased frequency of sperm with abnormal morphology and decreased fertility. An increased amount of DNA damage was also detected in testis cells 16.6 and 24.9 days after treatments with 100 and 500 mg/kg. This study demonstrated the toxic and genotoxic effects of DR1, indicating the harmful activity of this dye on reproductive health.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Primordial Germ Cell Specification and Migration.

    PubMed

    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.

  10. Multispecies Purification of Testicular Germ Cells.

    PubMed

    Lima, Ana C; Jung, Min; Rusch, Jannette; Usmani, Abul; Lopes, Alexandra; Conrad, Donald F

    2016-08-24

    Advanced methods of cellular purification are required to apply genome technology to the study of spermatogenesis. One approach, based on flow cytometry of murine testicular cells stained with Hoechst-33342 (Ho-FACS), has been extensively optimized and currently allows the isolation of 9 germ cell types. This staining technique is straightforward to implement, highly effective at purifying specific germ cell types and yields sufficient cell numbers for high throughput studies. Ho-FACS is a technique that does not require species-specific markers, but whose applicability to other species is largely unexplored. We hypothesized that, due to the similar cell physiology of spermatogenesis across mammals, Ho-FACS could be used to produce highly purified subpopulations of germ cells in mammals other than mouse. To test this hypothesis, we applied Ho-FACS to 4 mammalian species that are widely used in testis research - Rattus norvegicus, Cavia porcellus, Canis familiaris and Sus scrofa domesticus We successfully isolated 4 germ cell populations from these species with average purity of 79% for spermatocytes, and 90% for spermatids and 66% for spermatogonia. Additionally, we compare the performance of mechanical and chemical dissociation for each species, and propose an optimized gating strategy to better discriminate round and elongating spermatids in the mouse, which can potentially be applied to other species. Our work indicates that spermatogenesis may be uniquely accessible among mammalian developmental systems, as a single set of reagents may be sufficient to isolate germ cell populations from many different mammalian species, opening new avenues in the fields of development and male reproductive biology.

  11. Multispecies Purification of Testicular Germ Cells1

    PubMed Central

    Lima, Ana C.; Jung, Min; Rusch, Jannette; Usmani, Abul; Lopes, Alexandra M.; Conrad, Donald F.

    2016-01-01

    Advanced methods of cellular purification are required to apply genome technology to the study of spermatogenesis. One approach, based on flow cytometry of murine testicular cells stained with Hoechst-33342 (Ho-FACS), has been extensively optimized and currently allows the isolation of nine germ cell types. This staining technique is straightforward to implement, is highly effective at purifying specific germ cell types, and yields sufficient cell numbers for high-throughput studies. Ho-FACS is a technique that does not require species-specific markers, but whose applicability to other species is largely unexplored. We hypothesized that, because of the similar cell physiology of spermatogenesis across mammals, Ho-FACS could be used to produce highly purified subpopulations of germ cells in mammals other than mouse. To test this hypothesis, we applied Ho-FACS to four mammalian species that are widely used in testis research: Rattus norvegicus, Cavia porcellus, Canis familiaris, and Sus scrofa domesticus. We successfully isolated four germ cell populations from these species with average purity of 79% for spermatocytes, 90% for spermatids, and 66% for spermatogonia. Additionally, we compare the performance of mechanical and chemical dissociation for each species, and propose an optimized gating strategy to better discriminate round and elongating spermatids in the mouse, which can potentially be applied to other species. Our work indicates that spermatogenesis may be uniquely accessible among mammalian developmental systems, as a single set of reagents may be sufficient to isolate germ cell populations from many different mammalian species, opening new avenues in the fields of development and male reproductive biology. PMID:27557646

  12. Mitotic Arrest in Teratoma Susceptible Fetal Male Germ Cells

    PubMed Central

    Western, Patrick S.; Ralli, Rachael A.; Wakeling, Stephanie I.; Lo, Camden; van den Bergen, Jocelyn A.; Miles, Denise C.; Sinclair, Andrew H.

    2011-01-01

    Formation of germ cell derived teratomas occurs in mice of the 129/SvJ strain, but not in C57Bl/6 inbred or CD1 outbred mice. Despite this, there have been few comparative studies aimed at determining the similarities and differences between teratoma susceptible and non-susceptible mouse strains. This study examines the entry of fetal germ cells into the male pathway and mitotic arrest in 129T2/SvJ mice. We find that although the entry of fetal germ cells into mitotic arrest is similar between 129T2/SvJ, C57Bl/6 and CD1 mice, there were significant differences in the size and germ cell content of the testis cords in these strains. In 129T2/SvJ mice germ cell mitotic arrest involves upregulation of p27KIP1, p15INK4B, activation of RB, the expression of male germ cell differentiation markers NANOS2, DNMT3L and MILI and repression of the pluripotency network. The germ-line markers DPPA2 and DPPA4 show reciprocal repression and upregulation, respectively, while FGFR3 is substantially enriched in the nucleus of differentiating male germ cells. Further understanding of fetal male germ cell differentiation promises to provide insight into disorders of the testis and germ cell lineage, such as testis tumour formation and infertility. PMID:21674058

  13. 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

  14. Effects of male germ-cell stage on the frequency, nature, and spectrum of induced specific-locus mutations in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Russell, Liane B

    2004-09-01

    By means of the mouse specific-locus test (SLT) with visible markers, which is capable of detecting intragenic mutations as well as larger lesions, about 20 mutagens have been studied comparatively across arrays of male germ-cell stages. In addition, a very large historical control, accumulated over decades, provides data on spontaneous mutations in males. Each mutagen has a characteristic germ-cell-stage sensitivity pattern. Although most chemicals yield their maximum numbers of mutations following exposure of spermatozoa and late spermatids, mutagens have now been identified that peak in each of the major stages of spermatogenesis and spermiogenesis, including those in which effects on recombination can also be induced. Stem-cell spermatogonia have yielded positive results with only five of 15 mutagenic chemicals. In postspermatogonial stages, all chemicals, as well as radiations, induce primarily large lesions (LL). By contrast, in spermatogonia (either stem-cell or differentiating) all chemicals except one (bleomycin) produce very few such lesions. The spectrum of relative mutation frequencies at the seven loci of the SLT is characteristic for treated germ-cell stage and mutagen. Treatments that induce primarily LL are characterized by a great preponderance of s (Ednrb)-locus mutations (possibly due to a paucity of haplo-insufficient genes in the surrounding region); and those that induce very few, if any, LL by a great preponderance of p-locus mutations. Spontaneous locus-spectra differ from both types of treatment-induced spectra; moreover, there are two distinct types of spontaneous spectra, depending on whether mutations occurred in mitotic cells or during the perigametic interval.

  15. [Human Primordial Germ Cell Specification--Breakthrough In Culture and Hopes for Therapeutic Utilization].

    PubMed

    Magnúsdóttir, Erna

    2015-10-01

    Germ cells are the precursors to the gametes that carry genetic and epigenetic information between human generations and generate a new individual. Because germ cells are specified early during embryogenesis, at the time of embryo implantation, they are inaccessible for research. Our understanding of their biology has therefore developed slowly since their identification over one hundred years ago. As a result of research into the properties of human and mouse embryonic stem cells and primordial germ cells, scientists have now succeeded in efficiently generating human primordial germ cells in culture by embryonic stem cell and induced pluripotent stem cell culture. In this review we will discuss the state of our knowledge of human primordial germ cells and how research into the pluripotent properties of human and mouse embryonic germ cells has led to this breakthrough. In addition we will discuss the possible utilization of a cell culture system of human primordial germ cells for research into and treatment of germ cell related abnormalities.

  16. Meiosis and retrotransposon silencing during germ cell development in mice.

    PubMed

    Ollinger, Rupert; Reichmann, Judith; Adams, Ian R

    2010-03-01

    In mammals, germ cells derive from the pluripotent cells that are present early in embryogenesis, and then differentiate into male sperm or female eggs as development proceeds. Fusion between an egg and a sperm at fertilization allows genetic information from both parents to be transmitted to the next generation, and produces a pluripotent zygote to initiate the next round of embryogenesis. Meiosis is a central event in this self-perpetuating cycle that creates genetic diversity by generating new combinations of existing genetic alleles, and halves the number of chromosomes in the developing male and female germ cells to allow chromosome number to be maintained through successive generations. The developing germ cells also help to maintain genetic and chromosomal stability through the generations by protecting the genome from excessive de novo mutation. Several mouse mutants have recently been characterised whose germ cells exhibit defects in silencing the potentially mutagenic endogenous retroviruses and other retrotransposons that are prevalent in mammalian genomes, and these germ cells also exhibit defects in progression through meiosis. Here we review how mouse germ cells develop and proceed through meiosis, how mouse germ cells silence endogenous retroviruses and other retrotransposons, and discuss why silencing of endogenous retroviruses and other retrotransposons may be required for meiotic progression in mice.

  17. Role of mouse germ-cell mutagenesis in understanding genetic risk and in generating mutations that are prime tools for studies in modern biology.

    PubMed

    Russell, L B

    1994-01-01

    Highlights are presented on (1) the role mouse germ-cell mutagenesis has played in assessing the genetic harm from radiations and chemicals, and (2) the contributions to the field of modern biology that are being made by the products of this research--the propagated mutations. Among the numerous findings in radiation mutagenesis were the humped dose-effect curve for spermatogonial stem cells, the major differences between the sexes and between germ-cell stages of each sex in both yield and nature of mutations, the dose-rate effect, which provided the first evidence for repair of mutational (or premutational) damage, the augmenting effect of certain regimes of dose fractionation, and many others. Chemical mutagenesis studies that followed revealed at least three patterns of mutation yield and demonstrated that germ-cell stage--much more than the nature of the chemical--governs the nature of the DNA lesions induced. Two "supermutagens," one for intragenic mutations and one for deletions and other rearrangements, have become very useful in the manufacture of mutations for specific purposes. The mutations propagated from radiation- and chemical-mutagenesis experiments are providing prime resources for basic studies in genome organization, gene structure, and function. DNA lesions that involve specific loci have made possible increasingly detailed characterization of extensive deletion complexes that facilitate high-intensity physical and functional mapping within them. Numerous loci associated with interesting developmental anomalies have been identified and have become accessible to positional cloning. Several of the genes accessed with the aid of induced mutations (deletions, other rearrangements, and point mutations) are furnishing prime reagents for elucidating human disease conditions.

  18. Treatment Option Overview (Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Tube, & Primary Peritoneal Cancer Screening Research Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors Treatment (PDQ®)–Patient Version General Information About Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors Go to Health Professional Version Key Points ...

  19. General Information about Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors

    MedlinePlus

    ... Tube, & Primary Peritoneal Cancer Screening Research Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors Treatment (PDQ®)–Patient Version General Information About Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors Go to Health Professional Version Key Points ...

  20. Griseofulvin-induced aneuploidy and meiotic delay in male mouse germ cells: detected by using conventional cytogenetics and three-color FISH.

    PubMed

    Shi, Q; Schmid, T E; Adler, I

    1999-05-17

    Griseofulvin (GF) was tested in male mouse germ cells for the induction of meiotic delay and aneuploidy. Starved mice were orally treated with 500, 1000 and 2000 mg/kg of GF in corn oil and testes were sampled 22 h later for meiotic delay analysis and chromosome counting in spermatocytes at the second meiotic metaphase (MMII). A dose-related increase in meiotic delay by dose-dependently arresting spermatocytes in first meiotic metaphase (MMI) or/and prolonging interkinesis was observed. Hyperhaploid MMII cells were not significantly increased. Sperm were sampled from the Caudae epididymes 22 days after GF-treatment of the males for three-color fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The frequencies of diploidies were 0.01-0.02% in sperm of the solvent control animals and increased dose-dependently to 0.03%, 0.068% and 0.091%, respectively, for 500, 1000 and 2000 mg/kg of GF. The frequencies of disomic sperm were increased significantly above the controls in all GF-treated groups but showed no dose response. The data for individual classes of disomic sperm indicated that MII was more sensitive than MI to GF-induced non-disjunction in male mice. A comparison of the present data from male mice and literature data from female mice suggests that mouse oocytes are more sensitive than mouse spermatocytes to GF-induced meiotic delay and aneuploidy.

  1. The viability of mouse spermatogonial germ cells on a novel scaffold, containing human serum albumin and calcium phosphate nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    Yadegar, Mona; Hekmatimoghaddam, Seyed Hossein; Nezami Saridar, Saeide; Jebali, Ali

    2015-01-01

    Background: In spermatogenesis, spermatogonial cells differentiate to the haploid gametes. It has been shown that spermatogenesis can be done at in vitro condition. In vitro spermatogenesis may provide an open window to treat male infertility. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a novel scaffold containing human serum albumin (HSA)/tri calcium phosphate nanoparticles (TCP NPs) on the mouse spermatogonial cell line (SCL). Materials and Methods: First, TCP NPs were synthesized by reaction of calcium nitrate and diammonium phosphate at pH 13. Then, serial concentrations of TCP NPs were separately added to 500 mg/mL HSA, and incubated in the 100oC water for 30 min. In the next step, each scaffold was cut (2×2mm), placed into sterile well of microplate, and then incubated for 1, 2, and 3 days at 37oC with mouse SCL. After incubation, the cytotoxicity of the scaffolds was evaluated by different tests including 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assay, vital staining, and cell counting. On the other hand, the release of TCP NPs and HSA from the scaffolds was measured. Results: Based on microscopic observation, the size of cavities for all scaffolds was near 200-500 µm, and the size of TCP NPs was near 50-100 nm. All toxicity tests showed that the increase of TCP concentration in the scaffold did not affect mouse SCL. It means that the percentage of cell viability, LDH release, vital cells, and cell quantity was 85%, 105%, 90%, and 110%, respectively. But, the increase of incubation time led to increase of LDH release (up to 115%) and cell count (up to 115%). Also, little decrease of cell viability and vital cells was seen when incubation time was increased. Here, no release of TCP NPs and HSA was seen after increase of TCP concentration and incubation time. Conclusion: It can be concluded that the increase of TCP concentration in HSA/ TCP NPs scaffold does not lead to

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. Differential response of mouse male germ-cell stages to radiation-induced specific-locus and dominant mutations.

    PubMed

    Russell, W L; Bangham, J W; Russell, L B

    1998-04-01

    In an attempt to provide a systematic assessment of the frequency and nature of mutations induced in successive stages of spermato- and spermiogenesis, X-irradiated male mice were re-mated at weekly intervals, and large samples of progeny, observed from birth onward, were scored and genetically tested for recessive mutations at seven specific loci and for externally recognizable dominant mutations. Productivity findings provided a rough measure of induced dominant-lethal frequencies. A qualitative assessment of specific-locus mutations (which include deletions and other rearrangements) was made on the basis of homozygosity test results, as well as from information derived from more recent complementation studies and molecular analyses. Both recessive and dominant visibles revealed clear distinctions between spermatogonia and postspermatogonial stages. In addition, differences for both of these endpoints, as well as for presumed dominant lethals, were found among various postspermatogonial stages. It may be concluded that radiation produces its maximum rates of genetic damage in germ-cell stages ranging from midpachytene spermatocytes through early spermatids, a pattern unlike any of those that have been defined for chemicals; further, the frequency peaks for radiation are lower and broader. The difference between post-stem-cell stages overall and stem-cell spermatogonia was smaller than is generally found with chemicals, not only with respect to the frequency but also the nature of mutations.

  5. Differential response of mouse male germ-cell stages to radiation-induced specific-locus and dominant mutations.

    PubMed Central

    Russell, W L; Bangham, J W; Russell, L B

    1998-01-01

    In an attempt to provide a systematic assessment of the frequency and nature of mutations induced in successive stages of spermato- and spermiogenesis, X-irradiated male mice were re-mated at weekly intervals, and large samples of progeny, observed from birth onward, were scored and genetically tested for recessive mutations at seven specific loci and for externally recognizable dominant mutations. Productivity findings provided a rough measure of induced dominant-lethal frequencies. A qualitative assessment of specific-locus mutations (which include deletions and other rearrangements) was made on the basis of homozygosity test results, as well as from information derived from more recent complementation studies and molecular analyses. Both recessive and dominant visibles revealed clear distinctions between spermatogonia and postspermatogonial stages. In addition, differences for both of these endpoints, as well as for presumed dominant lethals, were found among various postspermatogonial stages. It may be concluded that radiation produces its maximum rates of genetic damage in germ-cell stages ranging from midpachytene spermatocytes through early spermatids, a pattern unlike any of those that have been defined for chemicals; further, the frequency peaks for radiation are lower and broader. The difference between post-stem-cell stages overall and stem-cell spermatogonia was smaller than is generally found with chemicals, not only with respect to the frequency but also the nature of mutations. PMID:9560376

  6. On the formation of germ cells: The good, the bad and the ugly.

    PubMed

    Chuva de Sousa Lopes, Susana M; Roelen, Bernard A J

    2010-03-01

    Mammalian germ cells are powerful cells, the only ones that transmit information to the next generation ensuring the continuation of the species. But "with great power, comes great responsibility", meaning that germ cells are only a few steps away from turning carcinogenic. Despite recent advances little is known about germ cell formation in mammals, predominantly because of the inaccessibility of these cells. Moreover, it is difficult to pin down what in essence is characteristic of a germ cell, as germ cells keep changing place, morphology, expression markers and epigenetic identity. Formation of (primordial) germ cells in primate ES cell cultures would therefore be helpful to identify molecular signalling pathways associated with germ cell differentiation and to study epigenetic changes in germ cells. In addition, the in vitro derivation of functional germ cells from ES cells could be used in combination with therapeutic cloning to generate patient-specific ES cell lines, and can have applications in animal breeding. In this review we present the state-of-the-art on how mouse and human germ cells are formed in vivo (the good), we discuss the link between germ cells, pluripotency and germ cell tumours (the bad) and show that despite continuous progress in trying to differentiate germ cells in vitro (the ugly) the generation of functional germ cells is still a real challenge.

  7. Differentiation of germ cells and gametes from stem cells.

    PubMed

    Marques-Mari, A I; Lacham-Kaplan, O; Medrano, J V; Pellicer, A; Simón, C

    2009-01-01

    Advances in stem cell research have opened new perspectives for regenerative and reproductive medicine. Stem cells (SC) can differentiate under appropriate in vitro and in vivo conditions into different cell types. Several groups have reported their ability to differentiate SCs into germline cells, and some of them have been successful in obtaining male and female gamete-like cells by using different methodologies. This review summarizes the current knowledge in this field and emphasizes significant embryological, genetic and epigenetic aspects of germ cells and gametes in vitro differentiation in humans and other species, highlighting major obstacles that need to be overcome for successful gametogenesis in culture: studies reporting development of germ cell-like cells from murine and human embryonic (ESC) and somatic SCs are critically reviewed. Published studies indicate that germ cells can be consistently differentiated from mouse and human ESC. However, further differentiation of germ cells through gametogenesis still has important genetic and epigenetic obstacles to be efficient. Differentiation of germ cells from SCs has the potential of becoming a future source of gametes for research use, although further investigation is needed to understand and develop the appropriate niches and culture conditions. Additionally, if genetic and epigenetic methodological limitations could be solved, therapeutic opportunities could be also considered.

  8. 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

  9. 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; Odajima, 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

  10. Implication of DNA demethylation and bivalent histone modification for selective gene regulation in mouse primordial germ cells.

    PubMed

    Mochizuki, Kentaro; Tachibana, Makoto; Saitou, Mitinori; Tokitake, Yuko; Matsui, Yasuhisa

    2012-01-01

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs) sequentially induce specific genes required for their development. We focused on epigenetic changes that regulate PGC-specific gene expression. mil-1, Blimp1, and Stella are preferentially expressed in PGCs, and their expression is upregulated during PGC differentiation. Here, we first determined DNA methylation status of mil-1, Blimp1, and Stella regulatory regions in epiblast and in PGCs, and found that they were hypomethylated in differentiating PGCs after E9.0, in which those genes were highly expressed. We used siRNA to inhibit a maintenance DNA methyltransferase, Dnmt1, in embryonic stem (ES) cells and found that the flanking regions of all three genes became hypomethylated and that expression of each gene increased 1.5- to 3-fold. In addition, we also found 1.5- to 5-fold increase of the PGC genes in the PGCLCs (PGC-like cells) induced form ES cells by knockdown of Dnmt1. We also obtained evidence showing that methylation of the regulatory region of mil-1 resulted in 2.5-fold decrease in expression in a reporter assay. Together, these results suggested that DNA demethylation does not play a major role on initial activation of the PGC genes in the nascent PGCs but contributed to enhancement of their expression in PGCs after E9.0. However, we also found that repression of representative somatic genes, Hoxa1 and Hoxb1, and a tissue-specific gene, Gfap, in PGCs was not dependent on DNA methylation; their flanking regions were hypomethylated, but their expression was not observed in PGCs at E13.5. Their promoter regions showed the bivalent histone modification in PGCs, that may be involved in repression of their expression. Our results indicated that epigenetic status of PGC genes and of somatic genes in PGCs were distinct, and suggested contribution of epigenetic mechanisms in regulation of the expression of a specific gene set in PGCs.

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. Reciprocal relationship between mouse germ-cell mutagenesis and basic genetics: from early beginnings to future opportunities.

    PubMed

    Russell, L B

    1989-01-01

    The scientific foundations for several mammalian germ-line mutagenesis tests in common use today were laid in the 1930s, 1940s, and early 1950s. Subsequent developments in the field have had multiple objectives: detection of mutagenicity of environmental agents (which has led to the development of numerous methodologies), identification of biological and physical factors that affect mutation yield, analysis of the structural nature of the genetic alterations, and assessment of the organismic effects of various types of mutations. Mutagenesis studies have made numerous contributions to basic genetics by generating mutant types that led to elucidation of sex-determining mechanisms in mammals; formulation of the single-active-, or inactive-, X-chromosome hypothesis; correlation of genetic and cytological maps; discovery of genetic "imprinting" phenomena; study of developmental pathways and cell lineages, etc. Particularly useful are sets of complexly overlapping deletions that have been recovered in radiation mutagenesis studies, propagated in breeding stocks, and genetically analyzed; these have constituted prerequisites for molecular genetic studies aimed at development of the DNA structure-function relationships for important genomic regions. Mutagenesis experiments have also served to identify mutagens that are particularly effective in inducing specific types of genetic lesions desired for basic studies. Reciprocally, basic genetics has contributed to the development of mutagenesis tests and has enhanced the value of the specific-locus test by adding to its quantitative capabilities the capability for qualitatively characterizing the actions of mutagens.

  14. DNA repair efficiency in germ cells and early mouse embryos and consequences for radiation-induced transgenerational genomic damage

    SciTech Connect

    Marchetti, Francesco; Wyrobek, Andrew J.

    2009-01-18

    Exposure to ionizing radiation and other environmental agents can affect the genomic integrity of germ cells and induce adverse health effects in the progeny. Efficient DNA repair during gametogenesis and the early embryonic cycles after fertilization is critical for preventing transmission of DNA damage to the progeny and relies on maternal factors stored in the egg before fertilization. The ability of the maternal repair machinery to repair DNA damage in both parental genomes in the fertilizing egg is especially crucial for the fertilizing male genome that has not experienced a DNA repair-competent cellular environment for several weeks prior to fertilization. During the DNA repair-deficient period of spermatogenesis, DNA lesions may accumulate in sperm and be carried into the egg where, if not properly repaired, could result in the formation of heritable chromosomal aberrations or mutations and associated birth defects. Studies with female mice deficient in specific DNA repair genes have shown that: (i) cell cycle checkpoints are activated in the fertilized egg by DNA damage carried by the sperm; and (ii) the maternal genotype plays a major role in determining the efficiency of repairing genomic lesions in the fertilizing sperm and directly affect the risk for abnormal reproductive outcomes. There is also growing evidence that implicates DNA damage carried by the fertilizing gamete as a mediator of postfertilization processes that contribute to genomic instability in subsequent generations. Transgenerational genomic instability most likely involves epigenetic mechanisms or error-prone DNA repair processes in the early embryo. Maternal and embryonic DNA repair processes during the early phases of mammalian embryonic development can have far reaching consequences for the genomic integrity and health of subsequent generations.

  15. 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

  16. The mouse male germ cell-specific gene Tpx-1: molecular structure, mode of expression in spermatogenesis, and sequence similarity to two non-mammalian genes.

    PubMed

    Mizuki, N; Sarapata, D E; Garcia-Sanz, J A; Kasahara, M

    1992-01-01

    Tpx-1 is a testis-specific gene that maps on mouse Chromosome (Chr) 17. The deduced TPX-1 protein shows 55% amino acid sequence similarity to acidic epididymal glycoprotein (AEG), assumed to be involved in sperm maturation. In the present study, we determined the genomic structure of the mouse Tpx-1 gene and the cellular localization of its transcripts. The gene was found to contain ten exons, with an unusually large intron (approximately 17.0 kilobase pairs) between exons 8 and 9. In situ hybridization of testicular sections showed that Tpx-1 is transcribed abundantly by haploid male germ cells. A computer search of protein databases revealed that deduced TPX-1/AEG proteins have significant sequence similarity (approximately 30%) to two non-mammalian proteins: "pathogenesis-related" proteins 1 of tobaccos, and venom sac proteins of white-face hornets, known as Dol m V. Amino acid residues encoded by exon 10 of the Tpx-1 gene and most of those encoded by exon 9 were absent in the non-mammalian proteins. This result suggests that the ancestor of Tpx-1 acquired exons 9 and 10 after its divergence from the ancestors of the plant and insect proteins.

  17. The effect of dose fractionation on the frequency of ethylnitrosourea-induced dominant cataract and recessive specific locus mutations in germ cells of the mouse.

    PubMed

    Favor, J; Neuhäuser-Klaus, A; Ehling, U H

    1988-04-01

    A combined dominant cataract-recessive specific locus mutation experiment for fractionated exposure to ethylnitrosourea (2 X 80 mg/kg, 24-h fractionation interval) was designed to determine if lower doses of ethylnitrosourea are more effective in inducing dominant cataract mutations as suggested by previous results. This observation was not confirmed by the present experiment. The extensive, statistically more reliable specific locus results indicate an additive effect of fractionated ethylnitrosourea treatment. A saturable repair system for ethylnitrosourea-induced DNA damage has been previously documented (Karran et al., 1979; Sega et al., 1986; Van Zeeland et al., 1985). Two parameters inherent to a saturable system, the minimal time required for the saturated system to recover and the minimal dose to saturate the system are important, and results of experiments employing a fractionation exposure protocol must be interpreted relative to these two parameters. Longer fractionation intervals or smaller doses result in a reduced mutagenic effect. Due to the inherently lower experimental variability of the specific locus mutation assay as compared to the dominant cataract assay, the specific locus assay is the test of choice to determine factors affecting the mammalian germ cell mutation rate. The dominant cataract test requires a larger investment of experimental resources to achieve a comparable degree of accuracy. The dominant cataract mutation test is important in assessing the mutation rate to dominant alleles in germ cells of mammals. Due to the immediate expression of the mutant phenotype in newly occurring dominant mutations, a dominant mutation assay screens a genetically relevant endpoint in an assessment of the mutagenic hazard for man in mouse experiments. A multi-endpoint design screening specific locus, dominant cataract, and biochemical mutational endpoints (Ehling et al., 1985) allows a systematic comparison of mutagenic results for different classes

  18. 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

  19. A set of genes critical to development is epigenetically poised in mouse germ cells from fetal stages through completion of meiosis.

    PubMed

    Lesch, Bluma J; Dokshin, Gregoriy A; Young, Richard A; McCarrey, John R; Page, David C

    2013-10-01

    In multicellular organisms, germ cells carry the hereditary material from one generation to the next. Developing germ cells are unipotent gamete precursors, and mature gametes are highly differentiated, specialized cells. However, upon gamete union at fertilization, their genomes drive a totipotent program, giving rise to a complete embryo as well as extraembryonic tissues. The biochemical basis for the ability to transition from differentiated cell to totipotent zygote is unknown. Here we report that a set of developmentally critical genes is maintained in an epigenetically poised (bivalent) state from embryonic stages through the end of meiosis. We performed ChIP-seq and RNA-seq analysis on flow-sorted male and female germ cells during embryogenesis at three time points surrounding sexual differentiation and female meiotic initiation, and then extended our analysis to meiotic and postmeiotic male germ cells. We identified a set of genes that is highly enriched for regulators of differentiation and retains a poised state (high H3K4me3, high H3K27me3, and lack of expression) across sexes and across developmental stages, including in haploid postmeiotic cells. The existence of such a state in embryonic stem cells has been well described. We now demonstrate that a subset of genes is maintained in a poised state in the germ line from the initiation of sexual differentiation during fetal development and into postmeiotic stages. We propose that the epigenetically poised condition of these developmental genes is a fundamental property of the mammalian germ-line nucleus, allowing differentiated gametes to unleash a totipotent program following fertilization.

  20. A set of genes critical to development is epigenetically poised in mouse germ cells from fetal stages through completion of meiosis

    PubMed Central

    Lesch, Bluma J.; Dokshin, Gregoriy A.; Young, Richard A.; McCarrey, John R.; Page, David C.

    2013-01-01

    In multicellular organisms, germ cells carry the hereditary material from one generation to the next. Developing germ cells are unipotent gamete precursors, and mature gametes are highly differentiated, specialized cells. However, upon gamete union at fertilization, their genomes drive a totipotent program, giving rise to a complete embryo as well as extraembryonic tissues. The biochemical basis for the ability to transition from differentiated cell to totipotent zygote is unknown. Here we report that a set of developmentally critical genes is maintained in an epigenetically poised (bivalent) state from embryonic stages through the end of meiosis. We performed ChIP-seq and RNA-seq analysis on flow-sorted male and female germ cells during embryogenesis at three time points surrounding sexual differentiation and female meiotic initiation, and then extended our analysis to meiotic and postmeiotic male germ cells. We identified a set of genes that is highly enriched for regulators of differentiation and retains a poised state (high H3K4me3, high H3K27me3, and lack of expression) across sexes and across developmental stages, including in haploid postmeiotic cells. The existence of such a state in embryonic stem cells has been well described. We now demonstrate that a subset of genes is maintained in a poised state in the germ line from the initiation of sexual differentiation during fetal development and into postmeiotic stages. We propose that the epigenetically poised condition of these developmental genes is a fundamental property of the mammalian germ-line nucleus, allowing differentiated gametes to unleash a totipotent program following fertilization. PMID:24043772

  1. Beyond the Mouse Monopoly: Studying the Male Germ Line in Domestic Animal Models

    PubMed Central

    González, Raquel; Dobrinski, Ina

    2015-01-01

    Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) are the foundation of spermatogenesis and essential to maintain the continuous production of spermatozoa after the onset of puberty in the male. The study of the male germ line is important for understanding the process of spermatogenesis, unravelling mechanisms of stemness maintenance, cell differentiation, and cell-to-cell interactions. The transplantation of SSCs can contribute to the preservation of the genome of valuable individuals in assisted reproduction programs. In addition to the importance of SSCs for male fertility, their study has recently stimulated interest in the generation of genetically modified animals because manipulations of the male germ line at the SSC stage will be maintained in the long term and transmitted to the offspring. Studies performed mainly in the mouse model have laid the groundwork for facilitating advancements in the field of male germ line biology, but more progress is needed in nonrodent species in order to translate the technology to the agricultural and biomedical fields. The lack of reliable markers for isolating germ cells from testicular somatic cells and the lack of knowledge of the requirements for germ cell maintenance have precluded their long-term maintenance in domestic animals. Nevertheless, some progress has been made. In this review, we will focus on the state of the art in the isolation, characterization, culture, and manipulation of SSCs and the use of germ cell transplantation in domestic animals. PMID:25991701

  2. Germ line, stem cells, and epigenetic reprogramming.

    PubMed

    Surani, M A; Durcova-Hills, G; Hajkova, P; Hayashi, K; Tee, W W

    2008-01-01

    The germ cell lineage has the unique attribute of generating the totipotent state. Development of blastocysts from the totipotent zygote results in the establishment of pluripotent primitive ectoderm cells in the inner cell mass of blastocysts, which subsequently develop into epiblast cells in postimplantation embryos. The germ cell lineage in mice originates from these pluripotent epiblast cells of postimplantation embryos in response to specific signals. Pluripotent stem cells and unipotent germ cells share some fundamental properties despite significant phenotypic differences between them. Additionally, early primordial germ cells can be induced to undergo dedifferentiation into pluripotent embryonic germ cells. Investigations on the relationship between germ cells and pluripotent stem cells may further elucidate the nature of the pluripotent state. Furthermore, comprehensive epigenetic reprogramming of the genome in early germ cells, including extensive erasure of epigenetic modifications, is a critical step toward establishment of totipotency. The mechanisms involved may be relevant for gaining insight into events that lead to reprogramming of somatic cells into pluripotent stem cells.

  3. 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

  4. Effects of multiple doses of cyclophosphamide on mouse testes: accessing the germ cells lost, and the functional damage of stem cells.

    PubMed

    Drumond, Ana Luiza; Weng, Connie C; Wang, Gensheng; Chiarini-Garcia, Helio; Eras-Garcia, Leticia; Meistrich, Marvin L

    2011-12-01

    Spermatogenesis is sensitive to the chemotherapeutic drug cyclophosphamide, which decreases the patients' sperm count. Since the recovery of fertility is dependent on regeneration from stem cells, in the present study we evaluated the ability of cyclophosphamide-exposed stem spermatogonia from mice to regenerate spermatogenesis in situ and after transplantation. When seven doses of cyclophosphamide were given at 4-day intervals, the differentiating germ cells were largely eliminated but ~50% of the undifferentiated type A spermatogonia remained. We monitored the recovery and found that sperm production recovered to 64% of control within the time expected. When the cyclophosphamide-surviving spermatogonia were transplanted into recipient mice, recovery of spermatogenesis from the cyclophosphamide-exposed donor cells was observed, but was reduced when compared to cells from cryptorchid donors. Thus, multidose regimens of cyclophosphamide did not eliminate the stem spermatogonia, but resulted in cell loss and residual damage.

  5. Regulative germ cell specification in axolotl embryos: a primitive trait conserved in the mammalian lineage.

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Andrew D; Crother, Brian; White, Mary E; Patient, Roger; Bachvarova, Rosemary F; Drum, Matthew; Masi, Thomas

    2003-01-01

    How germ cells are specified in the embryos of animals has been a mystery for decades. Unlike most developmental processes, which are highly conserved, embryos specify germ cells in very different ways. Curiously, in mouse embryos germ cells are specified by extracellular signals; they are not autonomously specified by maternal germ cell determinants (germ plasm), as are the germ cells in most animal model systems. We have developed the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), a salamander, as an experimental system, because classic experiments have shown that the germ cells in this species are induced by extracellular signals in the absence of germ plasm. Here, we provide evidence that the germ cells in axolotls arise from naive mesoderm in response to simple inducing agents. In addition, by analysing the sequences of axolotl germ-cell-specific genes, we provide evidence that mice and urodele amphibians share a common mechanism of germ cell development that is ancestral to tetrapods. Our results imply that germ plasm, as found in species such as frogs and teleosts, is the result of convergent evolution. We discuss the evolutionary implications of our findings. PMID:14511484

  6. How free of germs is germ-free? Detection of bacterial contamination in a germ free mouse unit.

    PubMed

    Fontaine, Clinton A; Skorupski, Anna M; Vowles, Chriss J; Anderson, Natalie E; Poe, Sara A; Eaton, Kathryn A

    2015-07-04

    Management of germ free animals has changed little since the beginning of the 20th century. The current upswing in their use, however, has led to interest in improved methods of screening and housing. Traditionally, germ free colonies are screened for bacterial colonization by culture and examination of Gram stained fecal samples, but some investigators have reported using PCR-based methods of microbial detection, presumably because of perceived increased sensitivity. The accuracy and detection limit for traditional compared to PCR-based screening assays are not known. The purpose of this study was to determine the limit of detection of bacterial contamination of mouse feces by aerobic and anaerobic culture, Gram stain, and qPCR, and to compare the accuracy of these tests in the context of a working germ free mouse colony. We found that the limit of detection for qPCR (approximately 10(5) cfu/g of feces) was lower than for Gram stain (approximately 10(9) cfu/g), but that all 3 assays were of similar accuracy. Bacterial culture was the most sensitive, but the least specific, and qPCR was the least sensitive and most specific. Gram stain but not qPCR detected heat-killed bacteria, indicating that bacteria in autoclaved diet are unlikely to represent a potential confounding factor for PCR screening. We conclude that as a practical matter, bacterial culture and Gram stain are adequate for screening germ free mouse colonies for bacterial contaminants, but that should low numbers of unculturable bacteria be present, they would not be detected with any of the currently available means.

  7. How free of germs is germ-free? Detection of bacterial contamination in a germ free mouse unit

    PubMed Central

    Fontaine, Clinton A; Skorupski, Anna M; Vowles, Chriss J; Anderson, Natalie E; Poe, Sara A; Eaton, Kathryn A

    2015-01-01

    Management of germ free animals has changed little since the beginning of the 20th century. The current upswing in their use, however, has led to interest in improved methods of screening and housing. Traditionally, germ free colonies are screened for bacterial colonization by culture and examination of Gram stained fecal samples, but some investigators have reported using PCR-based methods of microbial detection, presumably because of perceived increased sensitivity. The accuracy and detection limit for traditional compared to PCR-based screening assays are not known. The purpose of this study was to determine the limit of detection of bacterial contamination of mouse feces by aerobic and anaerobic culture, Gram stain, and qPCR, and to compare the accuracy of these tests in the context of a working germ free mouse colony. We found that the limit of detection for qPCR (approximately 105 cfu/g of feces) was lower than for Gram stain (approximately 109 cfu/g), but that all 3 assays were of similar accuracy. Bacterial culture was the most sensitive, but the least specific, and qPCR was the least sensitive and most specific. Gram stain but not qPCR detected heat-killed bacteria, indicating that bacteria in autoclaved diet are unlikely to represent a potential confounding factor for PCR screening. We conclude that as a practical matter, bacterial culture and Gram stain are adequate for screening germ free mouse colonies for bacterial contaminants, but that should low numbers of unculturable bacteria be present, they would not be detected with any of the currently available means. PMID:26018301

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-15

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Germ cell specification and regeneration in planarians.

    PubMed

    Newmark, P A; Wang, Y; Chong, T

    2008-01-01

    In metazoans, two apparently distinct mechanisms specify germ cell fate: Determinate specification (observed in animals including Drosophila, Caenorhabditis elegans, zebra fish, and Xenopus) uses cytoplasmic factors localized to specific regions of the egg, whereas epigenetic specification (observed in many basal metazoans, urodeles, and mammals) involves inductive interactions between cells. Much of our understanding of germ cell specification has emerged from studies of model organisms displaying determinate specification. In contrast, our understanding of epigenetic/inductive specification is less advanced and would benefit from studies of additional organisms. Freshwater planarians--widely known for their remarkable powers of regeneration--are well suited for studying the mechanisms by which germ cells can be induced. Classic experiments showed that planarians can regenerate germ cells from body fragments entirely lacking reproductive structures, suggesting that planarian germ cells could be specified by inductive signals. Furthermore, the availability of the genome sequence of the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, coupled with the animal's susceptibility to systemic RNA interference (RNAi), facilitates functional genomic analyses of germ cell development and regeneration. Here, we describe recent progress in studies of planarian germ cells and frame some of the critical unresolved questions for future work.

  11. Radiation-induced bystander signaling from somatic cells to germ cells in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xiaoying; Sun, Jie; Bian, Po; Chen, Lianyun; Zhan, Furu; Wang, Jun; Xu, An; Wang, Yugang; Hei, Tom K; Wu, Lijun

    2013-09-01

    Recently, radiation-induced bystander effects (RIBE) have been studied in mouse models in vivo, which clearly demonstrated bystander effects among somatic cells. However, there is currently no evidence for RIBE between somatic cells and germ cells in animal models in vivo. In the current study, the model animal Caenorhabditis elegans was used to investigate the bystander signaling from somatic cells to germ cells, as well as underlying mechanisms. C. elegans body size allows for precise microbeam irradiation and the abundant mutant strains for genetic dissection relative to currently adopted mouse models make it ideal for such analysis. Our results showed that irradiation of posterior pharynx bulbs and tails of C. elegans enhanced the level of germ cell apoptosis in bystander gonads. The irradiation of posterior pharynx bulbs also increased the level of DNA damage in bystander germ cells and genomic instability in the F1 progeny of irradiated worms, suggesting a potential carcinogenic risk in progeny even only somatic cells of parents are exposed to ionizing radiation (IR). It was also shown that DNA damage-induced germ cell death machinery and MAPK signaling pathways were both involved in the induction of germ cell apoptosis by microbeam induced bystander signaling, indicating a complex cooperation among multiple signaling pathways for bystander effects from somatic cells to germ cells.

  12. Germ Cell Differentiation from Pluripotent Cells

    PubMed Central

    Medrano, Jose V.; Pera, Renee A. Reijo; Simón, Carlos

    2014-01-01

    Infertility is a medical condition with an increasing impact in Western societies with causes linked to toxins, genetics, and aging (primarily delay of motherhood). Within the different pathologies that can lead to infertility, poor quality or reduced quantity of gametes plays an important role. Gamete donation and therefore demand on donated sperm and eggs in fertility clinics is increasing. It is hoped that a better understanding of the conditions related to poor gamete quality may allow scientists to design rational treatments. However, to date, relatively little is known about human germ cell development in large part due to the inaccessibility of human development to molecular genetic analysis. It is hoped that pluripotent human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells may provide an accessible in vitro model to study germline development; these cells are able to differentiate to cells of all three primary embryonic germ layers, as well as to germ cells in vitro. We review the state of the art in germline differentiation from pluripotent stem cells. PMID:23329632

  13. Germ cell formation from embryonic stem cells and the use of somatic cell nuclei in oocytes.

    PubMed

    Pelosi, Emanuele; Forabosco, Antonino; Schlessinger, David

    2011-03-01

    Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have remarkable properties of pluripotency and self-renewal, along with the retention of chromosomal integrity. Germ cells function as a kind of "transgenerational stem cells," transmitting genetic information from one generation to the next. The formation of putative primordial germ cells (PGCs) and germ cells from mouse and human ESCs (hESCs) has, in fact, been shown, and the apparent derivation of functional mouse male gametes has also been described. Additionally, investigators have successfully reprogrammed somatic nuclei into a pluripotent state by inserting them into ESCs or oocytes. This would enable the generation of ESCs genetically identical to the somatic cell donor and their use in cell therapy. However, these methodologies are still inefficient and their mechanisms poorly understood. Until full comprehension of these processes is obtained, clinical applications remain remote. Nevertheless, they represent promising tools in the future, enhancing methods of therapeutic cloning and infertility treatment.

  14. Etoposide damages female germ cells in the developing ovary.

    PubMed

    Stefansdottir, Agnes; Johnston, Zoe C; Powles-Glover, Nicola; Anderson, Richard A; Adams, Ian R; Spears, Norah

    2016-08-11

    As with many anti-cancer drugs, the topoisomerase II inhibitor etoposide is considered safe for administration to women in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, but assessment of effects on the developing fetus have been limited. The purpose of this research was to examine the effect of etoposide on germ cells in the developing ovary. Mouse ovary tissue culture was used as the experimental model, thus allowing us to examine effects of etoposide on all stages of germ cell development in the same way, in vitro. Fetal ovaries from embryonic day 13.5 CD1 mice or neonatal ovaries from postnatal day 0 CD1 mice were cultured with 50-150 ng ml(-1) or 50-200 ng ml(-1) etoposide respectively, concentrations that are low relative to that in patient serum. When fetal ovaries were treated prior to follicle formation, etoposide resulted in dose-dependent damage, with 150 ng ml(-1) inducing a near-complete absence of healthy follicles. In contrast, treatment of neonatal ovaries, after follicle formation, had no effect on follicle numbers and only a minor effect on follicle health, even at 200 ng ml(-1). The sensitivity of female germ cells to etoposide coincided with topoisomerase IIα expression: in the developing ovary of both mouse and human, topoisomerase IIα was expressed in germ cells only prior to follicle formation. Exposure of pre-follicular ovaries, in which topoisomerase IIα expression was germ cell-specific, resulted in a near-complete elimination of germ cells prior to follicle formation, with the remaining germ cells going on to form unhealthy follicles by the end of culture. In contrast, exposure to follicle-enclosed oocytes, which no longer expressed topoisomerase IIα in the germ cells, had no effect on total follicle numbers or health, the only effect seen specific to transitional follicles. Results indicate the potential for adverse effects on fetal ovarian development if etoposide is administered to pregnant women when germ cells are not yet

  15. Adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated transduction of male germ line stem cells results in transgene transmission after germ cell transplantation.

    PubMed

    Honaramooz, Ali; Megee, Susan; Zeng, Wenxian; Destrempes, Margret M; Overton, Susan A; Luo, Jinping; Galantino-Homer, Hannah; Modelski, Mark; Chen, Fangping; Blash, Stephen; Melican, David T; Gavin, William G; Ayres, Sandra; Yang, Fang; Wang, P Jeremy; Echelard, Yann; Dobrinski, Ina

    2008-02-01

    We explored whether exposure of mammalian germ line stem cells to adeno-associated virus (AAV), a gene therapy vector, would lead to stable transduction and transgene transmission. Mouse germ cells harvested from experimentally induced cryptorchid donor testes were exposed in vitro to AAV vectors carrying a GFP transgene and transplanted to germ cell-depleted syngeneic recipient testes, resulting in colonization of the recipient testes by transgenic donor cells. Mating of recipient males to wild-type females yielded 10% transgenic offspring. To broaden the approach to nonrodent species, AAV-transduced germ cells from goats were transplanted to recipient males in which endogenous germ cells had been depleted by fractionated testicular irradiation. Transgenic germ cells colonized recipient testes and produced transgenic sperm. When semen was used for in vitro fertilization (IVF), 10% of embryos were transgenic. Here, we report for the first time that AAV-mediated transduction of mammalian germ cells leads to transmission of the transgene through the male germ line. Equally important, this is also the first report of transgenesis via germ cell transplantation in a nonrodent species, a promising approach to generate transgenic large animal models for biomedical research.

  16. 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

  17. Transport of germ plasm on astral microtubules directs germ cell development in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Lerit, Dorothy A.; Gavis, Elizabeth R.

    2011-01-01

    Summary Background In many organisms, germ cells are segregated from the soma through the inheritance of the specialized germ plasm, which contains mRNAs and proteins that specify germ cell fate and promote germline development. Whereas germ plasm assembly has been well characterized, mechanisms mediating germ plasm inheritance are poorly understood. In the Drosophila embryo, germ plasm is anchored to the posterior cortex and nuclei that migrate into this region give rise to the germ cell progenitors, or pole cells. How the germ plasm interacts with these nuclei for pole cell induction and is selectively incorporated into the forming pole cells is not known. Results Live imaging of two conserved germ plasm components, nanos mRNA and Vasa protein, revealed that germ plasm segregation is a dynamic process involving active transport of germ plasm RNA-protein complexes coordinated with nuclear migration. We show that centrosomes accompanying posterior nuclei induce release of germ plasm from the cortex and recruit these components by dynein-dependent transport on centrosome-nucleated microtubules. As nuclei divide, continued transport on astral microtubules partitions germ plasm to daughter nuclei, leading to its segregation into pole cells. Disruption of these transport events prevents incorporation of germ plasm into pole cells and impairs germ cell development. Conclusions Our results indicate that active transport of germ plasm is essential for its inheritance and ensures the production of a discrete population of germ cell progenitors endowed with requisite factors for germline development. Transport on astral microtubules may provide a general mechanism for the effective segregation of cell fate determinants. PMID:21376599

  18. Attraction rules: germ cell migration in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Raz, Erez; Reichman-Fried, Michal

    2006-08-01

    The migration of zebrafish primordial germ cell towards the region where the gonad develops is guided by the chemokine SDF-1a. Recent studies show that soon after their specification, the cells undergo a series of morphological alterations before they become motile and are able to respond to attractive cues. As migratory cells, primordial germ cells move towards their target while correcting their path upon exiting a cyclic phase in which morphological cell polarity is lost. In the following stages, the cells gather at specific locations and move as cell clusters towards their final target. In all of these stages, zebrafish germ cells respond as individual cells to alterations in the shape of the sdf-1a expression domain, by directed migration towards their target - the position where the gonad develops.

  19. Surgery for germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Sagae, S; Kudo, R

    2000-01-01

    We performed a review of the current modalities of surgical treatment of malignant ovarian germ cell tumors by clinical stages and histological types. Stage IA dysgerminoma is performed with a unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (USO) without chemotherapy. However, for Stage IB or IC patients with dysgerminoma, USO plus chemotherapy as a primary treatment may or may not be followed with a second-look operation (SLO). For non-dysgerminomas, USO is indicated only for Stage IA immature teratoma grade 1. The treatment for Stage IA immature teratoma grade 2 or 3 and other histological types is USO plus chemotherapy. Patients with Stage IB, IC or higher with non-dysgerminoma are treated with USO plus chemotherapy or USO with contralateral partial ovariectomy plus chemotherapy. For patients who require non-conservative surgery, a total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH) and a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO) plus chemotherapy are performed. For patients with Stage II of all histological types, conservative surgery consists of USO and a cytoreductive operation plus chemotherapy, followed by SLO or a second cytoreductive operation. For non-conservative surgery, TAH+BSO with or without a cytoreductive operation plus chemotherapy is followed by SLO. Conservative surgery for patients with Stage III and IV is USO and a cytoreductive operation plus chemotherapy followed by a second cytoreductive operation. Non-conservative surgery is TAH+BSO with a cytoreductive operation plus chemotherapy, followed by SLO or a second cytoreductive operation. However, primary or secondary cytoreductive surgery with or without lymphadenectomy and SLO are still controversial in terms of improving patient survival. Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  20. Emerging methods to generate artificial germ cells from stem cells.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Fanhui; Huang, Fajun; Guo, Jingjing; Hu, Xingchang; Liu, Changbai; Wang, Hu

    2015-04-01

    Germ cells are responsible for the transmission of genetic and epigenetic information across generations. At present, the number of infertile couples is increasing worldwide; these infertility problems can be traced to environmental pollutions, infectious diseases, cancer, psychological or work-related stress, and other factors, such as lifestyle and genetics. Notably, lack of germ cells and germ cell loss present real obstacles in infertility treatment. Recent research aimed at producing gametes through artificial germ cell generation from stem cells may offer great hope for affected couples to treat infertility in the future. Therefore, this rapidly emerging area of artificial germ cell generation from nongermline cells has gained considerable attention from basic and clinical research in the fields of stem cell biology, developmental biology, and reproductive biology. Here, we review the state of the art in artificial germ cell generation. © 2015 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.

  1. [Germ cell membrane lipids in spermatogenesis].

    PubMed

    Wang, Ting; Shi, Xiao; Quan, Song

    2016-05-01

    Spermatogenesis is a complex developmental process in which a diploid progenitor germ cell transforms into highly specialized spermatozoa. During spermatogenesis, membrane remodeling takes place, and cell membrane permeability and liquidity undergo phase-specific changes, which are all associated with the alteration of membrane lipids. Lipids are important components of the germ cell membrane, whose volume and ratio fluctuate in different phases of spermatogenesis. Abnormal lipid metabolism can cause spermatogenic dysfunction and consequently male infertility. Germ cell membrane lipids are mainly composed of cholesterol, phospholipids and glycolipids, which play critical roles in cell adhesion and signal transduction during spermatogenesis. An insight into the correlation of membrane lipids with spermatogenesis helps us to better understand the mechanisms of spermatogenesis and provide new approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of male infertility.

  2. Primordial germ cell proliferation is impaired in Fused Toes mutant embryos.

    PubMed

    Kim, Bongki; Kim, Youngha; Sakuma, Rui; Hui, Chi-Chung; Rüther, Ulrich; Jorgensen, Joan S

    2011-01-15

    Over the first 4 days of their life, primordial germ cells invade the endoderm, migrate into and through the developing hindgut, and traverse to the genital ridge where they cluster and ultimately inhabit the nascent gonad. Specific signal-receptor combinations between primordial germ cells and their immediate environment establish successful migration and colonization. Here we demonstrate that disruption of a cluster of six genes on murine chromosome 8, as exemplified by the Fused Toes (Ft) mutant mouse model, results in severely decreased numbers of primordial germ cells within the early gonad. Primordial germ cell migration appeared normal within Ft mutant embryos; however, germ cell counts progressively decreased during this time. Although no difference in apoptosis was detected, we report a critical decrease in primordial germ cell proliferation by E12.5. The six genes within the Ft locus include the IrxB cluster (Irx3, -5, -6), Fts, Ftm, and Fto, of which only Ftm, Fto, and Fts are expressed in primordial germ cells of the early gonad. From these studies, we have discovered that the Ft locus on mouse chromosome 8 is associated with cell cycle deficits within the primordial germ cell population that initiates just before translocation into the genital ridge. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Paediatric extracranial germ-cell tumours.

    PubMed

    Shaikh, Furqan; Murray, Matthew J; Amatruda, James F; Coleman, Nicholas; Nicholson, James C; Hale, Juliet P; Pashankar, Farzana; Stoneham, Sara J; Poynter, Jenny N; Olson, Thomas A; Billmire, Deborah F; Stark, Daniel; Rodriguez-Galindo, Carlos; Frazier, A Lindsay

    2016-04-01

    Management of paediatric extracranial germ-cell tumours carries a unique set of challenges. Germ-cell tumours are a heterogeneous group of neoplasms that present across a wide age range and vary in site, histology, and clinical behaviour. Patients with germ-cell tumours are managed by a diverse array of specialists. Thus, staging, risk stratification, and treatment approaches for germ-cell tumours have evolved disparately along several trajectories. Paediatric germ-cell tumours differ from the adolescent and adult disease in many ways, leading to complexities in applying age-appropriate, evidence-based care. Suboptimal outcomes remain for several groups of patients, including adolescents, and patients with extragonadal tumours, high tumour markers at diagnosis, or platinum-resistant disease. Survivors have significant long-term toxicities. The challenge moving forward will be to translate new insights from molecular studies and collaborative clinical data into improved patient outcomes. Future trials will be characterised by improved risk-stratification systems, biomarkers for response and toxic effects, rational reduction of therapy for low-risk patients and novel approaches for poor-risk patients, and improved international collaboration across paediatric and adult cooperative research groups. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. 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

  5. Evolution of the mouse H-2K region: a hot spot of mutation associated with genes transcribed in embryos and/or germ cells.

    PubMed

    Yeom, Y I; Abe, K; Artzt, K

    1992-03-01

    Active gene transcription is known to promote genetic change in neighboring DNA. We reasoned that the change would be readily heritable if transcription was occurring in germ cells or early embryonic cells before the germ cells are set aside. The H-2K region of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) provides a good vehicle for testing this hypothesis because it is replete with such genes. We have compared the amount of polymorphism in 240 kb of DNA contiguous with H-2K and 150 kb of DNA flanking a homologous duplicated region in t-haplotypes and inbred strains. Using 90 probes and three restriction enzymes, we find a staggering difference in the amount of polymorphism in the H-2K region vs. the duplicated region (26% vs. 0%) of t-haplotypes. The disparity in the rate of divergence between the two regions indicates that the spatial distribution of genes and their expression pattern might be important factors in sequence evolution. Since t-haplotypes normally show extremely limited variability among themselves due to their recent divergence from a single ancestor, these results imply that the mutation rate in the H-2K region is unusually high. This is in apparent contradiction to the current view that the MHC loci have evolved at the same rate as other loci. The implications for the evolution of the H-2K gene are discussed.

  6. Coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR) is expressed in male germ cells and forms a complex with the differentiation factor JAM-C in mouse testis.

    PubMed

    Mirza, Momina; Hreinsson, Julius; Strand, Mona-Lisa; Hovatta, Outi; Söder, Olle; Philipson, Lennart; Pettersson, Ralf F; Sollerbrant, Kerstin

    2006-04-01

    The coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR) is a transmembrane protein important for viral binding to target cells. Using RT-PCR, Western analysis, GST pull-down assay and indirect immunofluorescence, it was shown that CAR is expressed in male germ cells from mice, rats, and humans. CAR was detected in round spermatids in the testis as well as in purified, mature spermatozoa. The two membrane-bound isoforms of CAR occupied different subcellular sites in the acrosomal region of the spermatozoa. CAR was exposed on the surface of acrosome-reacted, but not acrosome-intact cells. Two CAR-binding proteins belonging to the ligand-of-numb protein-X (LNX) family also occupied distinct regions in spermatozoa. Finally, co-immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated an interaction between CAR and JAM-C, a protein required for spermatid differentiation. Together, these findings imply a function for CAR in male fertility. The results also suggest that CAR in spermatozoa is inaccessible to adenovirus-based gene therapy vectors, and that the risk of germ line infection therefore is low.

  7. Unique Aspects of Transcription Regulation in Male Germ Cells

    PubMed Central

    White-Cooper, Helen; Davidson, Irwin

    2011-01-01

    Spermatogenesis is a complex and ordered differentiation process in which the spermatogonial stem cell population gives rise to primary spermatocytes that undergo two successive meiotic divisions followed by a major biochemical and structural reorganization of the haploid cells to generate mature elongate spermatids. The transcriptional regulatory programs that orchestrate this process have been intensively studied in model organisms such as Drosophila melanogaster and mouse. Genetic and biochemical approaches have identified the factors involved and revealed mechanisms of action that are unique to male germ cells. In a well-studied example, cofactors and pathways distinct from those used in somatic tissues mediate the action of CREM in male germ cells. But perhaps the most striking feature concerns the paralogs of somatically expressed transcription factors and of components of the general transcription machinery that act in distinct regulatory mechanisms in both Drosophila and murine spermatogenesis. PMID:21555408

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

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

  9. BMP4 can generate primordial germ cells from bone-marrow-derived pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Shirazi, Reza; Zarnani, Amir Hassan; Soleimani, Masoud; Abdolvahabi, Mir Abbas; Nayernia, Karim; Ragerdi Kashani, Iraj

    2012-01-01

    Evidence of germ cell derivation from embryonic and somatic stem cells provides an in vitro model for the study of germ cell development, associated epigenetic modification and mammalian gametogenesis. More importantly, in vitro derived gametes also represent a potential strategy for treating infertility. In mammals, male and female gametes, oocyte and sperm, are derived from a specific cell population, PGCs (primordial germ cells) that segregate early in embryogenesis. We have isolated pluripotent SSEA-1+ (stage-specific embryonic antigen-1+) cells from mice bone marrow using a MACS (magnetic-activated cell sorting) system. SSEA-1+ cells were directly separated from the suspension of MMCs (murine mononuclear cells) harvested from bone marrow of 2-4-week-old mice. Flow-cytometry assay immediately after sorting and culturing under undifferentiated condition showed 55±7% and 87±4% purity respectively. RT-PCR (reverse transcription-PCR) analysis after differentiation of SSEA-1+ cells into derivations of three germ layers showed the pluripotency properties of isolated cells. SSEA-1+ cells were induced to differentiate along germ cell lineage by adding BMP4 (bone morphogenic factor-4) to the medium. Regarding the expression of germ cell markers (PGCs, male and female germ cell lineage), it was found that adding exogenous BMP4 to culture medium could differentiate pluripotent SSEA-1+ cells isolated from an adult tissue into gamete precursors, PGCs. Differentiated cells expressed specific molecular markers of PGCs, including Oct4, fragilis, Stella and Mvh (mouse vasa homologue). Therefore BMP4 is insufficient to induce SSEA-1+ cells derived from PGCs to develop further into late germ cells in vitro.

  10. Intracardiac metastasis from germ cell testicular tumor.

    PubMed

    Jonjev, Z S; Rajić, J; Majin, M; Donat, D

    2012-09-01

    Intracardiac metastases of germ cell testicular tumors are not commonly seen in clinical practice. The clinical presentation of right-sided heart metastases ranges widely. Depending upon its size and intracardiac location, it could be highly symptomatic, leading to a congestive heart failure, pulmonary embolism, and death, or completely asymptomatic. Improved imaging techniques and treatment strategies demonstrate that right-sided heart metastasis should be considered a potentially dangerous but treatable disease. Presented is the case of a 24-year-old man with a testicular nonseminomatous germ cell tumor, which after metastasizing in the right atrium differentiated into a teratoma and resulted in an inflow obstruction of the right ventricle.

  11. Generation of germ cells in vitro in the era of induced pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Imamura, Masanori; Hikabe, Orie; Lin, Zachary Yu-Ching; Okano, Hideyuki

    2014-01-01

    Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are stem cells that can be artificially generated via "cellular reprogramming" using gene transduction in somatic cells. iPSCs have enormous potential in stem-cell biology as they can give rise to numerous cell lineages, including the three germ layers. An evaluation of germ-line competency by blastocyst injection or tetraploid complementation, however, is critical for determining the developmental potential of mouse iPSCs towards germ cells. Recent studies have demonstrated that primordial germ cells obtained by the in vitro differentiation of iPSCs produce functional gametes as well as healthy offspring. These findings illustrate not only that iPSCs are developmentally similar to embryonic stem cells (ESCs), but also that somatic cells from adult tissues can produce gametes in vitro, that is, if they are reprogrammed into iPSCs. In this review, we discuss past and recent advances in the in vitro differentiation of germ cells using pluripotent stem cells, with an emphasis on ESCs and iPSCs. While this field of research is still at a stage of infancy, it holds great promises for investigating the mechanisms of germ-cell development, especially in humans, and for advancing reproductive and developmental engineering technologies in the future. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  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. Generation and Application of Male Mice with Specific Expression of Green Fluorescent Protein in Germ Cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhiru; Li, Jun; Cao, Dong; Liu, Xiaomei; Zhu, Desheng

    2016-10-01

    The study aimed to generate a mouse line with green fluorescent protein (GFP) specifically expressed in male germ cells to assess testicular toxicity. The mouse line with GFP specifically expressed in male germ cells was generated by mating a germ cell-specific transgenic Cre male mouse with a double-fluorescent reporter female mouse using Cre/loxP. The mouse line was administered ethylene glycol monomethyl ether (EGME) by oral gavage. Then, the green fluorescence intensity in the testes was used as an indicator to examine the potential for testicular toxicity testing by molecular biology, histopathology, and in vivo imaging techniques. Specific testicular GFP expression was observed in mice. GFP was mainly expressed in the germ cell lineage and concentrated in secondary spermatocytes/spermatocytes and spermatozoa. After administration of EGME, at the organ level, the green fluorescent intensity of the testes was decreased by 11 days and had disappeared by 34 days. Frozen testicular sections stained with DAPI showed significantly decreased green fluorescence in secondary spermatocytes and sperm cells. These observations were consistent with the testis weight and results of testicular histopathology. With the application of in vivo imaging becoming popular, this mouse line with GFP specifically expressed in the male germ cells may have some advantages for the study of reproductive toxicity.

  14. Childhood Central Nervous System Germ Cell Tumors Treatment

    MedlinePlus

    ... Ependymoma Treatment Research Childhood Central Nervous System Germ Cell Tumors Treatment (PDQ®)–Patient Version General Information About Childhood Central Nervous System (CNS) Germ Cell Tumors Go to Health Professional Version Key Points ...

  15. Treatment Options By Stage (Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Tube, & Primary Peritoneal Cancer Screening Research Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors Treatment (PDQ®)–Patient Version General Information About Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors Go to Health Professional Version Key Points ...

  16. Misexpression of cyclin D1 in embryonic germ cells promotes testicular teratoma initiation.

    PubMed

    Lanza, Denise G; Dawson, Emily P; Rao, Priya; Heaney, Jason D

    2016-01-01

    Testicular teratomas result from anomalies in embryonic germ cell development. In the 129 family of inbred mouse strains, teratomas arise during the same developmental period that male germ cells normally enter G1/G0 mitotic arrest and female germ cells initiate meiosis (the mitotic:meiotic switch). Dysregulation of this switch associates with teratoma susceptibility and involves three germ cell developmental abnormalities seemingly critical for tumor initiation: delayed G1/G0 mitotic arrest, retention of pluripotency, and misexpression of genes normally restricted to embryonic female and adult male germ cells. One misexpressed gene, cyclin D1 (Ccnd1), is a known regulator of cell cycle progression and an oncogene in many tissues. Here, we investigated whether Ccnd1 misexpression in embryonic germ cells is a determinant of teratoma susceptibility in mice. We found that CCND1 localizes to teratoma-susceptible germ cells that fail to enter G1/G0 arrest during the mitotic:meiotic switch and is the only D-type cyclin misexpressed during this critical developmental time frame. We discovered that Ccnd1 deficiency in teratoma-susceptible mice significantly reduced teratoma incidence and suppressed the germ cell proliferation and pluripotency abnormalities associated with tumor initiation. Importantly, Ccnd1 expression was dispensable for somatic cell development and male germ cell specification and maturation in tumor-susceptible mice, implying that the mechanisms by which Ccnd1 deficiency reduced teratoma incidence were germ cell autonomous and specific to tumorigenesis. We conclude that misexpression of Ccnd1 in male germ cells is a key component of a larger pro-proliferative program that disrupts the mitotic:meiotic switch and predisposes 129 inbred mice to testicular teratocarcinogenesis.

  17. DNA Methylation Errors in Cloned Mouse Sperm by Germ Line Barrier Evasion.

    PubMed

    Koike, Tasuku; Wakai, Takuya; Jincho, Yuko; Sakashita, Akihiko; Kobayashi, Hisato; Mizutani, Eiji; Wakayama, Sayaka; Miura, Fumihito; Ito, Takashi; Kono, Tomohiro

    2016-06-01

    The germ line reprogramming barrier resets parental epigenetic modifications according to sex, conferring totipotency to mammalian embryos upon fertilization. However, it is not known whether epigenetic errors are committed during germ line reprogramming that are then transmitted to germ cells, and consequently to offspring. We addressed this question in the present study by performing a genome-wide DNA methylation analysis using a target postbisulfite sequencing method in order to identify DNA methylation errors in cloned mouse sperm. The sperm genomes of two somatic cell-cloned mice (CL1 and CL7) contained significantly higher numbers of differentially methylated CpG sites (P = 0.0045 and P = 0.0116). As a result, they had higher numbers of differentially methylated CpG islands. However, there was no evidence that these sites were transmitted to the sperm genome of offspring. These results suggest that DNA methylation errors resulting from embryo cloning are transmitted to the sperm genome by evading the germ line reprogramming barrier.

  18. Histopathology of pineal germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Vasiljevic, A; Szathmari, A; Champier, J; Fèvre-Montange, M; Jouvet, A

    2015-01-01

    Germ cell tumors (GCTs) classically occur in gonads. However, they are the most frequent neoplasms in the pineal region. The pineal location of GCTs may be caused by the neoplastic transformation of a primordial germ cell that has mismigrated. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes 5 histological types of intracranial GCTs: germinoma and non-germinomatous tumors including embryonal carcinoma, yolk sac tumor, choriocarcinoma and mature or immature teratoma. Germinomas and teratomas are frequently encountered as pure tumors whereas the other types are mostly part of mixed GCTs. In this situation, the neuropathologist has to be able to identify each component of a GCT. When diagnosis is difficult, use of recent immunohistochemical markers such as OCT(octamer-binding transcription factor)3/4, Glypican 3, SALL(sal-like protein)4 may be required. OCT3/4 is helpful in the diagnosis of germinomas, Glypican 3 in the diagnosis of yolk sac tumors and SALL4 in the diagnosis of the germ cell nature of an intracranial tumor. When the germ cell nature of a pineal tumor is doubtful, the finding of an isochromosome 12p suggests the diagnosis of GCT. The final pathological report should always be confronted with the clinical data, especially the serum or cerebrospinal fluid levels of β-human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) and alpha-fetoprotein.

  19. Germ-line-competent embryonic stem cells of the Chinese Kunming mouse strain with long-term self-renewal ability.

    PubMed

    Peng, Xinrong; Liu, Tao; Yang, Baotian; Shi, Chuanyin; Sun, Yan; Jiang, Lihua; Jin, Huajun; Li, Linfang; Zhu, Haili; Wu, Mengchao; Qian, Qijun

    2013-06-01

    Kunming (KM) mice are the most widely used strain in China. However, authentic embryonic stem cells (ESCs) from KM mice have never been available, and this hampers the genetic manipulation of this valuable mice strain. In this study, we show that KM ESCs can be efficiently derived and maintained in chemically defined N2B27 medium with the presence of two small molecules PD0325901 and CHIR99021 (2i medium). These KM ESCs exhibit all features of ESCs, including long-term self-renewal ability, expression of key molecular markers (Oct4, Nanog, and Sox2), the ability to form teratomas, and the capacity to incorporate into the developing embryo and then transmit through the germ line.

  20. Regulation of germ line stem cell homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Garcia, T.X.; Hofmann, M.C.

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian spermatogenesis is a complex process in which spermatogonial stem cells of the testis (SSCs) develop to ultimately form spermatozoa. In the seminiferous epithelium, SSCs self-renew to maintain the pool of stem cells throughout life, or they differentiate to generate a large number of germ cells. A balance between SSC self-renewal and differentiation is therefore essential to maintain normal spermatogenesis and fertility. Stem cell homeostasis is tightly regulated by signals from the surrounding microenvironment, or SSC niche. By physically supporting the SSCs and providing them with these extrinsic molecules, the Sertoli cell is the main component of the niche. Earlier studies have demonstrated that GDNF and CYP26B1, produced by Sertoli cells, are crucial for self-renewal of the SSC pool and maintenance of the undifferentiated state. Down-regulating the production of these molecules is therefore equally important to allow germ cell differentiation. We propose that NOTCH signaling in Sertoli cells is a crucial regulator of germ cell fate by counteracting these stimulatory factors to maintain stem cell homeostasis. Dysregulation of this essential niche component can lead by itself to sterility or facilitate testicular cancer development.

  1. LINEing germ and embryonic stem cells' silencing of retrotransposons.

    PubMed

    Ishiuchi, Takashi; Torres-Padilla, Maria-Elena

    2014-07-01

    Almost half of our genome is occupied by transposable elements. Although most of them are inactive, one type of non-long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposon, long interspersed nuclear element 1 (LINE1), is capable of retrotransposition. Two studies in this issue, Pezic and colleagues (pp. 1410-1428) and Castro-Diaz and colleagues (pp. 1397-1409), provide novel insight into the regulation of LINE1s in human embryonic stem cells and mouse germ cells and shed new light on the conservation of complex mechanisms to ensure silencing of transposable elements in mammals.

  2. Embryonic stem cells: testing the germ-cell theory.

    PubMed

    Hochedlinger, Konrad

    2011-10-25

    The exact cellular origin of embryonic stem cells remains elusive. Now a new study provides compelling evidence that embryonic stem cells, established under conventional culture conditions, originate from a transient germ-cell state.

  3. 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

    2017-08-15

    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

  4. Rebuilding pluripotency from primordial germ cells.

    PubMed

    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.

  5. Function of cyclins in regulating the mitotic and meiotic cell cycles in male germ cells

    PubMed Central

    Wolgemuth, Debra J.

    2014-01-01

    The specialized cell cycles that characterize various aspects of the differentiation of germ cells provide a unique opportunity to understand heretofore elusive aspects of the in vivo function of cell cycle regulators. Key components of the cell cycle machinery are the regulatory sub-units, the cyclins, and their catalytic partners, the cyclin-dependent kinases. Some of the cyclins exhibit unique patterns of expression in germ cells that suggest possible concomitant distinct functions, predictions that are being explored by targeted mutagenesis in mouse models. A novel, meiosis-specific function has been shown for one of the A-type cyclins, cyclin A1. Embryonic lethality has obviated understanding of the germline functions of cyclin A2 and cyclin B1, while yet other cyclins, although expressed at specific stages of germ cell development, may have less essential function in the male germline. PMID:19001847

  6. 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.

  7. Germ cell pluripotency, premature differentiation and susceptibility to testicular teratomas in mice

    PubMed Central

    Heaney, Jason D.; Anderson, Ericka L.; Michelson, Megan V.; Zechel, Jennifer L.; Conrad, Patricia A.; Page, David C.; Nadeau, Joseph H.

    2012-01-01

    Testicular teratomas result from anomalies in germ cell development during embryogenesis. In the 129 family of inbred strains of mice, teratomas initiate around embryonic day (E) 13.5 during the same developmental period in which female germ cells initiate meiosis and male germ cells enter mitotic arrest. Here, we report that three germ cell developmental abnormalities, namely continued proliferation, retention of pluripotency, and premature induction of differentiation, associate with teratoma susceptibility. Using mouse strains with low versus high teratoma incidence (129 versus 129-Chr19MOLF/Ei), and resistant to teratoma formation (FVB), we found that germ cell proliferation and expression of the pluripotency factor Nanog at a specific time point, E15.5, were directly related with increased tumor risk. Additionally, we discovered that genes expressed in pre-meiotic embryonic female and adult male germ cells, including cyclin D1 (Ccnd1) and stimulated by retinoic acid 8 (Stra8), were prematurely expressed in teratoma-susceptible germ cells and, in rare instances, induced entry into meiosis. As with Nanog, expression of differentiation-associated factors at a specific time point, E15.5, increased with tumor risk. Furthermore, Nanog and Ccnd1, genes with known roles in testicular cancer risk and tumorigenesis, respectively, were co-expressed in teratoma-susceptible germ cells and tumor stem cells, suggesting that retention of pluripotency and premature germ cell differentiation both contribute to tumorigenesis. Importantly, Stra8-deficient mice had an 88% decrease in teratoma incidence, providing direct evidence that premature initiation of the meiotic program contributes to tumorigenesis. These results show that deregulation of the mitotic-meiotic switch in XY germ cells contributes to teratoma initiation. PMID:22438569

  8. NOTCH1 gain of function in germ cells causes failure of spermatogenesis in male mice.

    PubMed

    Huang, Zaohua; Rivas, Bryan; Agoulnik, Alexander I

    2013-01-01

    NOTCH1 is a member of the NOTCH receptor family, a group of single-pass trans-membrane receptors. NOTCH signaling is highly conserved in evolution and mediates communication between adjacent cells. NOTCH receptors have been implicated in cell fate determination, as well as maintenance and differentiation of stem cells. In the mammalian testis expression of NOTCH1 in somatic and germ cells has been demonstrated, however its role in spermatogenesis was not clear. To study the significance of NOTCH1 in germ cells, we applied a cre/loxP approach in mice to induce NOTCH1 gain- or loss-of function specifically in male germ cells. Using a Stra8-icre transgene we produced mice with conditional activation of the NOTCH1 intracellular domain (NICD) in germ cells. Spermatogenesis in these mutants was progressively affected with age, resulting in decreased testis weight and sperm count. Analysis of downstream target genes of NOTCH1 signaling showed an increased expression of Hes5, with a reduction of the spermatogonial differentiation marker, Neurog3 expression in the mutant testis. Apoptosis was significantly increased in mouse germ cells with the corresponding elevation of pro-apoptotic Trp53 and Trp63 genes' expression. We also showed that the conditional germ cell-specific ablation of Notch1 had no effect on spermatogenesis or male fertility. Our data suggest the importance of NOTCH signaling regulation in male germ cells for their survival and differentiation.

  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

    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.

  10. Human iPS Cell-Derived Germ Cells: Current Status and Clinical Potential

    PubMed Central

    Ishii, Tetsuya

    2014-01-01

    Recently, fertile spermatozoa and oocytes were generated from mouse induced pluripotent (iPS) cells using a combined in vitro and in vivo induction system. With regard to germ cell induction from human iPS cells, progress has been made particularly in the male germline, demonstrating in vitro generation of haploid, round spermatids. Although iPS-derived germ cells are expected to be developed to yield a form of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that can address unmet reproductive needs, genetic and/or epigenetic instabilities abound in iPS cell generation and germ cell induction. In addition, there is still room to improve the induction protocol in the female germline. However, rapid advances in stem cell research are likely to make such obstacles surmountable, potentially translating induced germ cells into the clinical setting in the immediate future. This review examines the current status of the induction of germ cells from human iPS cells and discusses the clinical potential, as well as future directions. PMID:26237592

  11. Induction of chromosomal aberrations in mouse zygotes by acrylamide treatment of male germ cells and their correlation with dominant lethality and heritable translocations

    SciTech Connect

    Marchetti, F.; Lowe, X.; Wyrobek, A.J.; Bishop, J.

    1997-12-31

    The objectives of this research were: (1) to investigate the time course of the cytogenetic defects induced by acrylamide (AA) treatment (5 x 50 mg/kg) of male germ cells in first-cleavage zygote metaphases using PAINT/DAPI analysis, and (2) to characterize the correlation between chromosomal aberrations at first cleavage, dominant lethality, and heritable translocations. PAINT/DAPI analysis employs multicolor fluorescence in situ hybridization painting plus DAPI staining to detect both stable and unstable chromosomal aberrations at first-cleavage metaphase of the zygote. High levels of chromosomally defective zygotes were detected after mating at all postmeiotic stages (20-190-fold, P < 0.001). Early spermatozoa (6.5 d post-treatment) were the most sensitive, with 76% of the zygotes carrying cytogenetic defects. A significant 10-fold increase was also detected 27.5 d post-treatment, indicating that AA had a cytogenetic effect on meiotic stages. PAINT/DAPI analysis revealed that: (1) AA-induced chromosomal breaks occurred at random, and (2) the frequencies of symmetrical and asymmetrical exchanges were similar at all mating days, except 9.5 d after AA treatment, where significantly (P < 0.02) more asymmetrical aberrations were found. 33 refs., 5 figs., 4 tabs.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-18

    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.

  14. Cancer testis antigen expression in testicular germ cell tumorigenesis.

    PubMed

    Bode, Peter K; Thielken, Andrea; Brandt, Simone; Barghorn, André; Lohe, Bernd; Knuth, Alexander; Moch, Holger

    2014-06-01

    Cancer testis antigens are encoded by germ line-associated genes that are present in normal germ cells of testis and ovary but not in differentiated tissues. Their expression in various human cancer types has been interpreted as 're-expression' or as intratumoral progenitor cell signature. Cancer testis antigen expression patterns have not yet been studied in germ cell tumorigenesis with specific emphasis on intratubular germ cell neoplasia unclassified as a precursor lesion for testicular germ cell tumors. Immunohistochemistry was used to study MAGEA3, MAGEA4, MAGEC1, GAGE1 and CTAG1B expression in 325 primary testicular germ cell tumors, including 94 mixed germ cell tumors. Seminomatous and non-seminomatous components were separately arranged and evaluated on tissue microarrays. Spermatogonia in the normal testis were positive, whereas intratubular germ cell neoplasia unclassified was negative for all five CT antigens. Cancer testis antigen expression was only found in 3% (CTAG1B), 10% (GAGE1, MAGEA4), 33% (MAGEA3) and 40% (MAGEC1) of classic seminoma but not in non-seminomatous testicular germ cell tumors. In contrast, all spermatocytic seminomas were positive for cancer testis antigens. These data are consistent with a different cell origin in spermatocytic seminoma compared with classic seminoma and support a progression model with loss of cancer testis antigens in early tumorigenesis of testicular germ cell tumors and later re-expression in a subset of seminomas.

  15. Conversion of primordial germ cells to pluripotent stem cells: methods for cell tracking and culture conditions.

    PubMed

    Nagamatsu, Go; Suda, Toshio

    2013-01-01

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are unipotent cells committed to germ lineage: PGCs can only differentiate into gametes in vivo. However, upon fertilization, germ cells acquire the capacity to differentiate into all cell types in the body, including germ cells. Therefore, germ cells are thought to have the potential for pluripotency. PGCs can convert to pluripotent stem cells in vitro when cultured under specific conditions that include bFGF, LIF, and the membrane-bound form of SCF (mSCF). Here, the culture conditions which efficiently convert PGCs to pluripotent embryonic germ (EG) cells are described, as well as methods used for identifying pluripotent candidate cells during culture.

  16. Germ-cell deficient (gcd), an insertional mutation manifested as infertility in transgenic mice.

    PubMed Central

    Pellas, T C; Ramachandran, B; Duncan, M; Pan, S S; Marone, M; Chada, K

    1991-01-01

    A genetic analysis is necessary to gain a greater understanding of the complex developmental processes in mammals. Toward this end, an insertional transgenic mouse mutant has been isolated that results in abnormal germ-cell development. This recessive mutation manifests as infertility in both males and females and is specific for the reproductive organs, since all other tissues examined were histologically normal. A developmental analysis of the gonadal tissues demonstrated that the germ cells were specifically depleted as early as day 11.5 of embryonic development, while the various somatic cells were apparently unaffected. Therefore, the mutated locus must play a critical role in the migration/proliferation of primordial germ cells to the genital ridges of developing embryos. In addition, females homozygous for the mutation could potentially be a valuable animal model of a human syndrome, premature ovarian failure. This mutation has been named germ-cell deficient, gcd. Images PMID:1924340

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2016-02-01

    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. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. MASTL is essential for anaphase entry of proliferating primordial germ cells and establishment of female germ cells in mice

    PubMed Central

    Risal, Sanjiv; Zhang, Jingjing; Adhikari, Deepak; Liu, Xiaoman; Shao, Jingchen; Hu, Mengwen; Busayavalasa, Kiran; Tu, Zhaowei; Chen, Zijiang; Kaldis, Philipp; Liu, Kui

    2017-01-01

    In mammals, primordial germ cells (PGCs) are the embryonic cell population that serve as germ cell precursors in both females and males. During mouse embryonic development, the majority of PGCs are arrested at the G2 phase when they migrate into the hindgut at 7.75–8.75 dpc (days post coitum). It is after 9.5 dpc that the PGCs undergo proliferation with a doubling time of 12.6 h. The molecular mechanisms underlying PGC proliferation are however not well studied. In this work. Here we studied how MASTL (microtubule-associated serine/threonine kinase-like)/Greatwall kinase regulates the rapid proliferation of PGCs. We generated a mouse model where we specifically deleted Mastl in PGCs and found a significant loss of PGCs before the onset of meiosis in female PGCs. We further revealed that the deletion of Mastl in PGCs did not prevent mitotic entry, but led to a failure of the cells to proceed beyond metaphase-like stage, indicating that MASTL-mediated molecular events are indispensable for anaphase entry in PGCs. These mitotic defects further led to the death of Mastl-null PGCs by 12.5 dpc. Moreover, the defect in mitotic progression observed in the Mastl-null PGCs was rescued by simultaneous deletion of Ppp2r1a (α subunit of PP2A). Thus, our results demonstrate that MASTL, PP2A, and therefore regulated phosphatase activity have a fundamental role in establishing female germ cell population in gonads by controlling PGC proliferation during embryogenesis. PMID:28224044

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

    ClinicalTrials.gov

    2017-02-07

    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

  3. Regulation of germ cell meiosis in the fetal ovary.

    PubMed

    Spiller, Cassy M; Bowles, Josephine; Koopman, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Fertility depends on correct regulation of meiosis, the special form of cell division that gives rise to haploid gametes. In female mammals, germ cells enter meiosis during fetal ovarian development, while germ cells in males avoid entering meiosis until puberty. Decades of research have shown that meiotic entry, and germ cell sex determination, are not initiated intrinsically within the germ cells. Instead, meiosis is induced by signals produced by the surrounding somatic cells. More recently, retinoic acid (RA), the active derivative of vitamin A, has been implicated in meiotic induction during fetal XX and postnatal XY germ cell development. Evidence for an intricate system of RA synthesis and degradation in the fetal ovary and testis has emerged, explaining past observations of infertility in vitamin A-deficient rodents. Here we review how meiosis is triggered in fetal ovarian germ cells, paying special attention to the role of RA in this process.

  4. 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.

  5. Finding their way: themes in germ cell migration

    PubMed Central

    Barton, Lacy J.; LeBlanc, Michelle G.; Lehmann, Ruth

    2016-01-01

    Embryonic germ cell migration is a vital component of the germline lifecycle. The translocation of germ cells from the place of origin to the developing somatic gonad involves several processes including passive movements with underlying tissues, transepithelial migration, cell adhesion dynamics, the establishment of environmental guidance cues and the ability to sustain directed migration. How germ cells accomplish these feats in established model organisms will be discussed in this review, with a focus on recent discoveries and themes conserved across species. PMID:27484857

  6. Molecular mechanisms of male germ cell differentiation.

    PubMed

    Hecht, N B

    1998-07-01

    During spermatogenesis, diploid stem cells differentiate, undergo meiosis, and transform into haploid spermatozoa. As this precisely timed series of events proceeds, chromosomal ploidy is reduced and the nucleosomes of the chromatin are replaced by a transcriptionally quiescent protamine-containing nucleus. The premature termination of transcription during the haploid phase of spermatogenesis necessitates an especially prominent role for posttranscriptional regulation in the temporal and spatial expression of many testis-specific proteins and isozymes. In this review article, discussion will focus on novel mechanisms regulating gene expression in mammalian male germ cells from genome to protein.

  7. Lin28a regulates germ cell pool size and fertility

    PubMed Central

    Shinoda, Gen; de Soysa, T. Yvanka; Seligson, Marc T.; Yabuuchi, Akiko; Fujiwara, Yuko; Huang, Pei Yi; Hagan, John P.; Gregory, Richard I.; Moss, Eric G.; Daley, George Q.

    2013-01-01

    Overexpression of LIN28A is associated with human germ cell tumors and promotes primordial germ cell (PGC) development from embryonic stem cells in vitro and in chimeric mice. Knockdown of Lin28a inhibits PGC development in vitro, but how constitutional Lin28a deficiency affects the mammalian reproductive system in vivo remains unknown. Here, we generated Lin28a knockout (KO) mice and found that Lin28a deficiency compromises the size of the germ cell pool in both males and females by affecting PGC proliferation during embryogenesis. Interestingly however, in Lin28a KO males the germ cell pool partially recovers during postnatal expansion, while fertility remains impaired in both males and females mated to wild type mice. Embryonic overexpression of let-7, a microRNA negatively regulated by Lin28a, reduces the germ cell pool, corroborating the role of the Lin28a/let-7 axis in regulating the germ lineage. PMID:23378032

  8. Licensing of Primordial Germ Cells for Gametogenesis Depends on Genital Ridge Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yueh-Chiang; Nicholls, Peter K.; Soh, Y. Q. Shirleen; Daniele, Joseph R.; Junker, Jan Philipp; van Oudenaarden, Alexander; Page, David C.

    2015-01-01

    In mouse embryos at mid-gestation, primordial germ cells (PGCs) undergo licensing to become gametogenesis-competent cells (GCCs), gaining the capacity for meiotic initiation and sexual differentiation. GCCs then initiate either oogenesis or spermatogenesis in response to gonadal cues. Germ cell licensing has been considered to be a cell-autonomous and gonad-independent event, based on observations that some PGCs, having migrated not to the gonad but to the adrenal gland, nonetheless enter meiosis in a time frame parallel to ovarian germ cells -- and do so regardless of the sex of the embryo. Here we test the hypothesis that germ cell licensing is cell-autonomous by examining the fate of PGCs in Gata4 conditional mutant (Gata4 cKO) mouse embryos. Gata4, which is expressed only in somatic cells, is known to be required for genital ridge initiation. PGCs in Gata4 cKO mutants migrated to the area where the genital ridge, the precursor of the gonad, would ordinarily be formed. However, these germ cells did not undergo licensing and instead retained characteristics of PGCs. Our results indicate that licensing is not purely cell-autonomous but is induced by the somatic genital ridge. PMID:25739037

  9. Licensing of primordial germ cells for gametogenesis depends on genital ridge signaling.

    PubMed

    Hu, Yueh-Chiang; Nicholls, Peter K; Soh, Y Q Shirleen; Daniele, Joseph R; Junker, Jan Philipp; van Oudenaarden, Alexander; Page, David C

    2015-03-01

    In mouse embryos at mid-gestation, primordial germ cells (PGCs) undergo licensing to become gametogenesis-competent cells (GCCs), gaining the capacity for meiotic initiation and sexual differentiation. GCCs then initiate either oogenesis or spermatogenesis in response to gonadal cues. Germ cell licensing has been considered to be a cell-autonomous and gonad-independent event, based on observations that some PGCs, having migrated not to the gonad but to the adrenal gland, nonetheless enter meiosis in a time frame parallel to ovarian germ cells -- and do so regardless of the sex of the embryo. Here we test the hypothesis that germ cell licensing is cell-autonomous by examining the fate of PGCs in Gata4 conditional mutant (Gata4 cKO) mouse embryos. Gata4, which is expressed only in somatic cells, is known to be required for genital ridge initiation. PGCs in Gata4 cKO mutants migrated to the area where the genital ridge, the precursor of the gonad, would ordinarily be formed. However, these germ cells did not undergo licensing and instead retained characteristics of PGCs. Our results indicate that licensing is not purely cell-autonomous but is induced by the somatic genital ridge.

  10. Germ cell-specific sustained activation of Wnt signalling perturbs spermatogenesis in aged mice, possibly through non-coding RNAs

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Manish; Atkins, Joshua; Cairns, Murray; Ali, Ayesha; Tanwar, Pradeep S.

    2016-01-01

    Dysregulated Wnt signalling is associated with human infertility and testicular cancer. However, the role of Wnt signalling in male germ cells remains poorly understood. In this study, we first confirmed the activity of Wnt signalling in mouse, dog and human testes. To determine the physiological importance of the Wnt pathway, we developed a mouse model with germ cell-specific constitutive activation of βcatenin. In young mutants, similar to controls, germ cell development was normal. However, with age, mutant testes showed defective spermatogenesis, progressive germ cell loss, and flawed meiotic entry of spermatogonial cells. Flow sorting confirmed reduced germ cell populations at the leptotene/zygotene stages of meiosis in mutant group. Using thymidine analogues-based DNA double labelling technique, we further established decline in germ cell proliferation and differentiation. Overactivation of Wnt/βcatenin signalling in a spermatogonial cell line resulted in reduced cell proliferation, viability and colony formation. RNA sequencing analysis of testes revealed significant alterations in the non-coding regions of mutant mouse genome. One of the novel non-coding RNAs was switched on in mutant testes compared to controls. QPCR analysis confirmed upregulation of this unique non-coding RNA in mutant testis. In summary, our results highlight the significance of Wnt signalling in male germ cells. PMID:27992363

  11. Black carp vasa identifies embryonic and gonadal germ cells.

    PubMed

    Xue, Ting; Yu, Miao; Pan, Qihua; Wang, Yizhou; Fang, Jian; Li, Lingyu; Deng, Yu; Chen, Kai; Wang, Qian; Chen, Tiansheng

    2017-07-01

    Identification of molecular markers is an essential step in the study of germ cells. Vasa is an RNA helicase and a well-known germ cell marker that plays a crucial role in germ cell development. Here, we identified the Vasa homolog termed Mpvasa as the first germ cell marker in black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus). First, a 2819-bp full-length Mpvasa complementary DNA (cDNA) was cloned by PCR using degenerated primers of conserved sequences and gene-specific primers. The Mpvasa cDNA sequence encodes a 637-amino acid protein that contains eight conserved characteristic motifs of the DEAD box protein family, and shares high identity to grass carp (81%) and zebrafish (74%) vasa homologs. Second, Mpvasa expression was restricted to the gonad in adulthood by RT-PCR and Western blot analysis. The dynamic patterns of temporal-spatial expression of Mpvasa during gametogenesis were examined by in situ hybridization, and Mpvasa transcripts were strictly detected in gonadal germ cells throughout oogenesis, predominantly in immature oocytes (stage I, II, and III oocytes). Third, Mpvasa transcripts were highly detected in unfertilized eggs and early embryos, and the signal indicated a dynamic migration of the primordial germ cells during embryogenesis, suggesting that Mpvasa transcripts were maternally inherited and specifically distributed in germ cells. Taken together, these results demonstrated that Mpvasa is an applicable molecular marker for identification of gonadal and embryonic germ cells, which facilitates the isolation and utilization of germ cells in black carp.

  12. Intracranial germ cell tumor mimicking anorexia nervosa.

    PubMed

    Andreu Martínez, F J; Martínez Mateu, J M

    2006-12-01

    We report on a case of a 23 year-old female diagnosed as having a germ-cell tumour located in the sellar region. The patient referred anorexia, psychic disorders, weight loss of 15 kilograms and secondary amenorrhea during the previous three years. This is the reason why the patient was diagnosed as having anorexia nervosa. Subsequently, the patient presented some endocrine dysfunction. MRI revealed the existence of a lesion located in suprasellar and hypothalamic regions. This case shows that the presence of intracranial tumours next to the hypothalamus must be borne in mind as a rare but real possibility in cases of anorexia nervosa, specially in those non-typical cases.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  14. Germ cell migration across Sertoli cell tight junctions.

    PubMed

    Smith, Benjamin E; Braun, Robert E

    2012-11-09

    The blood-testis barrier includes strands of tight junctions between somatic Sertoli cells that restricts solutes from crossing the paracellular space, creating a microenvironment within seminiferous tubules and providing immune privilege to meiotic and postmeiotic cells. Large cysts of germ cells transit the Sertoli cell tight junctions (SCTJs) without compromising their integrity. We used confocal microscopy to visualize SCTJ components during germ cell cyst migration across the SCTJs. Cysts become enclosed within a network of transient compartments fully bounded by old and new tight junctions. Dissolution of the old tight junctions releases the germ cells into the adluminal compartment, thus completing transit across the blood-testis barrier. Claudin 3, a tight junction protein, is transiently incorporated into new tight junctions and then replaced by claudin 11.

  15. Isolation and transplantation of sturgeon early-stage germ cells.

    PubMed

    Pšenička, Martin; Saito, Taiju; Linhartová, Zuzana; Gazo, Ievgeniia

    2015-04-01

    We report, for the first time, a series of baseline techniques comprising isolation and transplantation of female and male early-stage germ cells in sturgeon to generate a germline chimera as a potential tool for surrogate reproduction and gene banking. Cells were dissociated from testis, characterized by mostly spermatogonia, and from ovary, exclusively comprising oogonia and previtellogenic oocytes, of Acipenser baerii, using 0.3% trypsin (2 hours, 23 °C) dissolved in PBS, isotonic with blood plasma. The dissociated germ cells were sorted by Percoll gradient centrifugation followed by immunolabeling with germ cell-specific vasa antibody DDX4, while 10% to 30% Percoll solution contained 79.4% and 70.8% labeled testicular and ovarian cells. Sorted germ cells were transplanted into a cavity close to a presumptive genital ridge of newly hatched heterospecific Acipenser ruthenus larvae with fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled endogenous primordial germ cells. The transplanted germ cells were randomly distributed in the body cavity through 30-day posttransplantation (dpt). Subsequently, the cells were organized into genital ridges 50 dpt and proliferated 90 dpt. The number of both transplanted and endogenous germ cells significantly increased from 18.1, 22.2, and 29.1 (30 dpt) to 108.5, 90.8, and 118.5 (90 dpt) in ovarian, testicular, and endogenous germ cells, respectively (P < 0.05). The efficiency of transplantation was 60% (counted 90 dpt). Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Environmentally Induced Transgenerational Epigenetic Reprogramming of Primordial Germ Cells and the Subsequent Germ Line

    PubMed Central

    Skinner, Michael K.; Haque, Carlos Guerrero-Bosagna M.; Nilsson, Eric; Bhandari, Ramji; McCarrey, John R.

    2013-01-01

    A number of environmental factors (e.g. toxicants) have been shown to promote the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease and phenotypic variation. Transgenerational inheritance requires the germline transmission of altered epigenetic information between generations in the absence of direct environmental exposures. The primary periods for epigenetic programming of the germ line are those associated with primordial germ cell development and subsequent fetal germline development. The current study examined the actions of an agricultural fungicide vinclozolin on gestating female (F0 generation) progeny in regards to the primordial germ cell (PGC) epigenetic reprogramming of the F3 generation (i.e. great-grandchildren). The F3 generation germline transcriptome and epigenome (DNA methylation) were altered transgenerationally. Interestingly, disruptions in DNA methylation patterns and altered transcriptomes were distinct between germ cells at the onset of gonadal sex determination at embryonic day 13 (E13) and after cord formation in the testis at embryonic day 16 (E16). A larger number of DNA methylation abnormalities (epimutations) and transcriptional alterations were observed in the E13 germ cells than in the E16 germ cells. These observations indicate that altered transgenerational epigenetic reprogramming and function of the male germline is a component of vinclozolin induced epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease. Insights into the molecular control of germline transmitted epigenetic inheritance are provided. PMID:23869203

  17. Environmentally induced transgenerational epigenetic reprogramming of primordial germ cells and the subsequent germ line.

    PubMed

    Skinner, Michael K; Guerrero-Bosagna, Carlos; Haque, M; Nilsson, Eric; Bhandari, Ramji; McCarrey, John R

    2013-01-01

    A number of environmental factors (e.g. toxicants) have been shown to promote the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease and phenotypic variation. Transgenerational inheritance requires the germline transmission of altered epigenetic information between generations in the absence of direct environmental exposures. The primary periods for epigenetic programming of the germ line are those associated with primordial germ cell development and subsequent fetal germline development. The current study examined the actions of an agricultural fungicide vinclozolin on gestating female (F0 generation) progeny in regards to the primordial germ cell (PGC) epigenetic reprogramming of the F3 generation (i.e. great-grandchildren). The F3 generation germline transcriptome and epigenome (DNA methylation) were altered transgenerationally. Interestingly, disruptions in DNA methylation patterns and altered transcriptomes were distinct between germ cells at the onset of gonadal sex determination at embryonic day 13 (E13) and after cord formation in the testis at embryonic day 16 (E16). A larger number of DNA methylation abnormalities (epimutations) and transcriptional alterations were observed in the E13 germ cells than in the E16 germ cells. These observations indicate that altered transgenerational epigenetic reprogramming and function of the male germline is a component of vinclozolin induced epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease. Insights into the molecular control of germline transmitted epigenetic inheritance are provided.

  18. Translational Control of Germ Cell Decisions.

    PubMed

    Pushpa, Kumari; Kumar, Ganga Anil; Subramaniam, Kuppuswamy

    2017-01-01

    Germline poses unique challenges to gene expression control at the transcriptional level. While the embryonic germline maintains a global hold on new mRNA transcription, the female adult germline produces transcripts that are not translated into proteins until embryogenesis of subsequent generation. As a consequence, translational control plays a central role in governing various germ cell decisions including the formation of primordial germ cells, self-renewal/differentiation decisions in the adult germline, onset of gametogenesis and oocyte maturation. Mechanistically, several common themes such as asymmetric localization of mRNAs, conserved RNA-binding proteins that control translation by 3' UTR binding, translational activation by the cytoplasmic elongation of the polyA tail and the assembly of mRNA-protein complexes called mRNPs have emerged from the studies on Caenorhabditis elegans, Xenopus and Drosophila. How mRNPs assemble, what influences their dynamics, and how a particular 3' UTR-binding protein turns on the translation of certain mRNAs while turning off other mRNAs at the same time and space are key challenges for future work.

  19. Pluripotency circuit members mediate germ layer fate choice of embryonic stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Thomson, Matt; Liu, Siyuan John; Zou, Ling-Nan; Smith, Zack; Meissner, Alexander; Ramanathan, Sharad

    2016-01-01

    Summary Cell fate decisions are fundamental for development, but we do not know how cells select between alternate fates. Here, we asked how mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells leave the pluripotent state and choose between germ layer fates. By analyzing the dynamics of the transcriptional circuit that maintains the pluripotent state during lineage choice, we found that the proteins that maintain ES cell identity also orchestrate germ layer fate selection. Core pluripotency factors, Oct4 and Sox2, each suppress differentiation into a single germ layer fate. Differentiation signals continuously and asymmetrically modulate Oct4 and Sox2 protein levels, altering their binding pattern in the genome, and leading to cell fate choice. The same factors that maintain pluripotency, thus, also integrate external signals and control lineage selection. Our study provides a framework for understanding how complex transcription factor networks control cell fate decisions in progenitor cells. PMID:21663792

  20. Robust In Vitro Induction of Human Germ Cell Fate from Pluripotent Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Kotaro; Yokobayashi, Shihori; Nakamura, Tomonori; Okamoto, Ikuhiro; Yabuta, Yukihiro; Kurimoto, Kazuki; Ohta, Hiroshi; Moritoki, Yoshinobu; Iwatani, Chizuru; Tsuchiya, Hideaki; Nakamura, Shinichiro; Sekiguchi, Kiyotoshi; Sakuma, Tetsushi; Yamamoto, Takashi; Mori, Takahide; Woltjen, Knut; Nakagawa, Masato; Yamamoto, Takuya; Takahashi, Kazutoshi; Yamanaka, Shinya; Saitou, Mitinori

    2015-08-06

    Mechanisms underlying human germ cell development are unclear, partly due to difficulties in studying human embryos and lack of suitable experimental systems. Here, we show that human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) differentiate into incipient mesoderm-like cells (iMeLCs), which robustly generate human primordial germ cell-like cells (hPGCLCs) that can be purified using the surface markers EpCAM and INTEGRINα6. The transcriptomes of hPGCLCs and primordial germ cells (PGCs) isolated from non-human primates are similar, and although specification of hPGCLCs and mouse PGCs rely on similar signaling pathways, hPGCLC specification transcriptionally activates germline fate without transiently inducing eminent somatic programs. This includes genes important for naive pluripotency and repression of key epigenetic modifiers, concomitant with epigenetic reprogramming. Accordingly, BLIMP1, which represses somatic programs in mice, activates and stabilizes a germline transcriptional circuit and represses a default neuronal differentiation program. Together, these findings provide a foundation for understanding and reconstituting human germ cell development in vitro.

  1. The Formation of Germ Cell for Organizational Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ivaldi, Silvia; Scaratti, Giuseppe

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of the paper is to analyze the process of "germ cell" formation by framing it as an opportunity for promoting organizational learning and transformation. The paper aims to specifically answer two research questions: Why does the "germ cell" have a pivotal role in organization's transformation? and Which…

  2. Poland syndrome with intracranial germ cell tumor in a child.

    PubMed

    Elli, Murat; Oğur, Gönül; Dağdemir, Ayhan; Pinarli, Güçlü; Ceyhan, Meltem; Dağçinar, Adnan

    2009-01-01

    Poland syndrome is an uncommon unilateral deformity of chest wall and upper extremity with variable manifestations. Although numerous case reports of Poland syndrome associated with malignancies have been published, intracranial germ cell tumor in Poland syndrome has not been previously reported. The authors describe a 15-year-old male patient with intracranial germ cell tumor and Poland syndrome.

  3. The Formation of Germ Cell for Organizational Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ivaldi, Silvia; Scaratti, Giuseppe

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of the paper is to analyze the process of "germ cell" formation by framing it as an opportunity for promoting organizational learning and transformation. The paper aims to specifically answer two research questions: Why does the "germ cell" have a pivotal role in organization's transformation? and Which…

  4. Expression of DPP6 in Meckel's cartilage and tooth germs during mouse facial development.

    PubMed

    Du, J; Fan, Z; Ma, X; Wu, Y; Liu, S; Gao, Y; Shen, Y; Fan, M; Wang, S

    2014-01-01

    Dipeptidyl peptidase-like protein 6 (DPP6), a member of the dipeptidyl aminopeptidase family, plays distinct roles in brain development, but its expression in embryonic Meckel's cartilage and tooth germs development is unknown. We analyzed the expression pattern of DPP6 in Meckel's cartilage and tooth germs development using in situ hybridization. DPP6 was detected in different patterns in Meckel's cartilage and tooth germs during mouse facial development from 11.5 to 13.5 days post-coitus (dpc) embryos. The expression pattern of DPP6 suggests that it may be involved in mandible and tooth development.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  7. Genetic and molecular analysis of chlorambucil-induced germ-line mutations in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Rinchik, E M; Bangham, J W; Hunsicker, P R; Cacheiro, N L; Kwon, B S; Jackson, I J; Russell, L B

    1990-02-01

    Eighteen variants recovered from specific locus mutation rate experiments involving the mutagen chlorambucil were subjected to several genetic and molecular analyses. Most mutations were found to be homozygous lethal. Because lethality is often presumptive evidence for multilocus-deletion events, 10 mutations were analyzed by Southern blot analysis with probes at, or closely linked to, several of the specific locus test markers, namely, albino (c), brown (b), and dilute (d). All eight mutations (two c; three b; two d; and one dilute-short ear [Df(d se)]) that arose in post-spermatogonial germ cells were deleted for DNA sequences. No evidence for deletion of two d-se region probes was obtained for the remaining two d mutations that arose in stem-cell spermatogonia. Six of the primary mutants also produced low litter sizes ("semisterility"). Karyotypic analysis has, to date, confirmed the presence of reciprocal translocations in four of the six. The high frequency of deletions and translocations among the mutations induced in post-spermatogonial stages by chlorambucil, combined with its overall high efficiency in inducing mutations in these stages, should make chlorambucil mutagenesis useful for generating experimentally valuable germ-line deletions throughout the mouse genome.

  8. Gonadal status of male recipient mice influences germ cell development in immature buffalo testis tissue xenograft.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Niranjan; Mahla, Ranjeet Singh; Thathi, Revanth; Suman, Sanjay Kumar; Jose, Jedy; Goel, Sandeep

    2012-01-01

    Growth and development of immature testis xenograft from various domestic mammals has been shown in mouse recipients; however, buffalo testis xenografts have not been reported to date. In this study, small fragments of testis tissue from 8-week-old buffalo calves were implanted subcutaneously onto the back of immunodeficient male mouse recipients, which were either castrated or left intact (non-castrated). The xenografts were retrieved and analyzed 12 and 24 weeks later. The grafted tissue survived and grew in both types of recipient with a significant increase in weight and seminiferous tubule diameter. Recovery of grafts from intact recipients 24 weeks post-grafting was significantly lower than that from the castrated recipients. Seminal vesicle indices and serum testosterone levels were lower in castrated recipients at both collection time points in comparison to the intact recipients and non-grafted intact mouse controls. Pachytene spermatocytes were the most advanced germ cells observed in grafts recovered from castrated recipients 24 weeks post-grafting. Complete spermatogenesis, as indicated by the presence of elongated spermatids, was present only in grafts from intact recipients collected 24 weeks post-grafting. However, significant number of germ cells with DNA damage was also detected in these grafts as indicated by TUNEL assay. The complete germ cell differentiation in xenografts from intact recipients may be attributed to efficient Sertoli cell maturation. These results suggest that germ cell differentiation in buffalo testis xenograft can be completed by altering the recipient gonadal status.

  9. 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.

  10. Easy assessment of ES cell clone potency for chimeric development and germ-line competency by an optimized aggregation method.

    PubMed

    Kondoh, G; Yamamoto, Y; Yoshida, K; Suzuki, Y; Osuka, S; Nakano, Y; Morita, T; Takeda, J

    1999-05-13

    Production of germ-line competent chimeric mice from embryonic stem (ES) cells is an inevitable step in establishing gene-manipulated mouse lineages. A common method used for creating chimeric mice is the injection of ES cells into the blastocoelic cavity (blastocyst injection). The aggregation method is an alternative way to introduce ES cells to the host embryo which is less difficult than blastocyst injection. Here we re-examined the condition of embryo-ES cell coculture on the aggregation method and found improvement of germ-line competent chimeric production by a simple modification of the coculture medium. Moreover, R1 ES cell and its 10 gene-manipulated subclones were tested by this method. Although all ES cell clones showed good morphology and a normal karyotype, the efficiency of chimeric development and germ-line transmission varied among clones and were classified into three grades according to germ-line competency. In the first group (class A), both the incidence of chimera with high ES cell contribution and the rate of germ-line transmission were fairly high. Germ-line competent chimeras were obtained but with rather low efficiency in the second group (class B), while another group (class C) showed an absence of high ES cell-contributed chimeras and no germ-line transmission. These results suggest the usefulness of this modified aggregation method to predict the potency of ES cell clones for germ-line competency.

  11. Hedgehog does not guide migrating Drosophila germ cells

    PubMed Central

    Renault, Andrew D.; Ricardo, Sara; Kunwar, Prabhat S.; Santos, Ana; Starz-Gaiano, Michelle; Stein, Jennifer; Lehmann, Ruth

    2009-01-01

    In many species, the germ cells, precursors of sperm and egg, migrate during embryogenesis. The signals that regulate this migration are thus essential for fertility. In flies, lipid signals have been shown to affect germ cell guidance. In particular, the synthesis of geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate through the 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl coenzyme A reductase (Hmgcr) pathway is critical for attracting germ cells to their target tissue. In a genetic analysis of signaling pathways known to affect cell migration of other migratory cells, we failed to find a role for the Hedgehog (Hh) pathway in germ cell migration. However, previous reports had implicated Hh as a germ cell attractant in flies and suggested that Hh signaling is enhanced through the action of the Hmgcr pathway. We therefore repeated several critical experiments and carried out further experiments to test specifically whether Hh is a germ cell attractant in flies. In contrast to previously reported findings and consistent with findings in zebrafish our data do not support the notion that Hh has a direct role in the guidance of migrating germ cells in flies. PMID:19389345

  12. Transient translational quiescence in primordial germ cells.

    PubMed

    Oulhen, Nathalie; Swartz, S Zachary; Laird, Jessica; Mascaro, Alexandra; Wessel, Gary

    2017-02-24

    Stem cells in animals often exhibit a slow cell cycle and/or low transcriptional activity referred to as quiescence. Here we report that the translational activity in the primordial germ cells (PGCs) of the sea urchin embryo (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) is quiescent. We measured new protein synthesis with O-propargyl-puromycin, and L-homopropargylglycine, Click-iT technologies and determined that these cells synthesize protein at only 6% the level of their adjacent somatic cells. Knock-down of translation of the RNA-binding protein Nanos2 by morpholino anti-sense oligonucleotides, or knock-out of the Nanos2 gene by CRISPR/Cas9 resulted in a significant, but partial increase (47%) in general translation specifically in the PGCs. We found that the mRNA of the translation factor eEF1A is excluded from the PGCs in a Nanos2-dependent manner, a consequence of a Nanos/Pumilio response element (PRE) in its 3'UTR. In addition to eEF1A, the cytoplasmic pH of the PGCs appears to repress translation and simply increasing the pH also significantly restores translation selectively in the PGCs. We conclude that the PGCs of this sea urchin institute parallel pathways to quiesce translation thoroughly but transiently.

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

    ClinicalTrials.gov

    2017-01-20

    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

  14. Efficient genetic modification and germ-line transmission of primordial germ cells using piggyBac and Tol2 transposons.

    PubMed

    Macdonald, Joni; Taylor, Lorna; Sherman, Adrian; Kawakami, Koichi; Takahashi, Yoshiko; Sang, Helen M; McGrew, Michael J

    2012-06-05

    The derivation of germ-line competent avian primordial germ cells establishes a cell-based model system for the investigation of germ cell differentiation and the production of genetically modified animals. Current methods to modify primordial germ cells using DNA or retroviral vectors are inefficient and prone to epigenetic silencing. Here, we validate the use of transposable elements for the genetic manipulation of primordial germ cells. We demonstrate that chicken primordial germ cells can be modified in vitro using transposable elements. Both piggyBac and Tol2 transposons efficiently transpose primordial germ cells. Tol2 transposon integration sites were spread throughout both the macro- and microchromosomes of the chicken genome and were more prevalent in gene transcriptional units and intronic regions, consistent with transposon integrations observed in other species. We determined that the presence of insulator elements was not required for reporter gene expression from the integrated transposon. We further demonstrate that a gene-trap cassette carried in the Tol2 transposon can trap and mutate endogenous transcripts in primordial germ cells. Finally, we observed that modified primordial germ cells form functional gametes as demonstrated by the generation of transgenic offspring that correctly expressed a reporter gene carried in the transposon. Transposable elements are therefore efficient vectors for the genetic manipulation of primordial germ cells and the chicken genome.

  15. Testicular germ cell tumors: pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment.

    PubMed

    Winter, Christian; Albers, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Testicular germ cell tumors represent the most common solid malignancy of young men aged 15-40 years. Histopathologically, testicular germ cell tumors are divided into two major groups: pure seminoma and nonseminoma. The pathogenesis of testicular germ cell tumors remains unknown; however, cryptorchidism is the main risk factor, and molecular studies have shown strong evidence of an association between genetic alterations and testicular germ cell tumors. In cases of suspicion for testicular germ cell tumor, a surgical exploration with orchiectomy is obligatory. After completion of diagnostic procedures, levels of serum tumor markers and the clinical stage based on the International Union Against Cancer tumor-node-metastasis classification should be defined. Patients with early-stage testicular germ cell tumors are treated by individualized risk stratification within a multidisciplinary approach. The individual management (surveillance, chemotherapy or radiotherapy) has to be balanced according to clinical features and the risk of short-term and long-term toxic effects. Treatment for metastatic tumors is based on risk stratification according to International Germ Cell Cancer Collaborative Group classification and is performed with cisplatin-based chemotherapy and residual tumor resection in cases of residual tumor lesion. High-dose chemotherapy represents a curative option for patients with second or subsequent relapses.

  16. An in situ hybridization study of Hyaluronan synthase (Has) mRNA in developing mouse molar and incisor tooth germs.

    PubMed

    Morita, Tsuyoshi; Fujikawa, Kaoru; Baba, Otto; Shibata, Shunichi

    2016-05-01

    Hyaluronan (HA) is a major constituent molecule in most extracellular matrices and is synthesized by Hyaluronan synthase (Has). In the present study, we examined expression patterns of Has1, -2, -3 mRNA in developing mouse molar and incisor tooth germs from embryonic day (E) 11.5 to postnatal day (P) 7, focusing on Hertwig's epithelial root sheath (HERS) and the apical bud in particular. Has1 mRNA expression was not detected in all tooth germs examined. Has2 mRNA was expressed in the surrounding mesenchyme from E12.0 to 18.0 in both molar and incisor tooth germs, but disappeared after birth. Meanwhile, Has3 mRNA was exclusively expressed within the enamel organ, especially in the inner enamel epithelium (IEE), stellate reticulum (SR), and stratum intermedium (SI) until the early bell stage at E16.0. Has3 mRNA disappeared as IEE differentiated into differentiating ameloblasts (dABs), but remained in SI until the root developmental stage of the molar tooth germ at P7. Has3 mRNA was also expressed in HERS until P7. In incisors, Has3 mRNA was expressed in the apical bud, especially in the transit-amplifying (TA) cell region from E16.0 to P7, and in the papillary layer (PL) adjacent to the mature enamel. These gene expression patterns suggested that Has3 is the main control factor for prenatal and postnatal HA synthesis of the tooth germ, and may in part regulate crown and root formation of the tooth germ, maintenance of stem cell niches in the apical bud as well as mineral transport in PL. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Use of Stirred Suspension Bioreactors for Male Germ Cell Enrichment

    PubMed Central

    Sakib, Sadman; Dores, Camila; Rancourt, Derrick

    2016-01-01

    Spermatogenesis is a stem cell based system. Both therapeutic and biomedical research applications of spermatogonial stem cells require a large number of cells. However, there are only few germ line stem cells in the testis, contained in the fraction of undifferentiated spermatogonia. The lack of specific markers makes it difficult to isolate these cells. The long term maintenance and proliferation of nonrodent germ cells in culture has so far been met with limited success, partially due to the lack of highly enriched starting populations. Differential plating, which depends on the differential adhesion properties of testicular somatic and germ cells to tissue culture dishes, has been the method of choice for germ cell enrichment, especially for nonrodent germ cells. However, for large animals, this process becomes labor intensive and increases variability due to the need for extensive handling. Here, we describe the use of stirred suspension bioreactors, as a novel system for enriching undifferentiated germ cells from 1-week-old pigs. This method capitalizes on the adherent properties of somatic cells within a controlled environment, thus promoting the enrichment of progenitor cells with minimal handling and variability. PMID:27066790

  18. Epigenetic transitions in germ cell development and meiosis.

    PubMed

    Kota, Satya K; Feil, Robert

    2010-11-16

    Germ cell development is controlled by unique gene expression programs and involves epigenetic reprogramming of histone modifications and DNA methylation. The central event is meiosis, during which homologous chromosomes pair and recombine, processes that involve histone alterations. At unpaired regions, chromatin is repressed by meiotic silencing. After meiosis, male germ cells undergo chromatin remodeling, including histone-to-protamine replacement. Male and female germ cells are also differentially marked by parental imprints, which contribute to sex determination in insects and mediate genomic imprinting in mammals. Here, we review epigenetic transitions during gametogenesis and discuss novel insights from animal and human studies.

  19. Retinoic acid, meiosis and germ cell fate in mammals.

    PubMed

    Bowles, Josephine; Koopman, Peter

    2007-10-01

    Although mammalian sex is determined genetically, the sex-specific development of germ cells as sperm or oocytes is initiated by cues provided by the gonadal environment. During embryogenesis, germ cells in an ovary enter meiosis, thereby committing to oogenesis. By contrast, germ cells in a testicular environment do not enter meiosis until puberty. Recent findings indicate that the key to this sex-specific timing of meiosis entry is the presence or absence of the signaling molecule retinoic acid. Although this knowledge clarifies a long-standing mystery in reproductive biology, it also poses many new questions, which we discuss in this review.

  20. An Evolutionarily Conserved Plant RKD Factor Controls Germ Cell Differentiation.

    PubMed

    Koi, Satoshi; Hisanaga, Tetsuya; Sato, Katsutoshi; Shimamura, Masaki; Yamato, Katsuyuki T; Ishizaki, Kimitsune; Kohchi, Takayuki; Nakajima, Keiji

    2016-07-11

    In contrast to animals, in which the germ cell lineage is established during embryogenesis, plant germ cells are generated in reproductive organs via reprogramming of somatic cells. The factors that control germ cell differentiation and reprogramming in plants are poorly understood. Members of the RKD subfamily of plant-specific RWP-RK transcription factors have been implicated in egg cell formation in Arabidopsis based on their expression patterns and ability to cause an egg-like transcriptome upon ectopic expression [1]; however, genetic evidence of their involvement is lacking, due to possible genetic redundancy, haploid lethality, and the technical difficulty of analyzing egg cell differentiation in angiosperms. Here we analyzed the factors that govern germ cell formation in the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha. This recently revived model bryophyte has several characteristics that make it ideal for studies of germ cell formation, such as low levels of genetic redundancy, readily accessible germ cells, and the ability to propagate asexually via gemma formation [2, 3]. Our analyses revealed that MpRKD, a single RWP-RK factor closely related to angiosperm RKDs, is preferentially expressed in developing eggs and sperm precursors in M. polymorpha. Targeted disruption of MpRKD had no effect on the gross morphology of the vegetative and reproductive organs but led to striking defects in egg and sperm cell differentiation, demonstrating that MpRKD is an essential regulator of germ cell differentiation. Together with previous findings [1, 4-6], our results suggest that RKD factors are evolutionarily conserved regulators of germ cell differentiation in land plants. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Current Management of Refractory Germ Cell Tumors and Future Directions.

    PubMed

    Allen, J Clayton; Kirschner, Austin; Scarpato, Kristen R; Morgans, Alicia K

    2017-02-01

    We review current management strategies for patients with relapsed and refractory germ cell tumors (GCTs), defined as relapsed or persistent disease following at least one line of cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Additionally, we discuss future directions in the management of these patients. Recent studies involving targeted therapies have been disappointing. Nevertheless, studies of the management of refractory germ cell cancer are ongoing, with a focus on optimal utilization of high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplant, as well as the role of immune checkpoint inhibitors in refractory germ cell tumors. Studies aiming to identify those patients who may benefit from more intensive treatment up front to prevent the development of refractory disease are also in progress. Testicular germ cell tumors are among the most curable of all solid tumor malignancies, with cure being possible even in the refractory, metastatic setting. Treatment of refractory disease remains a challenging clinical scenario, but potentially practice changing studies are ongoing.

  2. 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.

  3. Development, differentiation and manipulation of chicken germ cells.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Yoshiaki; Kagami, Hiroshi; Tagami, Takahiro

    2013-01-01

    Germ cells are the only cell type capable of transmitting genetic information to the next generation. During development, they are set aside from all somatic cells of the embryo. In many species, germ cells form at the fringe of the embryo proper and then traverse through several developing somatic tissues on their migration to the emerging gonads. Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are the only cells in developing embryos with the potential to transmit genetic information to the next generation. Unlike other species, in avian embryos, PGCs use blood circulation for transport to the future gonadal region. This unique accessibility of avian PGCs during early development provides an opportunity to collect and transplant PGCs. The recent development of methods for production of germline chimeras by transfer of PGCs, and long-term cultivation methods of chicken PGCs without losing their germline transmission ability have provided important breakthroughs for the preservation of germplasm , for the production of transgenic birds and study the germ cell system. This review will describe the development, migration, differentiation and manipulation of germ cells, and discuss the prospects that germ cell technologies offer for agriculture, biotechnology and academic research. © 2013 The Authors Development, Growth & Differentiation © 2013 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.

  4. Expression of steroidogenesis-related genes in murine male germ cells.

    PubMed

    Culty, Martine; Liu, Ying; Manku, Gurpreet; Chan, Wai-Yee; Papadopoulos, Vassilios

    2015-11-01

    For decades, only few tissues and cell types were defined as steroidogenic, capable of de novo steroid synthesis from cholesterol. However, with the refinement of detection methods, several tissues have now been added to the list of steroidogenic tissues. Besides their critical role as long-range acting hormones, steroids are also playing more discreet roles as local mediators and signaling molecules within the tissues they are produced. In testis, steroidogenesis is carried out by the Leydig cells through a broad network of proteins, mediating cholesterol delivery to CYP11A1, the first cytochrome of the steroidogenic cascade, and the sequential action of enzymes insuring the production of active steroids, the main one being testosterone. The knowledge that male germ cells can be directly regulated by steroids and that they express several steroidogenesis-related proteins led us to hypothesize that germ cells could produce steroids, acting as autocrine, intracrine and juxtacrine modulators, as a way to insure synchronized progression within spermatogenic cycles, and preventing inappropriate cell behaviors between neighboring cells. Gene expression and protein analyses of mouse and rat germ cells from neonatal gonocytes to spermatozoa showed that most steroidogenesis-associated genes are expressed in germ cells, showing cell type-, spermatogenic cycle-, and age-specific expression profiles. Highly expressed genes included genes involved in steroidogenesis and other cell functions, such as Acbd1 and 3, Tspo and Vdac1-3, and genes involved in fatty acids metabolism or synthesis, including Hsb17b4 10 and 12, implying broader roles than steroid synthesis in germ cells. These results support the possibility of an additional level of regulation of spermatogenesis exerted between adjacent germ cells. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Epigenetics: a way to understand the origin and biology of testicular germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Okamoto, Keisei

    2012-06-01

    Testicular germ cell tumors are neoplasms carrying two unique features. First, testicular germ cell tumors have a pluripotential nature and show protean histology ranging from that of germ cells to embryonal and differentiated somatic cells. Therefore, testicular germ cell tumors are interesting resources positioned at a crossroad in developmental and neoplastic processes. The second unique feature of testicular germ cell tumors is their exquisite sensitivity to cisplatin-based chemotherapy. This review summarizes recent research progress in the epigenetics of testicular germ cell tumors in an attempt to explain the abovementioned biological and clinical characteristics of testicular germ cell tumors.

  6. Transgenic rodent assay for quantifying male germ cell mutant frequency.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Jason M; Beal, Marc A; Gingerich, John D; Soper, Lynda; Douglas, George R; Yauk, Carole L; Marchetti, Francesco

    2014-08-06

    De novo mutations arise mostly in the male germline and may contribute to adverse health outcomes in subsequent generations. Traditional methods for assessing the induction of germ cell mutations require the use of large numbers of animals, making them impractical. As such, germ cell mutagenicity is rarely assessed during chemical testing and risk assessment. Herein, we describe an in vivo male germ cell mutation assay using a transgenic rodent model that is based on a recently approved Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) test guideline. This method uses an in vitro positive selection assay to measure in vivo mutations induced in a transgenic λgt10 vector bearing a reporter gene directly in the germ cells of exposed males. We further describe how the detection of mutations in the transgene recovered from germ cells can be used to characterize the stage-specific sensitivity of the various spermatogenic cell types to mutagen exposure by controlling three experimental parameters: the duration of exposure (administration time), the time between exposure and sample collection (sampling time), and the cell population collected for analysis. Because a large number of germ cells can be assayed from a single male, this method has superior sensitivity compared with traditional methods, requires fewer animals and therefore much less time and resources.

  7. Transgenic Rodent Assay for Quantifying Male Germ Cell Mutant Frequency

    PubMed Central

    O'Brien, Jason M.; Beal, Marc A.; Gingerich, John D.; Soper, Lynda; Douglas, George R.; Yauk, Carole L.; Marchetti, Francesco

    2014-01-01

    De novo mutations arise mostly in the male germline and may contribute to adverse health outcomes in subsequent generations. Traditional methods for assessing the induction of germ cell mutations require the use of large numbers of animals, making them impractical. As such, germ cell mutagenicity is rarely assessed during chemical testing and risk assessment. Herein, we describe an in vivo male germ cell mutation assay using a transgenic rodent model that is based on a recently approved Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) test guideline. This method uses an in vitro positive selection assay to measure in vivo mutations induced in a transgenic λgt10 vector bearing a reporter gene directly in the germ cells of exposed males. We further describe how the detection of mutations in the transgene recovered from germ cells can be used to characterize the stage-specific sensitivity of the various spermatogenic cell types to mutagen exposure by controlling three experimental parameters: the duration of exposure (administration time), the time between exposure and sample collection (sampling time), and the cell population collected for analysis. Because a large number of germ cells can be assayed from a single male, this method has superior sensitivity compared with traditional methods, requires fewer animals and therefore much less time and resources. PMID:25145276

  8. Female germ cell loss from radiation and chemical exposures

    SciTech Connect

    Dobson, R.L.; Felton, J.S.

    1983-01-01

    Female germ cells in some mammals are extremely sensitive to killing by ionizing radiation, especially during development. Primordial oocytes in juvenile mice have an LD50 of only 6-7 rad, and the germ cell pool in squirrel monkeys is destroyed by prenatal exposure of 0.7 rad/day. Sensitivity varies greatly with species and germ cell stage. Unusually high sensitivity has not been found in macaques and may not occur in man, but this has not been established for all developmental stages. The exquisite oocyte radiosensitivity in mice apparently reflects vulnerability of the plasma membrane, not DNA, which may have implications for estimating human genetic risks. Germ cells can be killed also by chemicals. Such oocyte loss, with similarities to radiation effects, is under increasing study, including chemotherapy observations in women. More than 75 compounds have been tested in mice, with in vivo toxicity quantified by oocyte loss; certain chemicals apparently act on the membrane.

  9. Lipid phosphate phosphatase activity regulates dispersal and bilateral sorting of embryonic germ cells in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Renault, Andrew D.; Kunwar, Prabhat S.; Lehmann, Ruth

    2010-01-01

    In Drosophila, germ cell survival and directionality of migration are controlled by two lipid phosphate phosphatases (LPP), wunen (wun) and wunen-2 (wun2). wun wun2 double mutant analysis reveals that the two genes, hereafter collectively called wunens, act redundantly in primordial germ cells. We find that wunens mediate germ cell-germ cell repulsion and that this repulsion is necessary for germ cell dispersal and proper transepithelial migration at the onset of migration and for the equal sorting of the germ cells between the two embryonic gonads during their migration. We propose that this dispersal function optimizes adult fecundity by assuring maximal germ cell occupancy of both gonads. Furthermore, we find that the requirement for wunens in germ cell survival can be eliminated by blocking germ cell migration. We suggest that this essential function of Wunen is needed to maintain cell integrity in actively migrating germ cells. PMID:20431117

  10. Baldness, acne and testicular germ cell tumors

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Androgen levels during critical periods of testicular development may be involved in the etiology of testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT). We evaluated the roles of adolescent and early adult life correlates of androgen exposure and TGCT in a hospital-based case control study. TGCT cases (n=187) and controls (n=148), matched on age, race and state of residence, participated in the study. Unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate associations between TGCT and male pattern baldness, severe acne, markers of puberty onset and body size. Cases were significantly less likely to report hair loss than controls (OR, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.4, 1.0). Amount of hair loss, increasing age at onset and increasing rate of loss were all inversely associated with TGCT (rate of hair loss: p-trend=0.03; age at onset: p-trend=0.03; amount of hair loss: p-trend=0.01). History of severe acne was inversely associated with TGCT (OR, 0.5; 95% CI, 0.3, 0.9) and height was positively associated with TGCT (p-trend=0.02). Increased endogenous androgen levels during puberty and early adulthood may be associated with decreased risk of TGCT. Additional studies of endogenous hormone levels during puberty and early adult life are warranted, especially studies evaluating the role of androgen synthesis, metabolism and uptake. PMID:21128977

  11. Ndrg3 gene regulates DSB repair during meiosis through modulation the ERK signal pathway in the male germ cells

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Hongjie; Zhang, Xuan; Jiang, Hanwei; Jiang, Xiaohua; Wang, Liu; Qi, Qi; Bi, Yuan; Wang, Jian; Shi, Qinghua; Li, Runsheng

    2017-01-01

    The N-myc downstream regulated gene (NDRG) family consists of 4 members, NDRG-1, -2, -3, -4. Physiologically, we found Ndrg3, a critical gene which led to homologous lethality in the early embryo development, regulated the male meiosis in mouse. The expression of Ndrg3 was enhanced specifically in germ cells, and reached its peak level in the pachytene stage spermatocyte. Haplo-insufficiency of Ndrg3 gene led to sub-infertility during the male early maturation. In the Ndrg3+/− germ cells, some meiosis events such as DSB repair and synaptonemal complex formation were impaired. Disturbances on meiotic prophase progression and spermatogenesis were observed. In mechanism, the attenuation of pERK1/2 signaling was detected in the heterozygous testis. With our primary spermatocyte culture system, we found that lactate promoted DSB repair via ERK1/2 signaling in the male mouse germ cells in vitro. Deficiency of Ndrg3 gene attenuated the activation of ERK which further led to the aberrancy of DSB repair in the male germ cells in mouse. Taken together, we reported that Ndrg3 gene modulated the lactate induced ERK pathway to facilitate DSB repair in male germ cells, which further regulated meiosis and subsequently fertility in male mouse. PMID:28290521

  12. Ndrg3 gene regulates DSB repair during meiosis through modulation the ERK signal pathway in the male germ cells.

    PubMed

    Pan, Hongjie; Zhang, Xuan; Jiang, Hanwei; Jiang, Xiaohua; Wang, Liu; Qi, Qi; Bi, Yuan; Wang, Jian; Shi, Qinghua; Li, Runsheng

    2017-03-14

    The N-myc downstream regulated gene (NDRG) family consists of 4 members, NDRG-1, -2, -3, -4. Physiologically, we found Ndrg3, a critical gene which led to homologous lethality in the early embryo development, regulated the male meiosis in mouse. The expression of Ndrg3 was enhanced specifically in germ cells, and reached its peak level in the pachytene stage spermatocyte. Haplo-insufficiency of Ndrg3 gene led to sub-infertility during the male early maturation. In the Ndrg3(+/-) germ cells, some meiosis events such as DSB repair and synaptonemal complex formation were impaired. Disturbances on meiotic prophase progression and spermatogenesis were observed. In mechanism, the attenuation of pERK1/2 signaling was detected in the heterozygous testis. With our primary spermatocyte culture system, we found that lactate promoted DSB repair via ERK1/2 signaling in the male mouse germ cells in vitro. Deficiency of Ndrg3 gene attenuated the activation of ERK which further led to the aberrancy of DSB repair in the male germ cells in mouse. Taken together, we reported that Ndrg3 gene modulated the lactate induced ERK pathway to facilitate DSB repair in male germ cells, which further regulated meiosis and subsequently fertility in male mouse.

  13. 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.

  14. Lin28a regulates germ cell pool size and fertility.

    PubMed

    Shinoda, Gen; De Soysa, T Yvanka; Seligson, Marc T; Yabuuchi, Akiko; Fujiwara, Yuko; Huang, Pei Yi; Hagan, John P; Gregory, Richard I; Moss, Eric G; Daley, George Q

    2013-05-01

    Overexpression of LIN28A is associated with human germ cell tumors and promotes primordial germ cell (PGC) development from embryonic stem cells in vitro and in chimeric mice. Knockdown of Lin28a inhibits PGC development in vitro, but how constitutional Lin28a deficiency affects the mammalian reproductive system in vivo remains unknown. Here, we generated Lin28a knockout (KO) mice and found that Lin28a deficiency compromises the size of the germ cell pool in both males and females by affecting PGC proliferation during embryogenesis. Interestingly however, in Lin28a KO males, the germ cell pool partially recovers during postnatal expansion, while fertility remains impaired in both males and females mated to wild-type mice. Embryonic overexpression of let-7, a microRNA negatively regulated by Lin28a, reduces the germ cell pool, corroborating the role of the Lin28a/let-7 axis in regulating the germ lineage. Copyright © 2013 AlphaMed Press.

  15. Role of Mael in early oogenesis and during germ-cell differentiation from embryonic stem cells in mice in vitro.

    PubMed

    Bahena, I; Xu, E; Betancourt, M; Casas, E; Ducolomb, Y; González, C; Bonilla, E

    2014-11-01

    In a previous study, we have identified a set of conserved spermatogenic genes whose expression is restricted to testis and ovary and that are developmentally regulated. One of these genes, the transcription factor Mael, has been reported to play an essential role in mouse spermatogenesis. Nevertheless, the role of Mael in mouse oogenesis has not been defined. In order to analyse the role of Mael in mouse oogenesis, the expression of this gene was blocked during early oogenesis in mouse in vitro using RNAi technology. In addition, the role of Mael during differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESC) into germ cells in vitro was analysed. Results show that downregulation of Mael by a specific short interfering RNA disrupted fetal oocyte growth and differentiation in fetal ovary explants in culture and the expression of several germ-cell markers in ESC during their differentiation. These results suggest that there is an important role for Mael in early oogenesis and during germ-cell differentiation from embryonic stem cells in mouse in vitro.

  16. Stage specificity, dose response, and doubling dose for mouse minisatellite germ-line mutation induced by acute radiation.

    PubMed

    Dubrova, Y E; Plumb, M; Brown, J; Fennelly, J; Bois, P; Goodhead, D; Jeffreys, A J

    1998-05-26

    Germ-line mutation induction at mouse minisatellite loci by acute irradiation with x-rays was studied at premeiotic and postmeiotic stages of spermatogenesis. An elevated paternal mutation rate was found after irradiation of premeiotic spermatogonia and stem cells, whereas the frequency of minisatellite mutation after postmeiotic irradiation of spermatids was similar to that in control litters. In contrast, paternal irradiation did not affect the maternal mutation rate. A linear dose-response curve for paternal mutation induced at premeiotic stages was found, with a doubling dose of 0.33 Gy, a value close to those obtained in mice after acute spermatogonia irradiation using other systems for mutation detection. High frequencies of spontaneous and induced mutations at minisatellite loci allow mutation induction to be evaluated at low doses of exposure in very small population samples, which currently makes minisatellite DNA the most powerful tool for monitoring radiation-induced germ-line mutation.

  17. Comparative molecular portraits of human unfertilized oocytes and primordial germ cells at 10 weeks of gestation.

    PubMed

    Diedrichs, Ferdinand; Mlody, Barbara; Matz, Peggy; Fuchs, Heiko; Chavez, Lukas; Drews, Katharina; Adjaye, James

    2012-01-01

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are precursors of gametes and share several features in common with pluripotent stem cells, such as alkaline phosphatase activity and the expression of pluripotency-associated genes such as OCT4 and NANOG. PGCs are able to differentiate into oocytes and spermatogonia and establish totipotency after fertilization. However, our knowledge of human germ cell development is still fragmentary. In this study, we have carried out genome-wide comparisons of the transcriptomes and molecular portraits of human male PGCs (mPGCs), female PGCs (fPGCs) and unfertilized oocytes. We detected 9210 genes showing elevated expression in fPGCs, 9184 in mPGCs and 9207 in oocytes, with 6342 of these expressed in common. As well as known germ cell-related genes such as BLIMP1/PRDM1, PIWIL2, VASA/DDX4, DAZL, STELLA/DPPA3 and LIN28, we also identified 465 novel non-annotated genes with orthologs in the mouse. A plethora of olfactory receptor-encoding genes were detected in all samples, which would suggest their involvement not only in sperm chemotaxis, but also in the development of female germ cells and oocytes. We anticipate that our data might increase our meagre knowledge of the genes and associated signaling pathways operative during germ cell development. This in turn might aid in the development of strategies enabling better differentiation and molecular characterisation of germ cells derived from either embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells. Ultimately, this would have a profound relevance for reproductive as well as regenerative medicine.

  18. Expression of uncharacterized male germ cell-specific genes and discovery of novel sperm-tail proteins in mice.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Jun Tae; Ham, Sera; Jeon, Suyeon; Kim, Youil; Oh, Seungmin; Cho, Chunghee

    2017-01-01

    The identification and characterization of germ cell-specific genes are essential if we hope to comprehensively understand the mechanisms of spermatogenesis and fertilization. Here, we searched the mouse UniGene databases and identified 13 novel genes as being putatively testis-specific or -predominant. Our in silico and in vitro analyses revealed that the expressions of these genes are testis- and germ cell-specific, and that they are regulated in a stage-specific manner during spermatogenesis. We generated antibodies against the proteins encoded by seven of the genes to facilitate their characterization in male germ cells. Immunoblotting and immunofluorescence analyses revealed that one of these proteins was expressed only in testicular germ cells, three were expressed in both testicular germ cells and testicular sperm, and the remaining three were expressed in sperm of the testicular stages and in mature sperm from the epididymis. Further analysis of the latter three proteins showed that they were all associated with cytoskeletal structures in the sperm flagellum. Among them, MORN5, which is predicted to contain three MORN motifs, is conserved between mouse and human sperm. In conclusion, we herein identify 13 authentic genes with male germ cell-specific expression, and provide comprehensive information about these genes and their encoded products. Our finding will facilitate future investigations into the functional roles of these novel genes in spermatogenesis and sperm functions.

  19. Akt1 protects against germ cell apoptosis in the post natal mouse testis following lactational exposure to 6-N-propylthiouracil

    EPA Science Inventory

    Lactational exposure to 6-propyl-2-thio-uracil (PTU), a neonatal goitrogen, leads to increased testis size and sperm production in rodents. Aktl, a gene involved in cell survival and proliferation is also phosphorylated by thyroxine (T4). Therefore, we examined the requirement f...

  20. Akt1 protects against germ cell apoptosis in the post natal mouse testis following lactational exposure to 6-N-propylthiouracil

    EPA Science Inventory

    Lactational exposure to 6-propyl-2-thio-uracil (PTU), a neonatal goitrogen, leads to increased testis size and sperm production in rodents. Aktl, a gene involved in cell survival and proliferation is also phosphorylated by thyroxine (T4). Therefore, we examined the requirement f...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Control of male germ-cell development in flowering plants.

    PubMed

    Singh, Mohan B; Bhalla, Prem L

    2007-11-01

    Plant reproduction is vital for species survival, and is also central to the production of food for human consumption. Seeds result from the successful fertilization of male and female gametes, but our understanding of the development, differentiation of gamete lineages and fertilization processes in higher plants is limited. Germ cells in animals diverge from somatic cells early in embryo development, whereas plants have distinct vegetative and reproductive phases in which gametes are formed from somatic cells after the plant has made the transition to flowering and the formation of the reproductive organs. Recently, novel insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying male germ-line initiation and male gamete development in plants have been obtained. Transcriptional repression of male germ-line genes in non-male germ-line cells have been identified as a key mechanism for spatial and temporal control of male germ-line development. This review focuses on molecular events controlling male germ-line development especially, on the nature and regulation of gene expression programs operating in male gametes of flowering plants.

  4. Hormonal control of germ cell development and spermatogenesis.

    PubMed

    O'Shaughnessy, Peter J

    2014-05-01

    Spermatogenesis is completely dependent on the pituitary hormone follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and androgens locally produced in response to luteinising hormone (LH). This dual control has been known since the 1930s and 1940s but more recent work, particularly using transgenic mice, has allowed us to determine which parts of the spermatogenic pathway are regulated by each hormone. During the first spermatogenic cycle after puberty both FSH and androgen act to limit the massive wave of germ cell apoptosis which occurs at this time. The established role of FSH in all cycles is to increase spermatogonial and subsequent spermatocyte numbers with a likely effect also on spermiation. Mice lacking FSH or its receptor are fertile, albeit with reduced germ cell numbers, and so this hormone is not an essential regulator of spermatogenesis but acts to optimise germ cell production Androgens also appear to regulate spermatogonial proliferation but, crucially, they are also required to allow spermatocytes to complete meiosis and form spermatids. Animals lacking androgen receptors fail to generate post-meiotic germ cells, therefore, and are infertile. There is also strong evidence that androgens act to ensure appropriate spermiation of mature spermatids. Androgen regulation of spermatogenesis is dependent upon action on the Sertoli cell but recent studies have shown that androgenic stimulation of the peritubular myoid cells is also essential for normal germ cells development. While FSH or androgen alone will both stimulate germ cell development, together they act synergistically to maximise germ cell number. The other hormones/local factors which can regulate spermatogenesis include activins and estrogens although their role in normal physiological regulation of this process needs to be more clearly established. Regulation of spermatogenesis in primates appears to be similar to that in rodents although the role of FSH may be greater. While our knowledge of hormone function

  5. Proliferation in culture of primordial germ cells derived from embryonic stem cell: induction by retinoic acid

    PubMed Central

    Makoolati, Zohreh; Movahedin, Mansoureh; Forouzandeh-Moghadam, Mehdi

    2016-01-01

    An in vitro system that supports primordial germ cells (PGCs) survival and proliferation is useful for enhancement of these cells and efficient transplantation in infertility disorders. One approach is cultivation of PGCs under proper conditions that allow self-renewal and proliferation of PGCs. For this purpose, we compared the effects of different concentrations of retinoic acid (RA), and the effect of PGCs co-culture (Co-C) with SIM mouse embryo-derived thioguanine- and ouabain-resistant (STO) cells on the proliferation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs)-derived PGCs. One-day-old embryoid body (EB) was cultured for 4 days in simple culture system in the presence of 5 ng/ml bone morphogenetic protein-4 (BMP4) (SCB group) for PGC induction. For PGC enrichment, ESCs-derived germ cells were cultured for 7 days in the presence of different doses (0–5  μM) of RA, both in the simple and STO Co-C systems. At the end of the culture period, viability and proliferation rates were assessed and expression of mouse vasa homologue (Mvh),  α6 integrin,  β1 integrin, stimulated by retinoic acid 8 (Stra8) and piwi (Drosophila)-like 2 (Piwil2) was evaluated using quantitative PCR. Also, the inductive effects were investigated immunocytochemically with Mvh and cadherin1 (CDH1) on the selected groups. Immunocytochemistry/PCR results showed higher expression of Mvh, the PGC-specific marker, in 3  μM RA concentrations on the top of the STO feeder layer. Meanwhile, assessment of the Stra8 mRNA and CDH1 protein, the specific makers for spermatogonia, showed no significant differences between groups. Based on the results, it seems that in the presence of 3 μM RA on top of the STO feeder layer cells, the majority of the cells transdifferentiated into germ cells were PGCs. PMID:27834666

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Introduction to Germ Cell Development in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Pazdernik, Nanette; Schedl, Tim

    2013-01-01

    A central feature of the continuum of life in sexually reproducing metazoans is the cycle of the germline from one generation to the next. This volume describes the cycle of the germline for Caenorhabditis elegans, through chapters that are focused on distinct aspects or processes in germ cell development. Topics include sequential and dependent processes such as specification of germ cells as distinct from somatic cells, sex determination, stem cell proliferative fate versus meiotic development decision, recombination/ progression through meiotic prophase, contemporaneous processes such as gametogenesis, meiotic development and apoptosis, and continuing the cycle into the next generation through fertilization and the oocyte-to-embryo-transition. Throughout germ cell development, translational control and epigenetic mechanisms play prominent roles. These different aspects of germ cell development are seamlessly integrated under optimal conditions and are modified in the different reproductive strategies that are employed by C. elegans under harsh environmental conditions. In this chapter we set the stage by providing a brief background on the C. elegans system and germ cell development, indicating processes in the cycle of the germline that are covered in each chapter. PMID:22872472

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Hydrogen sulfide protects testicular germ cells against heat-induced injury.

    PubMed

    Li, Guang; Xie, Zhi-Zhong; Chua, Jason M W; Wong, P C; Bian, Jinsong

    2015-04-30

    The present study was designed to investigate whether H2S can protect testicular germ cells against heat exposure induced injury and the underlying mechanisms. It was found that all three H2S generating enzymes, cystathionine β-synthase (CBS), cystathionine γ-lysase (CSE), and 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase (3 MST), were expressed in mouse testicular tissue. Three episodes of heat exposure (42 °C, 30 min/day, 3 days) significantly decreased endogenous H2S production and down-regulated the expression of CBS and CSE in testes. In primary cultured testicular germ cells, exogenous application of NaHS (an H2S donor) attenuated heat stress (42 °C, 30 min) induced cell death and apoptosis. This was mediated by the inhibitory effects of H2S on cytochrome C release and the ratio of the Bax/Bcl-2. NaHS also improved mitochondrial function by decreasing oxygen consumption and increasing ATP production. NaHS treatment also stimulated SOD activity and reduced ROS production. Our results revealed both physiological and pharmacological roles of H2S in testicular germ cells. Exogenous application of H2S may protect germ cells by preservation of mitochondrial function and stimulation of anti-oxidant activity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Specification of primordial germ cells in medaka (Oryzias latipes)

    PubMed Central

    Herpin, Amaury; Rohr, Stefan; Riedel, Dietmar; Kluever, Nils; Raz, Erez; Schartl, Manfred

    2007-01-01

    Background Primordial germ cells (PGCs) give rise to gametes that are responsible for the development of a new organism in the next generation. Two modes of germ line specification have been described: the inheritance of asymmetrically-localized maternally provided cytoplasmic determinants and the induction of the PGC fate by other cell types. PGCs specification in zebrafish appears to depend on inheritance of germ plasm in which several RNA molecules such as vasa and nanos reside. Whether the specification mode of PGCs found in zebrafish is general for other fish species was brought into question upon analysis of olvas expression – the vasa homologue in another teleost, medaka (Oryzias latipes). Here, in contrast to the findings in zebrafish, the PGCs are found in a predictable position relative to a somatic structure, the embryonic shield. This finding, coupled with the fact that vasa mRNA, which is localized to the germ plasm of zebrafish but does not label a similar structure in medaka opened the possibility of fundamentally different mechanisms governing PGC specification in these two fish species. Results In this study we addressed the question concerning the mode of PGC specification in medaka using embryological experiments, analysis of RNA stability in the PGCs and electron microscopy observations. Dramatic alterations in the somatic environment, i.e. induction of a secondary axis or mesoderm formation alteration, did not affect the PGC number. Furthermore, the PGCs of medaka are capable of protecting specific RNA molecules from degradation and could therefore exhibit a specific mRNA expression pattern controlled by posttrancriptional mechanisms. Subsequent analysis of 4-cell stage medaka embryos using electron microscopy revealed germ plasm-like structures located at a region corresponding to that of zebrafish germ plasm. Conclusion Taken together, these results are consistent with the idea that in medaka the inheritance of maternally provided

  14. High-Speed Mouse Backcrossing Through the Female Germ Line

    PubMed Central

    Grove, Erin; Eckardt, Sigrid; McLaughlin, K. John

    2016-01-01

    Transferring mouse mutations into specific mouse strain backgrounds can be critical for appropriate analysis of phenotypic effects of targeted genomic alterations and quantitative trait loci. Speed congenic breeding strategies incorporating marker-assisted selection of progeny with the highest percentage target background as breeders for the next generation can produce congenic strains within approximately 5 generations. When mating selected donor males to target strain females, this may require more than 1 year, with each generation lasting 10 to 11 weeks including 3 weeks of gestation and 7 to 8 weeks until the males reach sexual maturity. Because ovulation can be induced in female mice as early as 3 weeks of age, superovulation-aided backcrossing of marker-selected females could accelerate the production of congenic animals by approximately 4 weeks per generation, reducing time and cost. Using this approach, we transferred a transgenic strain of undefined genetic background to >99% C57BL/6J within 10 months, with most generations lasting 7 weeks. This involved less than 60 mice in total, with 9 to 18 animals per generation. Our data demonstrate that high-speed backcrossing through the female germline is feasible and practical with small mouse numbers. PMID:27926922

  15. Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) region gene 1 (FRG1) expression and possible function in mouse tooth germ development.

    PubMed

    Hasegawa, Kana; Wada, Hiroko; Nagata, Kengo; Fujiwara, Hiroaki; Wada, Naohisa; Someya, Hirotaka; Mikami, Yurie; Sakai, Hidetaka; Kiyoshima, Tamotsu

    2016-08-01

    Abnormal expression of Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) region gene 1 (FRG1) is involved in the pathogenesis of FSHD. FRG1 is also important for the normal muscular and vascular development. Our previous study showed that FRG1 is one of the highly expressed genes in the mandible on embryonic day 10.5 (E10.5) than on E12.0. In this study, we investigated the temporospatial expression pattern of FRG1 mRNA and protein during the development of the mouse lower first molar, and also evaluated the subcellular localization of the FRG1 protein in mouse dental epithelial (mDE6) cells. The FRG1 expression was identified in the dental epithelial and mesenchymal cells at the initiation and bud stages. It was detected in the inner enamel epithelium at the cap and early bell stages. At the late bell and root formation stages, these signals were detected in ameloblasts and odontoblasts during the formation of enamel and dentin matrices, respectively. The FRG1 protein was localized in the cytoplasm in the mouse tooth germ in vivo, while FRG1 was detected predominantly in the nucleus and faintly in the cytoplasm in mDE6 cells in vitro. In mDE6 cells treated with bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4), the protein expression of FRG1 increased in cytoplasm, suggesting that FRG1 may translocate to the cytoplasm. These findings suggest that FRG1 is involved in the morphogenesis of the tooth germ, as well as in the formation of enamel and dentin matrices and that FRG1 may play a role in the odontogenesis in the mouse following BMP4 stimulation.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Germ cell tumors of the testicle among aircraft repairmen.

    PubMed

    Ducatman, A M; Conwill, D E; Crawl, J

    1986-10-01

    A cluster of testicular germ cell tumors occurred among 3 of 153 white men who worked in a shop engaged in repair of exterior surfaces and electrical components of the airframes of F4 Phantom Jet aircraft. Evaluation of an occupationally identical shop at a second F4 rework facility at which there had been no previous reports of excess neoplasms revealed 4 additional men with a history of testicular germ cell tumors (p less than 0.01, Poisson, compared to the expected number of cases based on national incidence rates). Our investigation raises but does not prove a hypothesis of association between subsequent development of testicular germ cell cancer and history of extensive exposure to a mixture containing dimethylformamide, which had been used in F4 repair work at these facilities in the 1960s and 1970s. This represents the first report of 2 corresponding mini-epidemics of testicular tumors among workers in occupationally identical industrial settings.

  19. 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.

  20. Giant Mediastinal Germ Cell Tumour: An Enigma of Surgical Consideration

    PubMed Central

    Ali, Nurayub Mohd; Azizan, Nornazirah; Zakaria, Andee Dzulkarnaen; Rahman, Mohd Ramzisham Abdul

    2016-01-01

    We present a case of 16-year-old male, who was referred from private centre for dyspnoea, fatigue, and orthopnea. The chest radiograph revealed complete opacification of left chest which was confirmed by computed tomography as a large left mediastinal mass measuring 14 × 15 × 18 cm. The diagnostic needle core biopsy revealed mixed germ cell tumour with possible combination of embryonal carcinoma, yolk sac, and teratoma. After 4 cycles of neoadjuvant BEP regime, there was initial response of tumour markers but not tumour bulk. Instead of classic median sternotomy or clamshell incision, posterolateral approach with piecemeal manner was chosen. Histology confirmed mixed germ cell tumour with residual teratomatous component without yolk sac or embryonal carcinoma component. Weighing 3.5 kg, it is one of the largest mediastinal germ cell tumours ever reported. We describe this rare and gigantic intrathoracic tumour and discuss the spectrum of surgical approach and treatment of this exceptional tumour. PMID:27807495

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-15

    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.

  2. 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

  3. Early oogenesis in the bat Carollia perspicillata: Transient germ cell cysts and noncanonical intercellular bridges

    PubMed Central

    Lechowska, Agnieszka; Bilinski, Szczepan M.; Rasweiler, John J.; Cretekos, Chris J.; Behringer, Richard; Kloc, Malgorzata

    2012-01-01

    The ovaries of early embryos (40 days after fertilization) of the bat Carollia perspicillata contain numerous germ-line cysts, which are composed of 10 to 12 sister germ cells (cystocytes). The variability in the number of cystocytes within the cyst and between the cysts (that defies the Giardina rule) indicates that the mitotic divisions of the cystoblast are asynchronous in this bat species. The serial section analysis showed that the cystocytes are interconnected via intercellular bridges that are atypical, strongly elongated, short-lived, and rich in microtubule bundles and microfilaments. During the later stages of embryonic development (44–46 days after fertilization), the somatic cells penetrate the cyst, and their cytoplasmic projections separate individual oocytes. Separated oocytes surrounded by the single layer of somatic cells constitute the primordial ovarian follicles. The oocytes of C. perspicillata are similar to mouse oocytes and are asymmetric. In both species, this asymmetry is clearly recognizable in the localization of the Golgi complexes. The presence of germ-line cysts and intercellular bridges (although non-canonical) in the fetal ovaries of C. perspicillata indicate that the formation of germ-line cysts is an evolutionarily conserved phase in the development of the female gametes throughout the animal kingdom. PMID:21681920

  4. Klinefelter Syndrome with Poor Risk Extragonadal Germ Cell Tumor.

    PubMed

    Konheim, Jeremy A; Israel, Jonathan A; Delacroix, Scott E

    2017-01-01

    Germ cell tumors are the most common malignancy in men aged 15-35 years old, with a small percentage presenting in an extragonadal location. These tumors are seldom identified in the gastrointestinal tract. There is increased risk of extragonadal germ cell tumors (EGCT) in men with Klinefelter syndrome (KS). We report a rare case of a 37-year-old male with KS and EGCT discovered in the duodenum and pelvis. After treatment with Bleomycin-Etoposide-Cisplatin (BEP), he developed growing teratoma syndrome (GTS) and myelodysplasia. Despite surgical excision of the pelvic growing teratoma, he unfortunately died secondary to complications of severe bone marrow suppression.

  5. Differentiation of murine male germ cells to spermatozoa in a soft agar culture system

    PubMed Central

    Abu Elhija, Mahmoud; Lunenfeld, Eitan; Schlatt, Stefan; Huleihel, Mahmoud

    2012-01-01

    Establishment of an in vitro system that allows the development of testicular germ cells to sperm will be valuable for studies of spermatogenesis and future treatments for male infertility. In the present study, we developed in vitro culture conditions using three-dimensional agar culture system (SACS), which has the capacity to induce testicular germ cells to reach the final stages of spermatogenesis, including spermatozoa generation. Seminiferous tubules from testes of 7-day-old mice were enzymatically dissociated, and intratubular cells were cultured in the upper layer of the SACS in RPMI medium supplemented with fetal calf serum (FCS). The lower layer of the SACS contained only RPMI medium supplemented with FCS. Colonies in the upper layer were isolated after 14 and 28 days of culture and were classified according to their size. Immunofluorescence and real-time PCR were used to analyse specific markers expressed in undifferentiated and differentiated spermatogonia (Vasa, Dazl, OCT-4, C-Kit, GFR-α-1, CD9 and α-6-integrin), meiotic cells (LDH, Crem-1 and Boule) and post-meiotic cells (Protamine-1, Acrosin and SP-10). Our results reveal that it is possible to induce mouse testicular pre-meiotic germ cell expansion and induce their differentiation to spermatozoa in SACS. The spermatozoa showed normal morphology and contained acrosomes. Thus, our results demonstrate that SACS could be used as a novel in vitro system for the maturation of pre-meiotic mouse germ cells to post-meiotic stages and morphologically-normal spermatozoa. PMID:22057383

  6. Sertoli cell condition medium can induce germ like cells from bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells.

    PubMed

    Monfared, Mahdieh Hajian; Minaee, Bagher; Rastegar, Tayebeh; Khrazinejad, Ebrahim; Barbarestani, Mohammad

    2016-11-01

    Although many researchers have confirmed induction of germ cells from bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs), there are no reports that confirm spontaneous differentiation of germ cells from BMMSCs. In this study, we have evaluated the effect of adult Sertoli cell condition medium (SCCM) as a mutative factor in the induction of germ cells from BMMSCs. BMMSCs were collected from the bone marrow of 6-8-week old NMRI mice and their mesenchymal entities were proven using superficial markers (expression of CD44 and CD73 and non-expresion of CD45 and CD11b) by fow cytometry. Their multi-potential entities were proved with differentiation to osteogenic and adipogenic cells for 21 days. Also isolated Sertoli cells were enriched using lectin coated plates and Sertoli cell condition medium (SCCM) was collected. Sertoli cells were identified by immunocytochemistry and Vimentin marker. The cells were then differentiated into germ cells with SCCM for 2 weeks. Finally induced cells were evaluated by RT-PCR and immunocytochemistry. Differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells to osteoblast and adipocyte showed their multi-potential property. Expression of CD44 and CD73 and non-expression of CD45 and CD11b confirmed mesenchyme cells. Immunocytochemistry and RT-PCR results showed expression of germ cells specific marker (Mvh). This study confirmed the effect of SCCM as a motivational factor that can used for differentiation of germ cells from BMMSCs.

  7. Sertoli cell condition medium can induce germ like cells from bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Monfared, Mahdieh Hajian; Minaee, Bagher; Rastegar, Tayebeh; Khrazinejad, Ebrahim; Barbarestani, Mohammad

    2016-01-01

    Objective(s): Although many researchers have confirmed induction of germ cells from bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs), there are no reports that confirm spontaneous differentiation of germ cells from BMMSCs. In this study, we have evaluated the effect of adult Sertoli cell condition medium (SCCM) as a mutative factor in the induction of germ cells from BMMSCs. Materials and Methods: BMMSCs were collected from the bone marrow of 6-8-week old NMRI mice and their mesenchymal entities were proven using superficial markers (expression of CD44 and CD73 and non-expresion of CD45 and CD11b) by fow cytometry. Their multi-potential entities were proved with differentiation to osteogenic and adipogenic cells for 21 days. Also isolated Sertoli cells were enriched using lectin coated plates and Sertoli cell condition medium (SCCM) was collected. Sertoli cells were identified by immunocytochemistry and Vimentin marker. The cells were then differentiated into germ cells with SCCM for 2 weeks. Finally induced cells were evaluated by RT-PCR and immunocytochemistry. Results: Differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells to osteoblast and adipocyte showed their multi-potential property. Expression of CD44 and CD73 and non-expression of CD45 and CD11b confirmed mesenchyme cells. Immunocytochemistry and RT-PCR results showed expression of germ cells specific marker (Mvh). Conclusion: This study confirmed the effect of SCCM as a motivational factor that can used for differentiation of germ cells from BMMSCs. PMID:27917274

  8. Alleviative effect of quercetin on germ cells intoxicated by 3-methyl-4-nitrophenol from diesel exhaust particles*

    PubMed Central

    Bu, Tong-liang; Jia, Yu-dong; Lin, Jin-xing; Mi, Yu-ling; Zhang, Cai-qiao

    2012-01-01

    As a component of diesel exhaust particles, 3-methyl-4-nitrophenol (4-nitro-m-cresol, PNMC) is also a metabolite of the insecticide fenitrothion and imposes hazardous effects on human health. In the present study, the alleviative effect of a common antioxidant flavonoid quercetin on mouse germ cells intoxicated by PNMC was investigated. Results showed that a single intraperitoneal injection of PNMC at 100 mg/kg induced severe testicular damage after one week. PNMC-treated mice showed a significant loss of germ cells (approximate 40% loss of round germ cells). PNMC caused an increase of hydroxyl radical and hydrogen peroxide production and lipid peroxidation, as well as a decrease in glutathione level, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities. Furthermore, treatment of PNMC increased expression of the pro-apoptotic protein Bax and decreased expression of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-XL in germ cells. In addition, testicular caspase-3 activity was significantly up-regulated and germ cell apoptosis was significantly increased in the PNMC-treated mice. In contrast, combined administration of quercetin at 75 mg/kg significantly attenuated PNMC-induced testicular toxicity. These results indicate that the antioxidant quercetin displays a remarkable protective effect on PNMC-induced oxidative damage in mouse testes and may represent an efficient supplement to attenuate reproductive toxicity by environmental toxicants to ensure healthy sperm production. PMID:22467373

  9. 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.

  10. Cell cycle analysis of fetal germ cells during sex differentiation in mice

    PubMed Central

    Spiller, Cassy; Wilhelm, Dagmar; Koopman, Peter

    2009-01-01

    Background information. Primordial germ cells in developing male and female gonads are responsive to somatic cell cues that direct their sex-specific differentiation into functional gametes. The first divergence of the male and female pathways is a change in cell cycle state observed from 12.5 dpc (days post coitum) in mice. At this time XY and XX germ cells cease mitotic division and enter G1/G0 arrest and meiosis prophase I respectively. Aberrant cell cycle regulation at this time can lead to disrupted ovarian development, germ cell apoptosis, reduced fertility and/or the formation of germ cell tumours. Results. In order to unravel the mechanisms utilized by germ cells to achieve and maintain the correct cell cycle states, we analysed the expression of a large number of cell cycle genes in purified germ cells across the crucial time of sex differentiation. Our results revealed common signalling for both XX and XY germ cell survival involving calcium signalling. A robust mechanism for apoptosis and checkpoint control was observed in XY germ cells, characterized by p53 and Atm (ataxia telangiectasia mutated) expression. Additionally, a member of the retinoblastoma family and p21 were identified, linking these factors to XY germ cell G1/G0 arrest. Lastly, in XX germ cells we observed a down-regulation of genes involved in both G1- and G2-phases of the cell cycle consistent with their entry into meiosis. Conclusion. The present study has provided a detailed analysis of cell cycle gene expression during fetal germ cell development and identified candidate factors warranting further investigation in order to understand cases of aberrant cell cycle control in these specialized cells. PMID:19419345

  11. Childhood Central Nervous System Germ Cell Tumors Treatment (PDQ®)—Patient Version

    Cancer.gov

    Childhood central nervous system (CNS) germ cell tumors form from germ cells (a type of cell that forms as a fetus develops and later becomes sperm in the testicles or eggs in the ovaries). Learn about the signs, tests to diagnose, and treatment of pediatric germ cell tumors in the brain in this expert-reviewed summary.

  12. Primordial Germ Cell Specification from Embryonic Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Haisong; Zhang, Donghui; Yang, Weifeng; Deng, Hongkui

    2008-01-01

    Background Primordial germ cell (PGC) specification is the first crucial step in germ line development. However, owing to significant challenges regarding the in vivo system, such as the complex cellular environment and potential problems with embryo manipulation, it is desirable to generate embryonic stem (ES) cells that are capable of overcoming these aforementioned limitations in order to provide a potential in vitro model to recapitulate the developmental processes in vivo. Methodology and Principal Findings Here, we studied the detailed process of PGC specification from stella-GFP ES cells. We first observed the heterogeneous expression of stella in ES cells. However, neither Stella-positive ES cells nor Stella-negative ES cells shared a similar gene expression pattern with either PGCs or PGC precursors. Second, we derived PGCs from ES cells using two differentiation methods, namely the attachment culture technique and the embryoid body (EB) method. Compared with PGCs derived via the attachment culture technique, PGCs derived via the EB method that had undergone the sequential erasure of Peg3 followed by Igf2r resulted in a cell line in which the expression dynamics of T, Fgf8 and Sox17, in addition to the expression of the epiblast markers, were more similar to the in vivo expression, thus demonstrating that the process of PGC derivation was more faithfully recapitulated using the EB method. Furthermore, we developed an in vitro model of PGC specification in a completely chemically defined medium (CDM) that indicated that BMP4 and Wnt3a promoted PGC derivation, whereas BMP8b and activinA had no observable effect on PGC derivation. Conclusions and Significance The in vitro model we have established can recapitulate the developmental processes in vivo and provides new insights into the mechanism of PGC specification. PMID:19107197

  13. Primordial germ cell specification from embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Wei, Wei; Qing, Tingting; Ye, Xin; Liu, Haisong; Zhang, Donghui; Yang, Weifeng; Deng, Hongkui

    2008-01-01

    Primordial germ cell (PGC) specification is the first crucial step in germ line development. However, owing to significant challenges regarding the in vivo system, such as the complex cellular environment and potential problems with embryo manipulation, it is desirable to generate embryonic stem (ES) cells that are capable of overcoming these aforementioned limitations in order to provide a potential in vitro model to recapitulate the developmental processes in vivo. Here, we studied the detailed process of PGC specification from stella-GFP ES cells. We first observed the heterogeneous expression of stella in ES cells. However, neither Stella-positive ES cells nor Stella-negative ES cells shared a similar gene expression pattern with either PGCs or PGC precursors. Second, we derived PGCs from ES cells using two differentiation methods, namely the attachment culture technique and the embryoid body (EB) method. Compared with PGCs derived via the attachment culture technique, PGCs derived via the EB method that had undergone the sequential erasure of Peg3 followed by Igf2r resulted in a cell line in which the expression dynamics of T, Fgf8 and Sox17, in addition to the expression of the epiblast markers, were more similar to the in vivo expression, thus demonstrating that the process of PGC derivation was more faithfully recapitulated using the EB method. Furthermore, we developed an in vitro model of PGC specification in a completely chemically defined medium (CDM) that indicated that BMP4 and Wnt3a promoted PGC derivation, whereas BMP8b and activinA had no observable effect on PGC derivation. The in vitro model we have established can recapitulate the developmental processes in vivo and provides new insights into the mechanism of PGC specification.

  14. [Effects of formaldehyde on germ cells of male mice].

    PubMed

    Tang, Mingde; Xie, Ying; Yi, Yizhen; Wang, Wei

    2003-11-01

    General toxicity and genetic materials damage of formaldehyde on germ cells in different stages was studied. In order to discover the toxicity mechanism of formaldehyde on germ cells and the biomarkers of effect after the presence of damage in germ cells and the estimation index, the relationships between the damage of germ cells and the MDA, SDH activity and Cu and Zn. in testicle tissue were investigated. Male mice exposed to formaldehyde by i.p. for 5 days. Formaldehyde doses were: 0.20 mg/kg, 2.00 mg/kg, 20.00 mg/kg. Mice were killed at the 6th day and the 14th day. HE staining was used to study the pathological changes happened in testicle tissue. In order to study the changes in sperm, the sperms and the abnormality of the sperm's heads were observed. In order to study the damage of the genetic material in the germ cells, the frequencies of sister chromosome exchanges and the frequencies of MN cells were studied. MDA was measured by MDA diagnosis box. Copper and zinc were determined by FAAS. US was used to determine the SDH activity in serum and testicle tissue. The results showed that: The main pathological changes in testicle tissue of formaldehyde groups were degeneration; The sperm quantity was decreased and the sperm heads deformation ratio was increased in all formaldehyde groups; There were a significant increase of MN ratio in early spermatogenic cells and SCE ratio in medial and high dose groups; The MDA in testicle tissue significant increased in high dose group. The SDH activity in testicle tissue was declined in all formaldehyde groups; There were a significant decline of copper and zinc in testicle tissue in high dose group. It is suggested that: Formaldehyde could induce genetic materials in spermatogone, primary spermatocyte and caused degeneration and necrosis in secondary spermatocyte, spermatogenic cell, sperm; The damage of LPO, decline of copper and zinc and SDH activity in mice's testicle tissue could be caused by formaldehyde; The effect

  15. Functional analysis of the Drosophila embryonic germ cell transcriptome by RNA interference.

    PubMed

    Jankovics, Ferenc; Henn, László; Bujna, Ágnes; Vilmos, Péter; Spirohn, Kerstin; Boutros, Michael; Erdélyi, Miklós

    2014-01-01

    In Drosophila melanogaster, primordial germ cells are specified at the posterior pole of the very early embryo. This process is regulated by the posterior localized germ plasm that contains a large number of RNAs of maternal origin. Transcription in the primordial germ cells is actively down-regulated until germ cell fate is established. Bulk expression of the zygotic genes commences concomitantly with the degradation of the maternal transcripts. Thus, during embryogenesis, maternally provided and zygotically transcribed mRNAs determine germ cell development collectively. In an effort to identify novel genes involved in the regulation of germ cell behavior, we carried out a large-scale RNAi screen targeting both maternal and zygotic components of the embryonic germ line transcriptome. We identified 48 genes necessary for distinct stages in germ cell development. We found pebble and fascetto to be essential for germ cell migration and germ cell division, respectively. Our data uncover a previously unanticipated role of mei-P26 in maintenance of embryonic germ cell fate. We also performed systematic co-RNAi experiments, through which we found a low rate of functional redundancy among homologous gene pairs. As our data indicate a high degree of evolutionary conservation in genetic regulation of germ cell development, they are likely to provide valuable insights into the biology of the germ line in general.

  16. Functional Analysis of the Drosophila Embryonic Germ Cell Transcriptome by RNA Interference

    PubMed Central

    Bujna, Ágnes; Vilmos, Péter; Spirohn, Kerstin; Boutros, Michael; Erdélyi, Miklós

    2014-01-01

    In Drosophila melanogaster, primordial germ cells are specified at the posterior pole of the very early embryo. This process is regulated by the posterior localized germ plasm that contains a large number of RNAs of maternal origin. Transcription in the primordial germ cells is actively down-regulated until germ cell fate is established. Bulk expression of the zygotic genes commences concomitantly with the degradation of the maternal transcripts. Thus, during embryogenesis, maternally provided and zygotically transcribed mRNAs determine germ cell development collectively. In an effort to identify novel genes involved in the regulation of germ cell behavior, we carried out a large-scale RNAi screen targeting both maternal and zygotic components of the embryonic germ line transcriptome. We identified 48 genes necessary for distinct stages in germ cell development. We found pebble and fascetto to be essential for germ cell migration and germ cell division, respectively. Our data uncover a previously unanticipated role of mei-P26 in maintenance of embryonic germ cell fate. We also performed systematic co-RNAi experiments, through which we found a low rate of functional redundancy among homologous gene pairs. As our data indicate a high degree of evolutionary conservation in genetic regulation of germ cell development, they are likely to provide valuable insights into the biology of the germ line in general. PMID:24896584

  17. Origin of germ cells and formation of new primary follicles in adult human ovaries

    PubMed Central

    Bukovsky, Antonin; Caudle, Michael R; Svetlikova, Marta; Upadhyaya, Nirmala B

    2004-01-01

    Recent reports indicate that functional mouse oocytes and sperm can be derived in vitro from somatic cell lines. We hypothesize that in adult human ovaries, mesenchymal cells in the tunica albuginea (TA) are bipotent progenitors with a commitment for both primitive granulosa and germ cells. We investigated ovaries of twelve adult women (mean age 32.8 ± 4.1 SD, range 27–38 years) by single, double, and triple color immunohistochemistry. We show that cytokeratin (CK)+ mesenchymal cells in ovarian TA differentiate into surface epithelium (SE) cells by a mesenchymal-epithelial transition. Segments of SE directly associated with ovarian cortex are overgrown by TA, forming solid epithelial cords, which fragment into small (20 micron) epithelial nests descending into the lower ovarian cortex, before assembling with zona pellucida (ZP)+ oocytes. Germ cells can originate from SE cells which cover the TA. Small (10 micron) germ-like cells showing PS1 meiotically expressed oocyte carbohydrate protein are derived from SE cells via asymmetric division. They show nuclear MAPK immunoexpression, subsequently divide symmetrically, and enter adjacent cortical vessels. During vascular transport, the putative germ cells increase to oocyte size, and are picked-up by epithelial nests associated with the vessels. During follicle formation, extensions of granulosa cells enter the oocyte cytoplasm, forming a single paranuclear CK+ Balbiani body supplying all the mitochondria of the oocyte. In the ovarian medulla, occasional vessels show an accumulation of ZP+ oocytes (25–30 microns) or their remnants, suggesting that some oocytes degenerate. In contrast to males, adult human female gonads do not preserve germline type stem cells. This study expands our previous observations on the formation of germ cells in adult human ovaries. Differentiation of primitive granulosa and germ cells from the bipotent mesenchymal cell precursors of TA in adult human ovaries represents a most

  18. Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor and endothelial cells promote self-renewal of rabbit germ cells with spermatogonial stem cell properties.

    PubMed

    Kubota, Hiroshi; Wu, Xin; Goodyear, Shaun M; Avarbock, Mary R; Brinster, Ralph L

    2011-08-01

    Previous studies suggest that exogenous factors crucial for spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) self-renewal are conserved among several mammalian species. Since glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) are critical for rodent SSC self-renewal, we hypothesized that they might promote self-renewal of nonrodent SSCs. Therefore, we cultured testicular germ cells from prepubertal rabbits in the presence of GDNF and FGF2 and found they proliferated indefinitely as cellular clumps that displayed characteristics previously identified for rodent SSCs. The rabbit germ cells could not be maintained on mouse embryonic fibroblast (STO) feeders that support rodent SSC self-renewal in vitro but were rather supported on mouse yolk sac-derived endothelial cell (C166) feeder layers. Proliferation of rabbit germ cells was dependent on GDNF. Of critical importance was that clump-forming rabbit germ cells colonized seminiferous tubules of immunodeficient mice, proliferated for at least 6 mo, while retaining an SSC phenotype in the testes of recipient mice, indicating that they were rabbit SSCs. This study demonstrates that GDNF is a mitogenic factor promoting self-renewal that is conserved between rodent and rabbit SSCs; with an evolutionary separation of ∼ 60 million years. These findings provide a foundation to study the mechanisms governing SSC self-renewal in nonrodent species.

  19. Epigenetic status determines germ cell meiotic commitment in embryonic and postnatal mammalian gonads.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ning; Tilly, Jonathan L

    2010-01-15

    The meiotic cell cycle is required for production of fertilization-competent gametes. Germ cell meiotic commitment requires expression of Stimulated by retinoic acid gene 8 (Stra8), which is transcriptionally activated by retinoic acid (RA). Meiotic suppression in embryonic male germ cells is believed to result from sex-specific differences in CYP26B1-catalyzed RA metabolism in the developing gonads. Here we show in mice that RA-induced Stra8 transcription is epigenetically controlled and requires a co-activator that binds proximal to the RA response elements (RAREs) in the Stra8 promoter. Embryonic male germ cells exposed in utero to the class I/II histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, trichostatin-A (TSA), show premature Stra8 activation and meiotic entry without altered Cyp26b1 expression. We also show that Stra8 expression is detectable and physiologically regulated in adult mouse ovaries. Further, oogenesis induction in adult females using TSA is associated with Stra8 activation, and these events are absent in mice deficient in the RA precursor vitamin A. Finally, all of the actions of TSA in premeiotic germ cells in vitro and in mouse ovaries in vivo can be reproduced with the small molecule HDAC inhibitor, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA). Thus, the ability of RA to transcriptionally induce expression of the meiosis-commitment gene, Stra8, is epigenetically controlled and this process involves a novel co-activator that functions upstream of the RAREs. These events not only coordinate the sex-specific timing of meiotic entry during embryogenesis, but also contribute to the regulation of oogenesis in adult female mammals.

  20. Epigenetic status determines germ cell meiotic commitment in embryonic and postnatal mammalian gonads

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ning; Tilly, Jonathan L.

    2017-01-01

    The meiotic cell cycle is required for production of fertilization-competent gametes. Germ cell meiotic commitment requires expression of Stimulated by retinoic acid gene 8 (Stra8), which is transcriptionally activated by retinoic acid (RA). Meiotic suppression in embryonic male germ cells is believed to result from sex-specific differences in CYP26B1-catalyzed RA metabolism in the developing gonads. Here we show in mice that RA-induced Stra8 transcription is epigenetically controlled and requires a co-activator that binds proximal to the RA response elements (RAREs) in the Stra8 promoter. Embryonic male germ cells exposed in utero to the class I/II histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, trichostatin-A (TSA), show premature Stra8 activation and meiotic entry without altered Cyp26bl expression. We also show that Stra8 expression is detectable and physiologically regulated in adult mouse ovaries. Further, oogenesis induction in adult females using TSA is associated with Stra8 activation, and these events are absent in mice deficient in the RA precursor vitamin A. Finally, all of the actions of TSA in premeiotic germ cells in vitro and in mouse ovaries in vivo can be reproduced with the small molecule HDAC inhibitor, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA). Thus, the ability of RA to transcriptionally induce expression of the meiosis-commitment gene, Stra8, is epigenetically controlled and this process involves a novel co-activator that functions upstream of the RAREs. These events not only coordinate the sex-specific timing of meiotic entry during embryogenesis, but also contribute to the regulation of oogenesis in adult female mammals. PMID:20009537

  1. 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.

  2. Stirred suspension bioreactors as a novel method to enrich germ cells from pre-pubertal pig testis

    PubMed Central

    Dores, Camila; Rancourt, Derrick; Dobrinski, Ina

    2015-01-01

    To study spermatogonial stem cells the heterogeneous testicular cell population first needs to be enriched for undifferentiated spermatogonia, which contain the stem cell population. When working with non-rodent models, this step requires working with large numbers of cells. Available cell separation methods rely on differential properties of testicular cell types such as expression of specific cell surface proteins, size, density or differential adhesion to substrates to separate germ cells from somatic cells. The objective of this study was to develop an approach that allowed germ cell enrichment while providing efficiency of handling large cell numbers. Here we report the use of stirred suspension bioreactors to exploit the adhesion properties of Sertoli cells to enrich cells obtained from pre-pubertal porcine testes for undifferentiated spermatogonia. We also compared the bioreactor approach with an established differential plating method and the combination of both: stirred suspension bioreactor followed by differential plating. After 66 hours of culture, germ cell enrichment in stirred suspension bioreactors provided 7.3±1.0 fold (n=9), differential plating 9.8±2.4 fold (n=6) and combination of both methods resulted in 9.1±0.3 fold enrichment of germ cells from the initial germ cell population (n=3). To document functionality of cells recovered from the bioreactor, we demonstrated that cells retained their functional ability to reassemble seminiferous tubules de novo after grafting to mouse hosts and to support spermatogenesis. These results demonstrate that the stirred suspension bioreactor allows enrichment of germ cells in a controlled and scalable environment providing an efficient method when handling large cell numbers while reducing variability due to handling. PMID:25877677

  3. Molecular targets, DNA breakage, DNA repair: Their roles in mutation induction in mammalian germ cells

    SciTech Connect

    Sega, G.A.

    1989-01-01

    Variability in genetic sensitivity among different germ-cell stages in the mammal to various mutagens could be the result of how much chemical reaches the different stages, what molecular targets may be affected in the different stages and whether or not repair of lesions occurs. Several chemicals have been found to bind very strongly to protamine in late-spermatid and early-spermatozoa stages in the mouse. The chemicals also produce their greatest genetic damage in these same germ-cell stages. While chemical binding to DNA has not been correlated with the level of induced genetic damage, DNA breakage in the sensitive stages has been shown to increase. This DNA breakage is believed to indirectly result from chemical binding to sulfhydryl groups in protamine which prevents normal chromatin condensation within the sperm nucleus. 22 refs., 5 figs.

  4. HMG-CoA reductase guides migrating primordial germ cells.

    PubMed

    Van Doren, M; Broihier, H T; Moore, L A; Lehmann, R

    1998-12-03

    The enzyme 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase is best known for catalysing a rate-limiting step in cholesterol biosynthesis, but it also participates in the production of a wide variety of other compounds. Some clinical benefits attributed to inhibitors of HMG-CoA reductase are now thought to be independent of any serum cholesterol-lowering effect. Here we describe a new cholesterol-independent role for HMG-CoA reductase, in regulating a developmental process: primordial germ cell migration. We show that in Drosophila this enzyme is highly expressed in the somatic gonad and that it is necessary for primordial germ cells to migrate to this tissue. Misexpression of HMG-CoA reductase is sufficient to attract primordial germ cells to tissues other than the gonadal mesoderm. We conclude that the regulated expression of HMG-CoA reductase has a critical developmental function in providing spatial information to guide migrating primordial germ cells.

  5. Curing metastatic cancer: lessons from testicular germ-cell tumours.

    PubMed

    Masters, John R W; Köberle, Beate

    2003-07-01

    Most metastatic cancers are fatal. More than 80% of patients with metastatic testicular germ-cell tumours (TGCTs), however, can be cured using cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy. Why are TGCTs more sensitive to chemotherapeutics than most other tumour types? Answers to this question could lead to new treatments for metastatic cancers.

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. Impaired Planar Germ Cell Division in the Testis, Caused by Dissociation of RHAMM from the Spindle, Results in Hypofertility and Seminoma.

    PubMed

    Li, Huaibiao; Frappart, Lucien; Moll, Jürgen; Winkler, Anne; Kroll, Torsten; Hamann, Jana; Kufferath, Iris; Groth, Marco; Taudien, Stefan; Schütte, Moritz; Yaspo, Marie-Laure; Heuer, Heike; Lange, Bodo M H; Platzer, Matthias; Zatloukal, Kurt; Herrlich, Peter; Ploubidou, Aspasia

    2016-11-01

    Hypofertility is a risk factor for the development of testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT), but the initiating event linking these pathologies is unknown. We hypothesized that excessive planar division of undifferentiated germ cells promotes their self-renewal and TGCT development. However, our results obtained from mouse models and seminoma patients demonstrated the opposite. Defective planar divisions of undifferentiated germ cells caused their premature exit from the seminiferous tubule niche, resulting in germ cell depletion, hypofertility, intratubular germ cell neoplasias, and seminoma development. Oriented divisions of germ cells, which determine their fate, were regulated by spindle-associated RHAMM-a function we found to be abolished in 96% of human seminomas. Mechanistically, RHAMM expression is regulated by the testis-specific polyadenylation protein CFIm25, which is downregulated in the human seminomas. These results suggested that spindle misorientation is oncogenic, not by promoting self-renewing germ cell divisions within the niche, but by prematurely displacing proliferating cells from their normal epithelial milieu. Furthermore, they suggested RHAMM loss-of-function and spindle misorientation as an initiating event underlying both hypofertility and TGCT initiation. These findings identify spindle-associated RHAMM as an intrinsic regulator of male germ cell fate and as a gatekeeper preventing initiation of TGCTs. Cancer Res; 76(21); 6382-95. ©2016 AACR. ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.

  9. 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. © 2015 The Molecular Biology Society of Japan and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  10. The pathology of late recurrence of testicular germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Michael, H; Lucia, J; Foster, R S; Ulbright, T M

    2000-02-01

    A total of 91 men had histologically documented late recurrences of testicular germ cell tumors characterized by a complete response to treatment with a subsequent disease-free interval of at least 2 years and no evidence of a second primary lesion. Ninety percent of the patients for whom information was available received chemotherapy shortly after their initial diagnosis of testicular germ cell tumors; most of the other patients were known to have stage I disease initially. Overall, 60% of patients had teratoma in their late recurrences, including 20 patients (22%) in whom teratoma was the only element. Thus, teratoma was the most common type of neoplasm in late recurrences. Excluding teratoma coexisting with other types of neoplasms, yolk sac tumor was the most frequent type of tumor in patients with late recurrence. It occurred in 47% of patients, either alone or with teratoma, another nonteratomatous germ cell tumor type, or a "nongerm cell malignant tumor." Unusual types of yolk sac tumor, including glandular, parietal, clear cell, and pleomorphic patterns, were seen frequently in late recurrences and often raised differential diagnostic problems with "nongerm cell" carcinomas. A smaller number of late recurrences consisted of other types of neoplasms. Twenty percent of patients with late recurrence had a nonteratomatous germ cell tumor other than yolk sac tumor, either alone, with yolk sac tumor, or with a "nongerm cell malignant tumor." Most of these nonteratomatous germ cell tumors other than yolk sac tumor were embryonal carcinoma, although rarely seminoma and choriocarcinoma were encountered. "Nongerm cell malignant tumors," including both sarcomas and carcinomas of various types, occurred in 23% of late-recurrence patients, either alone or with a nonteratomatous germ cell tumor. Late recurrences were seen in many different sites in these patients, including the retroperitoneum, abdomen, pelvis, liver, mediastinum, lung, bone (femur, vertebra, and rib

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

    ClinicalTrials.gov

    2016-10-05

    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

  12. Meiotic Competent Human Germ Cell-like Cells Derived from Human Embryonic Stem Cells Induced by BMP4/WNT3A Signaling and OCT4/EpCAM (Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule) Selection*

    PubMed Central

    Chuang, Ching-Yu; Lin, Kuo-I; Hsiao, Michael; Stone, Lee; Chen, Hsin-Fu; Huang, Yen-Hua; Lin, Shau-Ping; Ho, Hong-Nerng; Kuo, Hung-Chih

    2012-01-01

    The establishment of an effective germ cell selection/enrichment platform from in vitro differentiating human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) is crucial for studying the molecular and signaling processes governing human germ cell specification and development. In this study, we developed a germ cell-enriching system that enables us to identify signaling factors involved in germ cell-fate induction from differentiating hESCs in vitro. First, we demonstrated that selection through an OCT4-EGFP reporter system can successfully increase the percentage of meiotic-competent, germ cell-like cells from spontaneously differentiating hESCs. Furthermore, we showed that the pluripotency associated surface marker, epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM), is also expressed in human fetal gonads and can be used as an effective selection marker for germ cell enrichment from differentiating hESCs. Combining OCT4 and EpCAM selection can further enrich the meiotic-competent germ cell-like cell population. Also, with the percentage of OCT4+/EpCAM+ cells as readout, we demonstrated the synergistic effect of BMP4/pSMAD1/5/8 and WNT3A/β-CATENIN in promoting hESCs toward the germline fate. Combining BMP4/WNT3A induction and OCT4/EpCAM selection can significantly increase the putative germ cell population with meiotic competency. Co-transplantation of these cells with dissociated mouse neonatal ovary cells into SCID mice resulted in a homogenous germ cell cluster formation in vivo. The stepwise platform established in this study provides a useful tool to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of human germ cell development, which has implications not only for human fertility research but regenerative medicine in general. PMID:22396540

  13. Generation of male differentiated germ cells from various types of stem cells.

    PubMed

    Hou, Jingmei; Yang, Shi; Yang, Hao; Liu, Yang; Liu, Yun; Hai, Yanan; Chen, Zheng; Guo, Ying; Gong, Yuehua; Gao, Wei-Qiang; Li, Zheng; He, Zuping

    2014-06-01

    Infertility is a major and largely incurable disease caused by disruption and loss of germ cells. It affects 10-15% of couples, and male factor accounts for half of the cases. To obtain human male germ cells 'especially functional spermatids' is essential for treating male infertility. Currently, much progress has been made on generating male germ cells, including spermatogonia, spermatocytes, and spermatids, from various types of stem cells. These germ cells can also be used in investigation of the pathology of male infertility. In this review, we focused on advances on obtaining male differentiated germ cells from different kinds of stem cells, with an emphasis on the embryonic stem (ES) cells, the induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, and spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs). We illustrated the generation of male differentiated germ cells from ES cells, iPS cells and SSCs, and we summarized the phenotype for these stem cells, spermatocytes and spermatids. Moreover, we address the differentiation potentials of ES cells, iPS cells and SSCs. We also highlight the advantages, disadvantages and concerns on derivation of the differentiated male germ cells from several types of stem cells. The ability of generating mature and functional male gametes from stem cells could enable us to understand the precise etiology of male infertility and offer an invaluable source of autologous male gametes for treating male infertility of azoospermia patients. © 2014 Society for Reproduction and Fertility.

  14. Identification of a mouse B-type cyclin which exhibits developmentally regulated expression in the germ line

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chapman, D. L.; Wolgemuth, D. J.

    1992-01-01

    To begin to examine the function of cyclins in mammalian germ cells, we have screened an adult mouse testis cDNA library for the presence of B-type cyclins. We have isolated cDNAs that encode a murine B-type cyclin, which has been designated cycB1. cycB1 was shown to be expressed in several adult tissues and in the midgestation mouse embryo. In the adult tissues, the highest levels of cycB1 transcripts were seen in the testis and ovary, which contain germ cells at various stages of differentiation. The major transcripts corresponding to cycB1 are 1.7 and 2.5 kb, with the 1.7 kb species being the predominant testicular transcript and the 2.5 kb species more abundant in the ovary. Examination of cDNAs corresponding to the 2.5 kb and 1.7 kb mRNAs revealed that these transcripts encode identical proteins, differing only in the polyadenylation signal used and therefore in the length of their 3' untranslated regions. Northern blot and in situ hybridization analyses revealed that the predominant sites of cycB1 expression in the testis and ovary were in the germinal compartment, particularly in early round spermatids in the testis and growing oocytes in the ovary. Thus cycB1 is expressed in both meiotic and postmeiotic cells. This pattern of cycB1 expression further suggests that cycB1 may have different functions in the two cell types, only one of which correlates with progression of the cell cycle.

  15. Identification of a mouse B-type cyclin which exhibits developmentally regulated expression in the germ line

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chapman, D. L.; Wolgemuth, D. J.

    1992-01-01

    To begin to examine the function of cyclins in mammalian germ cells, we have screened an adult mouse testis cDNA library for the presence of B-type cyclins. We have isolated cDNAs that encode a murine B-type cyclin, which has been designated cycB1. cycB1 was shown to be expressed in several adult tissues and in the midgestation mouse embryo. In the adult tissues, the highest levels of cycB1 transcripts were seen in the testis and ovary, which contain germ cells at various stages of differentiation. The major transcripts corresponding to cycB1 are 1.7 and 2.5 kb, with the 1.7 kb species being the predominant testicular transcript and the 2.5 kb species more abundant in the ovary. Examination of cDNAs corresponding to the 2.5 kb and 1.7 kb mRNAs revealed that these transcripts encode identical proteins, differing only in the polyadenylation signal used and therefore in the length of their 3' untranslated regions. Northern blot and in situ hybridization analyses revealed that the predominant sites of cycB1 expression in the testis and ovary were in the germinal compartment, particularly in early round spermatids in the testis and growing oocytes in the ovary. Thus cycB1 is expressed in both meiotic and postmeiotic cells. This pattern of cycB1 expression further suggests that cycB1 may have different functions in the two cell types, only one of which correlates with progression of the cell cycle.

  16. Formation and cultivation of medaka primordial germ cells.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhendong; Li, Mingyou; Hong, Ni; Yi, Meisheng; Hong, Yunhan

    2014-07-01

    Primordial germ cell (PGC) formation is pivotal for fertility. Mammalian PGCs are epigenetically induced without the need for maternal factors and can also be derived in culture from pluripotent stem cells. In egg-laying animals such as Drosophila and zebrafish, PGCs are specified by maternal germ plasm factors without the need for inducing factors. In these organisms, PGC formation and cultivation in vitro from indeterminate embryonic cells have not been possible. Here, we report PGC formation and cultivation in vitro from blastomeres dissociated from midblastula embryos (MBEs) of the fish medaka (Oryzias latipes). PGCs were identified by using germ-cell-specific green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression from a transgene under the control of the vasa promoter. Embryo perturbation was exploited to study PGC formation in vivo, and dissociated MBE cells were cultivated under various conditions to study PGC formation in vitro. Perturbation of somatic development did not prevent PGC formation in live embryos. Dissociated MBE blastomeres formed PGCs in the absence of normal somatic structures and of known inducing factors. Most importantly, under culture conditions conducive to stem cell derivation, some dissociated MBE blastomeres produced GFP-positive PGC-like cells. These GFP-positive cells contained genuine PGCs, as they expressed PGC markers and migrated into the embryonic gonad to generate germline chimeras. Our data thus provide evidence for PGC preformation in medaka and demonstrate, for the first time, that PGC formation and derivation can be obtained in culture from early embryos of medaka as a lower vertebrate model.

  17. Localization of Beclin1 in mouse developing tooth germs: possible implication of the interrelation between autophagy and apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jingwen; Wan, Chunyan; Nie, Shuai; Jian, Shujuan; Sun, Zheyi; Zhang, Lu; Chen, Zhi

    2013-12-01

    Our previous study identified the appearance of autophagy in developing tooth germs, and suggested its possible association with apoptosis in odontogenesis. Beclin1 was recently indicated to play a central role in bridging autophagy and apoptosis, and occupied a key position in the process of development. This study hypothesized that Beclin1 may be involved, and act as the molecular basis of the connection between autophagy and apoptosis in odontogenesis. Immunohistochemical analysis showed the spatiotemporal expression pattern of Beclin1 in odontogenesis from embryonic (E) day 13.5 to postnatal (P) day 5.5. At E stages, Beclin1 was mainly immunolocalized in the cytoplasm of the cells in the enamel organ. Meanwhile, the nucleus localization of Beclin1 was detected in part of the stellate reticulum, outer and inner enamel epithelium, especially at E16.5 and E18.5. At P stages, Beclin1 was detected in the cytoplasm of the odontoblasts, besides the dental epithelium cells. Triple immunofluorescence analysis showed the partial colocalization of Beclin1, autophagic marker LC3, or activated caspase-3 in the E14.5 tooth germs, especially the Beclin1(+)LC3(+)Caspase-3(+) cells in the PEK. Furthermore, western blot analysis revealed that the full-length (60 kDa) and/or cleaved (50, 37, and 35 kDa) Beclin1 in the developing tooth germs. Taken together, our findings indicate that Beclin1 is involved, and might be responsible for the crosstalk between autophagy and apoptosis in mouse odontogenesis.

  18. Risk estimation based on germ-cell mutations in animals.

    PubMed

    Favor, J

    1989-01-01

    The set of mouse germ cell mutation rate results following spermatogonial exposure to high dose rate irradiation have been presented as the most relevant experimental results upon which to extrapolate the expected genetic risk of offspring of the survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings. Results include mutation rates to recessive specific-locus, dominant cataract, protein-charge, and enzyme-activity alleles. The mutability as determined by the various genetic end points differed: the mutation rates to recessive specific-locus alleles and enzyme-activity alleles were similar and greater than the mutation rates to dominant cataract and protein-charge alleles. It is argued that the type of mutation event scored by a particular test will determine the mutability of the genetic end point screened. When the loss of functional gene product can be scored in a particular mutation test, as in the recessive specific-locus and enzyme-activity tests, a wide spectrum of DNA alterations may result in a loss of and a higher mutation rate is observed. When an altered gene product is scored, as in the dominant cataract and protein-charge tests, a narrower spectrum of DNA alterations is screened and a lower mutation rate is observed. The radiation doubling dose, defined as the dose that induces as many mutations as occur spontaneously per generation, was shown to be four times higher in the dominant cataract test than the specific-locus test. These results indicate that to extrapolate to genetic risks in humans using the doubling-dose method, the extrapolation must be based on experimental mutation rate results for the same genetic end point.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  19. Human Stem Cells Can Differentiate in Post-implantation Mouse Embryos.

    PubMed

    Tam, Patrick P L

    2016-01-07

    The potency of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) to differentiate into germ layer derivatives is conventionally assessed by teratoma induction and in vitro differentiation. In this issue of Cell Stem Cell, Mascetti and Pedersen (2016) demonstrate that the human-mouse post-implantation chimera offers an efficient avenue to test the germ layer differentiation potential of hPSCs in mouse embryos ex vivo.

  20. Direct Reprogramming of Human Primordial Germ Cells into Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: Efficient Generation of Genetically Engineered Germ Cells

    PubMed Central

    Bazley, Faith A.; Liu, Cyndi F.; Yuan, Xuan; Hao, Haiping; All, Angelo H.; De Los Angeles, Alejandro; Zambidis, Elias T.; Gearhart, John D.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Primordial germ cells (PGCs) share many properties with embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and innately express several key pluripotency-controlling factors, including OCT4, NANOG, and LIN28. Therefore, PGCs may provide a simple and efficient model for studying somatic cell reprogramming to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), especially in determining the regulatory mechanisms that fundamentally define pluripotency. Here, we report a novel model of PGC reprogramming to generate iPSCs via transfection with SOX2 and OCT4 using integrative lentiviral. We also show the feasibility of using nonintegrative approaches for generating iPSC from PGCs using only these two factors. We show that human PGCs express endogenous levels of KLF4 and C-MYC protein at levels similar to embryonic germ cells (EGCs) but lower levels of SOX2 and OCT4. Transfection with both SOX2 and OCT4 together was required to induce PGCs to a pluripotent state at an efficiency of 1.71%, and the further addition of C-MYC increased the efficiency to 2.33%. Immunohistochemical analyses of the SO-derived PGC-iPSCs revealed that these cells were more similar to ESCs than EGCs regarding both colony morphology and molecular characterization. Although leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) was not required for the generation of PGC-iPSCs like EGCs, the presence of LIF combined with ectopic exposure to C-MYC yielded higher efficiencies. Additionally, the SO-derived PGC-iPSCs exhibited differentiation into representative cell types from all three germ layers in vitro and successfully formed teratomas in vivo. Several lines were generated that were karyotypically stable for up to 24 subcultures. Their derivation efficiency and survival in culture significantly supersedes that of EGCs, demonstrating their utility as a powerful model for studying factors regulating pluripotency in future studies. PMID:26154167

  1. Direct Reprogramming of Human Primordial Germ Cells into Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: Efficient Generation of Genetically Engineered Germ Cells.

    PubMed

    Bazley, Faith A; Liu, Cyndi F; Yuan, Xuan; Hao, Haiping; All, Angelo H; De Los Angeles, Alejandro; Zambidis, Elias T; Gearhart, John D; Kerr, Candace L

    2015-11-15

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs) share many properties with embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and innately express several key pluripotency-controlling factors, including OCT4, NANOG, and LIN28. Therefore, PGCs may provide a simple and efficient model for studying somatic cell reprogramming to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), especially in determining the regulatory mechanisms that fundamentally define pluripotency. Here, we report a novel model of PGC reprogramming to generate iPSCs via transfection with SOX2 and OCT4 using integrative lentiviral. We also show the feasibility of using nonintegrative approaches for generating iPSC from PGCs using only these two factors. We show that human PGCs express endogenous levels of KLF4 and C-MYC protein at levels similar to embryonic germ cells (EGCs) but lower levels of SOX2 and OCT4. Transfection with both SOX2 and OCT4 together was required to induce PGCs to a pluripotent state at an efficiency of 1.71%, and the further addition of C-MYC increased the efficiency to 2.33%. Immunohistochemical analyses of the SO-derived PGC-iPSCs revealed that these cells were more similar to ESCs than EGCs regarding both colony morphology and molecular characterization. Although leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) was not required for the generation of PGC-iPSCs like EGCs, the presence of LIF combined with ectopic exposure to C-MYC yielded higher efficiencies. Additionally, the SO-derived PGC-iPSCs exhibited differentiation into representative cell types from all three germ layers in vitro and successfully formed teratomas in vivo. Several lines were generated that were karyotypically stable for up to 24 subcultures. Their derivation efficiency and survival in culture significantly supersedes that of EGCs, demonstrating their utility as a powerful model for studying factors regulating pluripotency in future studies.

  2. Transcriptomic profiling comparison of YAP over-expression and conditional knockout mouse tooth germs.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ming; Wang, Xiu-Ping

    2015-09-01

    To identify the downstream target genes of YAP, we used RNA-Seq technology to compare the transcriptomic profilings of Yap conditional knockout (Yap CKO) and YAP over-expression mouse tooth germs. Our results showed that some Hox, Wnt and Laminin family genes had concurrent changes with YAP transcripts, indicating that the expression of these genes may be regulated by YAP. Here, we provide the detailed experimental procedure for the transcriptomic profiling results (NCBI GEO accession number GSE65524). The associated study on the regulation of Hoxa1 and Hoxc13 genes by YAP was published in Molecular Cellular Biology in 2015 [Liu et al., 2015].

  3. In vitro germ cell differentiation from embryonic stem cells of mice: induction control by BMP4 signalling

    PubMed Central

    Movahedin, Mansoureh; Forouzandeh-Moghadam, Mehdi

    2016-01-01

    The present study aims to confirm and analyse germ cell-related patterns and specific gene expressions at a very early stage of cell commitment. Following the XY cytogenetic confirmation of the CCE mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) line, cells were cultured to form embryoid bodies (EBs). Expression pattern assessment of the mouse vasa homologue (Mvh), Stra8, α6 and β1 integrin genes in ESC and 1–3-day-old EB showed that all genes except α6 integrin were expressed in the ESC. The mean calibration of Mvh, Stra8 and α6 integrin expression significantly increased upon EB formation compared with the ESCs. During mouse embryogenesis, the signalling of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) is essential for germ-line formation. To investigate its role in germ-line induction in vitro, mESCs were cultured as 1-day-old EB aggregates with BMP4 for 4 days in STO co-culture systems, in the presence and absence of 5 ng/ml BMP4. At the end of the culture period, colony assay (number and diameter) was performed and the viability percentage and proliferation rate was determined. There were no significant statistical differences in the abovementioned criteria between these two groups. Moreover, the expression of Mvh, α6 and β1 integrins, Stra8 and Piwil2 genes was evaluated in co-culture groups. The molecular results of co-culture groups showed higher–but insignificant–Piwil2 and significant α6 integrin expressions in BMP4 treated co-culture systems. These results confirmed that the EB system and the presence of BMP4 in a STO co-culture system improve the differentiation of ESCs to germ cell. PMID:27694305

  4. Oocyte formation by mitotically active germ cells purified from ovaries of reproductive-age women.

    PubMed

    White, Yvonne A R; Woods, Dori C; Takai, Yasushi; Ishihara, Osamu; Seki, Hiroyuki; Tilly, Jonathan L

    2012-02-26

    Germline stem cells that produce oocytes in vitro and fertilization-competent eggs in vivo have been identified in and isolated from adult mouse ovaries. Here we describe and validate a fluorescence-activated cell sorting-based protocol that can be used with adult mouse ovaries and human ovarian cortical tissue to purify rare mitotically active cells that have a gene expression profile that is consistent with primitive germ cells. Once established in vitro, these cells can be expanded for months and can spontaneously generate 35- to 50-μm oocytes, as determined by morphology, gene expression and haploid (1n) status. Injection of the human germline cells, engineered to stably express GFP, into human ovarian cortical biopsies leads to formation of follicles containing GFP-positive oocytes 1-2 weeks after xenotransplantation into immunodeficient female mice. Thus, ovaries of reproductive-age women, similar to adult mice, possess rare mitotically active germ cells that can be propagated in vitro as well as generate oocytes in vitro and in vivo.

  5. Wheat germ systems for cell-free protein expression.

    PubMed

    Harbers, Matthias

    2014-08-25

    Cell-free protein expression plays an important role in biochemical research. However, only recent developments led to new methods to rapidly synthesize preparative amounts of protein that make cell-free protein expression an attractive alternative to cell-based methods. In particular the wheat germ system provides the highest translation efficiency among eukaryotic cell-free protein expression approaches and has a very high success rate for the expression of soluble proteins of good quality. As an open in vitro method, the wheat germ system is a preferable choice for many applications in protein research including options for protein labeling and the expression of difficult-to-express proteins like membrane proteins and multiple protein complexes. Here I describe wheat germ cell-free protein expression systems and give examples how they have been used in genome-wide expression studies, preparation of labeled proteins for structural genomics and protein mass spectroscopy, automated protein synthesis, and screening of enzymatic activities. Future directions for the use of cell-free expression methods are discussed.

  6. Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus replicates in testicular germ cells, alters spermatogenesis, and induces germ cell death by apoptosis.

    PubMed Central

    Sur, J H; Doster, A R; Christian, J S; Galeota, J A; Wills, R W; Zimmerman, J J; Osorio, F A

    1997-01-01

    Like other arteriviruses, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is shed in semen, a feature that is critical for the venereal transmission of this group of viruses. In spite of its epidemiological importance, little is known of the association of PRRSV or other arteriviruses with gonadal tissues. We experimentally infected a group of boars with PRRSV 12068-96, a virulent field strain. By combined use of in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, we detected infection by PRRSV in the testes of these boars. The PRRSV testicular replication in testis centers on two types of cells: (i) epithelial germ cells of the seminiferous tubules, primarily spermatids and spermatocytes, and (ii) macrophages, which are located in the interstitium of the testis. Histopathologically, hypospermatogenesis, formation of multinucleated giant cells (MGCs), and abundant germ cell depletion and death were observed. We obtained evidence that such germ cell death occurs by apoptosis, as determined by a characteristic histologic pattern and evidence of massive DNA fragmentation detected in situ (TUNEL [terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated digoxigenin-UTP nick end labeling] assay). Simultaneously with these testicular alterations, we observed that there is a significant increase in the number of immature sperm cells (mainly MGCs, spermatids, and spermatocytes) in the ejaculates of the PRRSV-inoculated boars and that these cells are infected with PRRSV. Our results indicate that PRRSV may infect target cells other than macrophages, that these infected cells can be primarily responsible for the excretion of infectious PRRSV in semen, and that PRRSV induces apoptosis in these germ cells in vivo. PMID:9371575

  7. Notch2 is required in somatic cells for breakdown of ovarian germ-cell nests and formation of primordial follicles.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jingxia; Gridley, Thomas

    2013-02-13

    In the mouse ovary, oocytes initially develop in clusters termed germ-cell nests. Shortly after birth, these germ-cell nests break apart, and the oocytes individually become surrounded by somatic granulosa cells to form primordial follicles. Notch signaling plays essential roles during oogenesis in Drosophila, and recent studies have suggested that Notch signaling also plays an essential role during oogenesis and ovary development in mammals. However, no in vivo loss-of-function studies have been performed to establish whether Notch family receptors have an essential physiological role during normal ovarian development in mutant mice. Female mice with conditional deletion of the Notch2 gene in somatic granulosa cells of the ovary exhibited reduced fertility, accompanied by the formation of multi-oocyte follicles, which became hemorrhagic by 7 weeks of age. Formation of multi-oocyte follicles resulted from defects in breakdown of the primordial germ-cell nests. The ovaries of the Notch2 conditional mutant mice had increased numbers of oocytes, but decreased numbers of primordial follicles. Oocyte numbers in the Notch2 conditional mutants were increased not by excess or extended cellular proliferation, but as a result of decreased oocyte apoptosis. Our work demonstrates that Notch2-mediated signaling in the somatic-cell lineage of the mouse ovary regulates oocyte apoptosis non-cell autonomously, and is essential for regulating breakdown of germ-cell nests and formation of primordial follicles. This model provides a new resource for studying the developmental and physiological roles of Notch signaling during mammalian reproductive biology.

  8. Notch2 is required in somatic cells for breakdown of ovarian germ-cell nests and formation of primordial follicles

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background In the mouse ovary, oocytes initially develop in clusters termed germ-cell nests. Shortly after birth, these germ-cell nests break apart, and the oocytes individually become surrounded by somatic granulosa cells to form primordial follicles. Notch signaling plays essential roles during oogenesis in Drosophila, and recent studies have suggested that Notch signaling also plays an essential role during oogenesis and ovary development in mammals. However, no in vivo loss-of-function studies have been performed to establish whether Notch family receptors have an essential physiological role during normal ovarian development in mutant mice. Results Female mice with conditional deletion of the Notch2 gene in somatic granulosa cells of the ovary exhibited reduced fertility, accompanied by the formation of multi-oocyte follicles, which became hemorrhagic by 7 weeks of age. Formation of multi-oocyte follicles resulted from defects in breakdown of the primordial germ-cell nests. The ovaries of the Notch2 conditional mutant mice had increased numbers of oocytes, but decreased numbers of primordial follicles. Oocyte numbers in the Notch2 conditional mutants were increased not by excess or extended cellular proliferation, but as a result of decreased oocyte apoptosis. Conclusions Our work demonstrates that Notch2-mediated signaling in the somatic-cell lineage of the mouse ovary regulates oocyte apoptosis non-cell autonomously, and is essential for regulating breakdown of germ-cell nests and formation of primordial follicles. This model provides a new resource for studying the developmental and physiological roles of Notch signaling during mammalian reproductive biology. PMID:23406467

  9. 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

  10. Progress towards human primordial germ cell specification in vitro.

    PubMed

    Canovas, S; Campos, R; Aguilar, E; Cibelli, J B

    2017-01-01

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs) have long been considered the link between one generation and the next. PGC specification begins in the early embryo as a result of a highly orchestrated combination of transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms. Understanding the molecular events that lead to proper PGC development will facilitate the development of new treatments for human infertility as well as species conservation. This article describes the latest, most relevant findings about the mechanisms of PGC formation, emphasizing human PGC. It also discusses our own laboratory's progress in using transdifferentiation protocols to derive human PGCs (hPGCs). Our preliminary results arose from our pursuit of a sequential hPGC induction strategy that starts with the repression of lineage-specific factors in the somatic cell, followed by the reactivation of germ cell-related genes using specific master regulators, which can indeed reactivate germ cell-specific genes in somatic cells. While it is still premature to assume that fully functional human gametes can be obtained in a dish, our results, together with those recently published by others, provide strong evidence that generating their precursors, PGCs, is within reach. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Intraperitoneal germ cell transplantation in the Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus.

    PubMed

    Farlora, Rodolfo; Hattori-Ihara, Shoko; Takeuchi, Yukata; Hayashi, Makoto; Octavera, Anna; Alimuddin; Yoshizaki, Goro

    2014-06-01

    Germ cell transplantation offers promising applications in finfish aquaculture and the preservation of endangered species. Here, we describe an intraperitoneal spermatogonia transplantation procedure in the Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus. Through histological analysis of early gonad development, we first determined the best suitable stage at which exogenous germ cells should be transplanted into the recipients. For the transplantation procedure, donor testes from a transgenic Nile tilapia strain carrying the medaka β-actin/enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) gene were subjected to enzymatic dissociation. These testicular cells were then stained with PKH26 and microinjected into the peritoneal cavity of the recipient fish. To confirm colonization of the donor-derived germ cells, the recipient gonads were examined by fluorescent and confocal microscopy. PKH26-labeled cells exhibiting typical spermatogonial morphology were incorporated into the recipient gonads and were not rejected within 22 days posttransplantation. Long-term survival of transgenic donor-derived germ cells was then verified in the gonads of 5-month-old recipients and in the milt and vitelogenic oocytes of 1-year-old recipients, by means of PCR using EGFP-specific primers. EGFP-positive milt from adult male recipients was used to fertilize non-transgenic oocytes and produced transgenic offspring expressing the donor-derived phenotype. These results imply that long-term survival, proliferation, and differentiation of the donor-derived spermatogonia into vitelogenic oocytes and functional spermatozoa are all possible. Upon further improvements in the transplantation efficiency, this intraperitoneal transplantation system could become a valuable tool in the conservation of genetic resources for cichlid species.

  12. 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

    2016-03-08

    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. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Exposure to Brefeldin A promotes initiation of meiosis in murine female germ cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lian-Jun; Chen, Bo; Feng, Xin-Lei; Ma, Hua-Gang; Sun, Li-Lan; Feng, Yan-Min; Liang, Gui-Jin; Cheng, Shun-Feng; Li, Lan; Shen, Wei

    2015-01-01

    In mammals, ontogenesis starts from a fusion of spermatozoon and oocyte, which are produced by reductive nuclear division of a diploid germ cell in a specialised but complex biological process known as meiosis. However, little is known about the mechanism of meiotic initiation in germ cells, although many factors may be responsible for meiosis both in male and female gonads. In this study, 11.5 days post coitum (dpc) female fetal mouse genital ridges were cultured in vitro with exposure to Brefeldin A (BFA) for 6h, and the changes in meiosis were detected. Synaptonemal-complex analysis implied that BFA played a positive role in meiosis initiation and this hypothesis was confirmed by quantitative PCR of meiosis-specific genes: stimulated by retinoic acid gene 8 (Stra8) and deleted in a zoospermia-like (DAZL). At the same time, mRNA expression of retinoic acid synthetase (Raldh2) and retinoic acid (RA) receptors increased in female gonads with in vitro exposure to BFA. Transplanting genital ridges treated with BFA into the kidney capsule of immunodeficient mice demonstrated that the development capacity of female germ cells was normal, while formation of primordial follicles was seen to be a result of accelerated meiosis after exposure to BFA. In conclusion, the study indicated that BFA stimulated meiosis initiation partly by RA signalling and then promoted the development of follicles.

  14. 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. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  15. 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. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Poultry Science Association.

  16. Lifetime stress experience: transgenerational epigenetics and germ cell programming

    PubMed Central

    Bale, Tracy L.

    2014-01-01

    The transgenerational epigenetic programming involved in the passage of environmental exposures to stressful periods from one generation to the next has been examined in human populations, and mechanistically in animal models. Epidemiological studies suggest that gestational exposures to environmental factors including stress are strongly associated with an increased risk of neurodevelopmental disorders, including attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, and autism spectrum disorders. Both maternal and paternal life experiences with stress can be passed on to offspring directly during pregnancy or through epigenetic marks in the germ cell. Animal models of parental stress have examined relevant offspring phenotypes and transgenerational outcomes, and provided unique insight into the germ cell epigenetic changes associated with disruptions in neurodevelopment. Understanding germline susceptibility to exogenous signals during stress exposure and the identification of the types of epigenetic marks is critical for defining mechanisms underlying disease risk. PMID:25364281

  17. Management of Pediatric Malignant Germ Cell Tumors: ICMR Consensus Document.

    PubMed

    Agarwala, Sandeep; Mitra, Aparajita; Bansal, Deepak; Kapoor, Gauri; Vora, Tushar; Prasad, Maya; Chinnaswamy, Girish; Arora, Brijesh; Radhakrishnan, Venkatraman; Laskar, Siddharth; Kaur, Tanvir; Dhaliwal, Rupinder Singh; Rath, G K; Bakhshi, Sameer

    2017-06-01

    With the introduction of cisplatin, the outcome of children with malignant germ cell tumors (MGCT) has improved to nearly 90% 5 year survival. Over the years, through the results of various multinational co-operative trials, the chemotherapy and surgical guidelines for both the gonadal and extra-gonadal MGCTs have been refined to decrease the early and late morbidities and at the same time improve survival. Introduction of risk categorization has further added to this effort. There has been no recommendation on how the children with malignant germ cell tumors should be treated in India. The current manuscript is written with the objective of developing a consensus guideline for practitioners at a National level. Based on extensively reviewed literature and personal experience of the major pediatric oncology centres in India, the ICMR Expert group has made recommendations for management of children with MGCT India.

  18. Mediastinal germ cell tumors: a radiologic-pathologic review.

    PubMed

    Drevelegas, A; Palladas, P; Scordalaki, A

    2001-01-01

    Germ cell tumors of the mediastinum are histologically identical to those found in the testes and ovaries. Early diagnosis and treatment improve the survival rate. Imaging studies of teratoma demonstrate a rounded, often lobulated heterogeneous mass containing soft tissue elements with fluid and fat attenuation. Calcification is present in 20-43% of cases. Seminomas are large masses of homogeneous soft tissue attenuation. Malignant nonseminomatous germ cell tumors are heterogeneous tumors with irregular borders due to invasion of adjacent structures. CT shows the location and extent of the tumors as well as intrinsic elements including soft tissue, fat, fluid, and calcification. CT is the modality of choice for the diagnostic evaluation of these tumors. MRI reveals masses of heterogeneous signal intensity, is more sensitive in depicting infiltration of the adjacent structures by fat plane obliteration, and is performed as an ancillary study.

  19. Paraneoplastic tumefactive demyelination with underlying combined germ cell cancer.

    PubMed

    Broadfoot, Jack R; Archer, Hilary A; Coulthard, Elizabeth; Appelman, Auke P A; Sutak, Judit; Braybrooke, Jeremy P; Love, Seth

    2015-12-01

    Paraneoplastic demyelination is a rare disorder of the central nervous system. We describe a 60-year-old man with tumefactive demyelination who had an underlying retroperitoneal germ cell cancer. He presented with visuospatial problems and memory loss and had a visual field defect. His MRI was interpreted as a glioma but stereotactic biopsy showed active demyelination. Investigation for multiple sclerosis was negative but CT imaging showed retroperitoneal lymphadenopathy, and nodal biopsy confirmed a combined germ cell cancer. He responded poorly to corticosteroid treatment, and his visual field defect progressed. However, 6 months after plasma exchange and successful chemotherapy, he has partially improved clinically and radiographically. Tumefactive demyelination is typically associated with multiple sclerosis but may be paraneoplastic. It is important to recognise paraneoplastic tumefactive demyelination early, as the neurological outcome relies on treating the associated malignancy.

  20. Lifetime stress experience: transgenerational epigenetics and germ cell programming.

    PubMed

    Bale, Tracy L

    2014-09-01

    The transgenerational epigenetic programming involved in the passage of environmental exposures to stressful periods from one generation to the next has been examined in human populations, and mechanistically in animal models. Epidemiological studies suggest that gestational exposures to environmental factors including stress are strongly associated with an increased risk of neurodevelopmental disorders, including attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, and autism spectrum disorders. Both maternal and paternal life experiences with stress can be passed on to offspring directly during pregnancy or through epigenetic marks in the germ cell. Animal models of parental stress have examined relevant offspring phenotypes and transgenerational outcomes, and provided unique insight into the germ cell epigenetic changes associated with disruptions in neurodevelopment. Understanding germline susceptibility to exogenous signals during stress exposure and the identification of the types of epigenetic marks is critical for defining mechanisms underlying disease risk.

  1. Epigenetic regulation during the differentiation of stem cells to germ cells.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yuan-Chao; Wang, Yong-Yong; Ge, Wei; Cheng, Shun-Feng; Dyce, Paul W; Shen, Wei

    2017-08-22

    Gametogenesis is an essential process to ensure the transfer of genetic information from one generation to the next. It also provides a mechanism by which genetic evolution can take place. Although the genome of primordial germ cells (PGCs) is exactly the same with somatic cells within an organism, there are significant differences between their developments. For example, PGCs eventually undergo meiosis to become functional haploid gametes, and prior to that they undergo epigenetic imprinting which greatly alter their genetic regulation. Epigenetic imprinting of PGCs involves the erasure of DNA methylation and the reestablishment of them during sperm and oocyte formation. These processes are necessary and important during gametogenesis. Also, histone modification and X-chromosome inactivation have important roles during germ cell development. Recently, several studies have reported that functional sperm or oocytes can be derived from stem cells in vivo or in vitro. To produce functional germ cells, induction of germ cells from stem cells must recapitulate these processes similar to endogenous germ cells, such as epigenetic modifications. This review focuses on the epigenetic regulation during the process of germ cell development and discusses their importance during the differentiation from stem cells to germ cells.

  2. Epigenetic regulation during the differentiation of stem cells to germ cells

    PubMed Central

    Ge, Wei; Cheng, Shun-Feng; Dyce, Paul W.; Shen, Wei

    2017-01-01

    Gametogenesis is an essential process to ensure the transfer of genetic information from one generation to the next. It also provides a mechanism by which genetic evolution can take place. Although the genome of primordial germ cells (PGCs) is exactly the same with somatic cells within an organism, there are significant differences between their developments. For example, PGCs eventually undergo meiosis to become functional haploid gametes, and prior to that they undergo epigenetic imprinting which greatly alter their genetic regulation. Epigenetic imprinting of PGCs involves the erasure of DNA methylation and the reestablishment of them during sperm and oocyte formation. These processes are necessary and important during gametogenesis. Also, histone modification and X-chromosome inactivation have important roles during germ cell development. Recently, several studies have reported that functional sperm or oocytes can be derived from stem cells in vivo or in vitro. To produce functional germ cells, induction of germ cells from stem cells must recapitulate these processes similar to endogenous germ cells, such as epigenetic modifications. This review focuses on the epigenetic regulation during the process of germ cell development and discusses their importance during the differentiation from stem cells to germ cells. PMID:28915715

  3. Rad54 is required for the normal development of male and female germ cells and contributes to the maintainance of their genome integrity after genotoxic stress

    PubMed Central

    Messiaen, S; Le Bras, A; Duquenne, C; Barroca, V; Moison, D; Déchamps, N; Doussau, M; Bauchet, A-L; Guerquin, M-J; Livera, G; Essers, J; Kanaar, R; Habert, R; Bernardino-Sgherri, J

    2013-01-01

    Rad54 is an important factor in the homologous recombination pathway of DNA double-strand break repair. However, Rad54 knockout (KO) mice do not exhibit overt phenotypes at adulthood, even when exposed to radiation. In this study, we show that in Rad54 KO mouse the germline is actually altered. Compared with the wild-type (WT) animals, these mice have less premeiotic germ cells. This germ cell loss is found as early as in E11.5 embryos, suggesting an early failure during mutant primordial germ cells development. Both testicular and ovarian KO germ cells exhibited high radiation sensitivity leading to a long-term gametogenesis defect at adulthood. The KO female germline was particularly affected displaying decreased litter size or sterility. Spermatogenesis recovery after irradiation was slower and incomplete in Rad54 KO mice compared with that of WT mice, suggesting that loss of germ stem cell precursors is not fully compensated along the successive rounds of spermatogenesis. Finally, spermatogenesis recovery after postnatal irradiation is in part regulated by glial-cell-line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in KO but not in irradiated WT mice, suggesting that Sertoli cell GDNF production is stimulated upon substantial germ cell loss only. Our findings suggest that Rad54 has a key function in maintaining genomic integrity of the developing germ cells. PMID:23949223

  4. Rad54 is required for the normal development of male and female germ cells and contributes to the maintainance of their genome integrity after genotoxic stress.

    PubMed

    Messiaen, S; Le Bras, A; Duquenne, C; Barroca, V; Moison, D; Déchamps, N; Doussau, M; Bauchet, A L; Guerquin, M J; Livera, G; Essers, J; Kanaar, R; Habert, R; Bernardino-Sgherri, J

    2013-08-15

    Rad54 is an important factor in the homologous recombination pathway of DNA double-strand break repair. However, Rad54 knockout (KO) mice do not exhibit overt phenotypes at adulthood, even when exposed to radiation. In this study, we show that in Rad54 KO mouse the germline is actually altered. Compared with the wild-type (WT) animals, these mice have less premeiotic germ cells. This germ cell loss is found as early as in E11.5 embryos, suggesting an early failure during mutant primordial germ cells development. Both testicular and ovarian KO germ cells exhibited high radiation sensitivity leading to a long-term gametogenesis defect at adulthood. The KO female germline was particularly affected displaying decreased litter size or sterility. Spermatogenesis recovery after irradiation was slower and incomplete in Rad54 KO mice compared with that of WT mice, suggesting that loss of germ stem cell precursors is not fully compensated along the successive rounds of spermatogenesis. Finally, spermatogenesis recovery after postnatal irradiation is in part regulated by glial-cell-line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in KO but not in irradiated WT mice, suggesting that Sertoli cell GDNF production is stimulated upon substantial germ cell loss only. Our findings suggest that Rad54 has a key function in maintaining genomic integrity of the developing germ cells.

  5. The Diversity of Nanos Expression in Echinoderm Embryos Supports Different Mechanisms in Germ Cell Specification

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  6. 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. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. 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.

  8. DAZ Family Proteins, Key Players for Germ Cell Development.

    PubMed

    Fu, Xia-Fei; Cheng, Shun-Feng; Wang, Lin-Qing; Yin, Shen; De Felici, Massimo; Shen, Wei

    2015-01-01

    DAZ family proteins are found almost exclusively in germ cells in distant animal species. Deletion or mutations of their encoding genes usually severely impair either oogenesis or spermatogenesis or both. The family includes Boule (or Boll), Dazl (or Dazla) and DAZ genes. Boule and Dazl are situated on autosomes while DAZ, exclusive of higher primates, is located on the Y chromosome. Deletion of DAZ gene is the most common causes of infertility in humans. These genes, encoding for RNA binding proteins, contain a highly conserved RNA recognition motif and at least one DAZ repeat encoding for a 24 amino acids sequence able to bind other mRNA binding proteins. Basically, Daz family proteins function as adaptors for target mRNA transport and activators of their translation. In some invertebrate species, BOULE protein play a pivotal role in germline specification and a conserved regulatory role in meiosis. Depending on the species, DAZL is expressed in primordial germ cells (PGCs) and/or pre-meiotic and meiotic germ cells of both sexes. Daz is found in fetal gonocytes, spermatogonia and spermatocytes of adult testes. Here we discuss DAZ family genes in a phylogenic perspective, focusing on the common and distinct features of these genes, and their pivotal roles during gametogenesis evolved during evolution.

  9. Role of surgical resection for refractory germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Daneshmand, Siamak

    2015-08-01

    This article aims to critically review the current recommendations with regard to the role of surgery following salvage chemotherapy, growing teratoma syndrome, late relapse, as well as malignant transformation. All the literature published in English and available on Pubmed pertaining to refractory germ cell tumors was reviewed and the relevant articles, as well as our own institutional experience were included in this review. There is universal agreement that patients with non-seminoma who have residual tumor measuring greater than one centimeter should undergo post-chemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (PC-RPLND) for resection of potential teratoma or viable germ cell tumor. The role of surgical resection is less clear in patients who are deemed to have germ cell tumors refractory to chemotherapy. Patients with residual masses following second line therapy, those with growing teratoma, late relapse, and malignant transformation should all be considered for upfront surgical resection. Compared with the typical PC-RPLND, these operations are generally more complex, with a higher proportion requiring adjunctive procedures; and should be performed in experienced, tertiary referral centers. Patients who have complete resection of disease are sill curable and patients with chemorefractory disease should have evaluation by an expert surgeon. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Deregulated Sex Chromosome Gene Expression with Male Germ Cell-Specific Loss of Dicer1

    PubMed Central

    Snyder, Elizabeth; Buaas, F. William; Gu, Tongjun; Stearns, Timothy M.; Sharma, Manju; Murchison, Elizabeth P.; Puente, Gabriella C.; Braun, Robert E.

    2012-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of endogenous, non-coding RNAs that mediate post-transcriptional gene silencing by inhibiting mRNA translation and promoting mRNA decay. DICER1, an RNase III endonuclease encoded by Dicer1, is required for processing short 21–22 nucleotide miRNAs from longer double-stranded RNA precursors. Here, we investigate the loss of Dicer1 in mouse postnatal male germ cells to determine how disruptions in the miRNA biogenesis pathway may contribute to infertility. Reduced levels of Dicer1 transcripts and DICER1 were confirmed in germ cell knock-out (GCKO) testes by postnatal day 18 (P18). Compared to wild-type (WT) at 8 weeks, GCKO males had no change in body weight; yet showed significant reductions in testis mass and sperm number. Histology and fertility tests confirmed spermatogenic failure in GCKO males. Array analyses at P18 showed that in comparison to WT testes, 75% of miRNA genes and 37% of protein coding genes were differentially expressed in GCKO testes. Among these, 96% of miRNA genes were significantly down-regulated, while 4% miRNA genes were overexpressed. Interestingly, we observed preferential overexpression of genes encoded on the sex chromosomes in GCKO testes, including more than 80% of previously identified targets of meiotic sex chromosome inactivation (MSCI). Compared to WT, GCKO mice showed higher percentages of germ cells at early meiotic stages (leptotene and zygotene) but lower percentages at later stages (pachytene, diplotene and metaphase I) providing evidence that deletion of Dicer1 leads to disruptions in meiotic progression. Therefore, deleting Dicer1 in early postnatal germ cells resulted in deregulation of transcripts encoded by genes on the sex chromosomes, impaired meiotic progression and led to spermatogenic failure and infertility. PMID:23056286

  11. Deregulated sex chromosome gene expression with male germ cell-specific loss of Dicer1.

    PubMed

    Greenlee, Anne R; Shiao, Meng-Shin; Snyder, Elizabeth; Buaas, F William; Gu, Tongjun; Stearns, Timothy M; Sharma, Manju; Murchison, Elizabeth P; Puente, Gabriella C; Braun, Robert E

    2012-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of endogenous, non-coding RNAs that mediate post-transcriptional gene silencing by inhibiting mRNA translation and promoting mRNA decay. DICER1, an RNase III endonuclease encoded by Dicer1, is required for processing short 21-22 nucleotide miRNAs from longer double-stranded RNA precursors. Here, we investigate the loss of Dicer1 in mouse postnatal male germ cells to determine how disruptions in the miRNA biogenesis pathway may contribute to infertility. Reduced levels of Dicer1 transcripts and DICER1 were confirmed in germ cell knock-out (GCKO) testes by postnatal day 18 (P18). Compared to wild-type (WT) at 8 weeks, GCKO males had no change in body weight; yet showed significant reductions in testis mass and sperm number. Histology and fertility tests confirmed spermatogenic failure in GCKO males. Array analyses at P18 showed that in comparison to WT testes, 75% of miRNA genes and 37% of protein coding genes were differentially expressed in GCKO testes. Among these, 96% of miRNA genes were significantly down-regulated, while 4% miRNA genes were overexpressed. Interestingly, we observed preferential overexpression of genes encoded on the sex chromosomes in GCKO testes, including more than 80% of previously identified targets of meiotic sex chromosome inactivation (MSCI). Compared to WT, GCKO mice showed higher percentages of germ cells at early meiotic stages (leptotene and zygotene) but lower percentages at later stages (pachytene, diplotene and metaphase I) providing evidence that deletion of Dicer1 leads to disruptions in meiotic progression. Therefore, deleting Dicer1 in early postnatal germ cells resulted in deregulation of transcripts encoded by genes on the sex chromosomes, impaired meiotic progression and led to spermatogenic failure and infertility.

  12. Germ cell regeneration-mediated, enhanced mutagenesis in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis reveals flexible germ cell formation from different somatic cells.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Keita; Hozumi, Akiko; Treen, Nicholas; Sakuma, Tetsushi; Yamamoto, Takashi; Shirae-Kurabayashi, Maki; Sasakura, Yasunori

    2017-03-15

    The ascidian Ciona intestinalis has a high regeneration capacity that enables the regeneration of artificially removed primordial germ cells (PGCs) from somatic cells. We utilized PGC regeneration to establish efficient methods of germ line mutagenesis with transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs). When PGCs were artificially removed from animals in which a TALEN pair was expressed, somatic cells harboring mutations in the target gene were converted into germ cells, this germ cell population exhibited higher mutation rates than animals not subjected to PGC removal. PGC regeneration enables us to use TALEN expression vectors of specific somatic tissues for germ cell mutagenesis. Unexpectedly, cis elements for epidermis, neural tissue and muscle could be used for germ cell mutagenesis, indicating there are multiple sources of regenerated PGCs, suggesting a flexibility of differentiated Ciona somatic cells to regain totipotency. Sperm and eggs of a single hermaphroditic, PGC regenerated animal typically have different mutations, suggesting they arise from different cells. PGCs can be generated from somatic cells even though the maternal PGCs are not removed, suggesting that the PGC regeneration is not solely an artificial event but could have an endogenous function in Ciona. This study provides a technical innovation in the genome-editing methods, including easy establishment of mutant lines. Moreover, this study suggests cellular mechanisms and the potential evolutionary significance of PGC regeneration in Ciona.

  13. Prepubertal male rats with high rates of germ-cell apoptosis present exacerbated rates of germ-cell apoptosis after serotonin depletion.

    PubMed

    Méndez Palacios, Néstor; Escobar, María Elena Ayala; Mendoza, Maximino Méndez; Crispín, Rubén Huerta; Andrade, Octavio Guerrero; Melández, Javier Hernández; Martínez, Andrés Aragón

    2016-04-01

    Male germ-cell apoptosis occurs naturally and can be increased by exposure to drugs and toxic chemicals. Individuals may have different rates of apoptosis and are likely to also exhibit differential sensitivity to outside influences. Previously, we reported that p-chloroamphetamine (pCA), a substance that inhibits serotonin synthesis, induced germ-cell apoptosis in prepubertal male rats. Here, we identified prepubertal rats with naturally high or low rates of germ-cell apoptosis and evaluated gene expression in both groups. Bax and Shbg mRNA levels were higher in rats with high rates of germ-cell apoptosis. Rats were then treated with pCA and the neuro-hormonal response and gene expression were evaluated. Treatment with pCA induced a reduction in serotonin concentrations but levels of sex hormones and gonadotrophins were not changed. Rats with initially high rates of germ-cell apoptosis had even higher rates of germ-cell apoptosis after treatment with pCA. In rats with high rates of germ-cell apoptosis Bax mRNA expression remained high after treatment with pCA. On the basis of category, an inverse relationship between mRNA expression of Bax and Bcl2, Bax and AR and Bax and Hsd3b2 was found. Here we provide evidence that innate levels of germ-cell apoptosis could be explained by the level of mRNA expression of genes involved with apoptosis and spermatogenesis.

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

    PubMed Central

    Bainton, Roland J; Heberlein, Ulrike

    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

  15. Mechanisms guiding primordial germ cell migration: strategies from different organisms

    PubMed Central

    Richardson, Brian E.; Lehmann, Ruth

    2015-01-01

    Preface The regulated migration of cells is essential for development and tissue homeostasis, and aberrant cell migration can lead to an impaired immune response and the progression of cancer. Primordial germ cells (PGCs), precursors to sperm and eggs, have to migrate across the embryo to reach somatic gonadal precursors (SGPs) and fulfill their function. Studies of model organisms have revealed that, despite important differences, several features of PGC migration are conserved. PGCs require both an intrinsic motility program and external guidance cues to survive and successfully migrate. Proper guidance involves both attractive and repulsive cues mediated by protein and lipid signalling. PMID:20027186

  16. Influence of activin A supplementation during human embryonic stem cell derivation on germ cell differentiation potential.

    PubMed

    Duggal, Galbha; Heindryckx, Björn; Warrier, Sharat; O'Leary, Thomas; Van der Jeught, Margot; Lierman, Sylvie; Vossaert, Liesbeth; Deroo, Tom; Deforce, Dieter; Chuva de Sousa Lopes, Susana M; De Sutter, Petra

    2013-12-01

    Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are more similar to "primed" mouse epiblast stem cells (mEpiSCs). mEpiSCs, which are derived in Activin A, show an increased propensity to form primordial germ cell (PGC)-like cells in response to bone morphogenic protein 4 (BMP4). Hence, we hypothesized that hESCs derived in the presence of Activin A may be more competent in differentiating towards PGC-like cells after supplementation with BMP4 compared to standard hESC lines. We were able to successfully derive two hESC lines in the presence of Activin A, which were pluripotent and showed higher base levels of STELLA and cKIT compared to standard hESC lines derived without Activin A addition. Furthermore, upon differentiation as embryoid bodies in the presence of BMP4, we observed upregulation of VASA at day 7, both at the transcript and protein level compared to standard hESC lines, which appeared to take longer time for PGC specification. Unlike other hESC lines, nuclear pSMAD2/3 presence confirmed that Activin signalling was switched on in Activin A-derived hESC lines. They were also responsive to BMP4 based on nuclear detection of pSMAD1/5/8 and showed endodermal differentiation as a result of GATA-6 expression. Hence, our results provide novel insights into the impact of hESC derivation in the presence of Activin A and its subsequent influence on germ cell differentiation potential in vitro.

  17. Presence of Germ Cells in Disorders of Sex Development: Implications for Fertility Potential and Preservation

    PubMed Central

    Finlayson, Courtney; Fritsch, Michael K.; Johnson, Emilie K.; Rosoklija, Ilina; Gosiengfiao, Yasmin; Yerkes, Elizabeth; Madonna, Mary Beth; Woodruff, Teresa K.; Cheng, Earl

    2017-01-01

    Purpose We sought to determine the presence of germ cells in the gonads of patients with disorders of sex development to establish whether preservation of germ cells for future fertility potential is possible. We hypothesized that germ cells are present but vary by age and diagnosis. Materials and Methods We reviewed histology from patients with disorders of sex development who underwent gonadectomy/biopsy from 2002 to 2014 at a single institution for pathological classification of the gonad, composition of gonadal stroma and germ cell presence. Results A total of 44 patients were identified and germ cells were present in 68%. The presence and average number of germ cells per mm2 were analyzed by gonad type and diagnosis. By gonad type all ovotestes, most testes, ovaries and dysgenetic testes, and 15% of streak gonads had germ cells present. By diagnosis germ cells were present in all patients with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome, Denys-Drash syndrome, SRY mutation, mixed gonadal dysgenesis, ovotesticular conditions and StAR (steroid acute regulatory protein) deficiency, in some patients with persistent müllerian duct syndrome, XO/XY Turner syndrome and disorders of sex development not otherwise specified, and in none with complete or partial gonadal dysgenesis. Germ cells were present in the gonads of 88% of patients 0 to 3 years old, 50% of those 4 to 11 years old and 43% of those older than 12 years. Conclusions Germ cells were present in the majority of our cohort and the presence decreased with age. This novel, fertility driven evaluation of germ cell quantity in a variety of disorders of sex development suggests that fertility potential may be greater than previously thought. Further studies must be done to evaluate a larger population and examine germ cell quality to determine the viability of these germ cells. PMID:27840018

  18. Presence of Germ Cells in Disorders of Sex Development: Implications for Fertility Potential and Preservation.

    PubMed

    Finlayson, Courtney; Fritsch, Michael K; Johnson, Emilie K; Rosoklija, Ilina; Gosiengfiao, Yasmin; Yerkes, Elizabeth; Madonna, Mary Beth; Woodruff, Teresa K; Cheng, Earl

    2017-03-01

    We sought to determine the presence of germ cells in the gonads of patients with disorders of sex development to establish whether preservation of germ cells for future fertility potential is possible. We hypothesized that germ cells are present but vary by age and diagnosis. We reviewed histology from patients with disorders of sex development who underwent gonadectomy/biopsy from 2002 to 2014 at a single institution for pathological classification of the gonad, composition of gonadal stroma and germ cell presence. A total of 44 patients were identified and germ cells were present in 68%. The presence and average number of germ cells per mm(2) were analyzed by gonad type and diagnosis. By gonad type all ovotestes, most testes, ovaries and dysgenetic testes, and 15% of streak gonads had germ cells present. By diagnosis germ cells were present in all patients with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome, Denys-Drash syndrome, SRY mutation, mixed gonadal dysgenesis, ovotesticular conditions and StAR (steroid acute regulatory protein) deficiency, in some patients with persistent müllerian duct syndrome, XO/XY Turner syndrome and disorders of sex development not otherwise specified, and in none with complete or partial gonadal dysgenesis. Germ cells were present in the gonads of 88% of patients 0 to 3 years old, 50% of those 4 to 11 years old and 43% of those older than 12 years. Germ cells were present in the majority of our cohort and the presence decreased with age. This novel, fertility driven evaluation of germ cell quantity in a variety of disorders of sex development suggests that fertility potential may be greater than previously thought. Further studies must be done to evaluate a larger population and examine germ cell quality to determine the viability of these germ cells. Copyright © 2017 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Engineering musculoskeletal tissues with human embryonic germ cell derivatives.

    PubMed

    Varghese, Shyni; Hwang, Nathaniel S; Ferran, Angela; Hillel, Alexander; Theprungsirikul, Parnduangjai; Canver, Adam C; Zhang, Zijun; Gearhart, John; Elisseeff, Jennifer

    2010-04-01

    The cells derived from differentiating embryoid bodies of human embryonic germ (hEG) cells express a broad spectrum of gene markers and have been induced toward ecto- and endodermal lineages. We describe here in vitro and in vivo differentiation of hEG-derived cells (LVEC line) toward mesenchymal tissues. The LVEC cells express many surface marker proteins characteristic of mesenchymal stem cells and differentiated into cartilage, bone, and fat. Homogenous hyaline cartilage was generated from cells after 63 population doublings. In vivo results demonstrate cell survival, differentiation, and tissue formation. The high proliferative capacity of hEG-derived cells and their ability to differentiate and form three-dimensional mesenchymal tissues without teratoma formation underscores their significant potential for regenerative medicine. The adopted coculture system also provides new insights into how a microenvironment comprised of extracellular and cellular components may be harnessed to generate hierarchically complex tissues from pluripotent cells.

  20. Production of fertile zebrafish (Danio rerio) possessing germ cells (gametes) originated from primordial germ cells recovered from vitrified embryos.

    PubMed

    Higaki, Shogo; Eto, Yoshiki; Kawakami, Yutaka; Yamaha, Etsuro; Kagawa, Noriko; Kuwayama, Masashige; Nagano, Masashi; Katagiri, Seiji; Takahashi, Yoshiyuki

    2010-04-01

    This study aimed to produce fertile zebrafish (Danio rerio) possessing germ cells (gametes) that originated from cryopreserved primordial germ cells (PGCs). First, to improve the vitrification procedure of PGCs in segmentation stage embryos, dechorionated yolk-intact and yolk-removed embryos, the PGCs of which were labeled with green fluorescent protein, were cooled rapidly after serial exposures to equilibration solution (ES) and vitrification solution (VS), which contained ethylene glycol, DMSO, and sucrose. Yolk removal well prevented ice formation in the embryos during cooling and improved the viability of cryopreserved PGCs. The maximum recovery rate of live PGCs in the yolk-removed embryos vitrified after optimum exposure to ES and VS was estimated to be about 90%, and about 50% of the live PGCs showed pseudopodial movement. Next, to elucidate the ability of cryopreserved PGCs to differentiate into functional gametes, PGCs recovered from the yolk-removed embryos (striped-type) that were vitrified under the optimum exposure to ES and VS were transplanted individually into 218 sterilized recipient blastulae (golden-type). Two days after the transplantation, 7.5% (14/187) of morphologically normal embryos had PGC(s) in the genital ridges. Six (5 males and 1 female) of the 14 recipient embryos developed into mature fish and generated progeny with characteristics inherited from PGC donors. In conclusion, we demonstrated the successful cryopreservation of PGCs by vitrification of yolk-removed embryos and the production of fertile zebrafish possessing germ cells that originated from the PGCs in vitrified embryos.

  1. 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

  2. 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

    2016-04-27

    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.

  3. Successful Reconstruction of Tooth Germ with Cell Lines Requires Coordinated Gene Expressions from the Initiation Stage

    PubMed Central

    Komine, Akihiko; Tomooka, Yasuhiro

    2012-01-01

    Tooth morphogenesis is carried out by a series of reciprocal interactions between the epithelium and mesenchyme in embryonic germs. Previously clonal dental epithelial cell (epithelium of molar tooth germ (emtg)) lines were established from an embryonic germ. They were odontogenic when combined with a dental mesenchymal tissue, although the odontogenesis was quantitatively imperfect. To improve the microenvironment in the germs, freshly isolated dental epithelial cells were mixed with cells of lines, and germs were reconstructed in various combinations. The results demonstrated that successful tooth construction depends on the mixing ratio, the age of dental epithelial cells and the combination with cell lines. Analyses of gene expression in these germs suggest that some signal(s) from dental epithelial cells makes emtg cells competent to communicate with mesenchymal cells and the epithelial and mesenchymal compartments are able to progress odontogenesis from the initiation stage. PMID:24710535

  4. 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

  5. Complete Genome Sequence of Turicibacter sp. Strain H121, Isolated from the Feces of a Contaminated Germ-Free Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Auchtung, T. A.; Holder, M. E.; Gesell, J. R.; Ajami, N. J.; Duarte, R. T. D.; Itoh, K.; Caspi, R. R.; Petrosino, J. F.; Horai, R.

    2016-01-01

    Turicibacter bacteria are commonly detected in the gastrointestinal tracts and feces of humans and animals, but their phylogeny, ecological role, and pathogenic potential remain unclear. We present here the first complete genome sequence of Turicibacter sp. strain H121, which was isolated from the feces of a mouse line contaminated following germ-free derivation. PMID:27013036

  6. Effects of mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP) on chicken germ cells cultured in vitro.

    PubMed

    Guibert, Edith; Prieur, Bérénice; Cariou, Ronan; Courant, Frédérique; Antignac, Jean Philippe; Pain, Bertrand; Brillard, Jean Pierre; Froment, Pascal

    2013-05-01

    In recent decades, many toxicological tests based on in vivo or in vitro models, mainly from mammalian (rat-mouse) and fish species, were used to assess the risks raised by contact or ingestion of molecules of pharmaceutical, agricultural, or natural origin. But no, or few, in vitro tests using other non-mammalian models such as bird have been explored despite their advantages: the embryonic gonads of birds have a high plasticity of development sensitive to estrogen, and sperm production is nearly two times faster than in rodents. Hence, we have established an in vitro culture of germ cells and somatic cells from chicken post-natal testis, and we have evaluated the sensitivity against the endocrine disruptor compound mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP) in comparison to previous studies using rodent and human models. After 96 h of exposure in presence of 10 μM MEHP, chicken seminiferous tubules cultures present a structural alteration, a reduction in cell proliferation and in germ cells population. Apoptosis of germ and somatic cells increases in presence of 1 μM MEHP. Furthermore, MEHP does not affect inhibin B and lactate production by Sertoli cells. These results are in accordance with previous studies using rat, mice, or human culture of testicular cells and in similar range of exposures or even better sensitivity for some "end-points" (biological parameters). In conclusion, the establishment of this postnatal testicular cells culture could be considered as an alternative method to in vivo experiments frequently used for evaluating the impact on the terrestrial wildlife species. This method could be also complementary to mammal model due to the limiting number of animals used and its elevated sensitivity.

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  10. Methods to study maternal regulation of germ cell specification in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Kaufman, O.H.; Marlow, F.L.

    2016-01-01

    The process by which the germ line is specified in the zebrafish embryo is under the control of maternal gene products that were produced during oogenesis. Zebrafish are highly amenable to microscopic observation of the processes governing maternal germ cell specification because early embryos are transparent, and the germ line is specified rapidly (within 4–5 h post fertilization). Advantages of zebrafish over other models used to study vertebrate germ cell formation include their genetic tractability, the large numbers of progeny, and the easily manipulable genome, all of which make zebrafish an ideal system for studying the genetic regulators and cellular basis of germ cell formation and maintenance. Classical molecular biology techniques, including expression analysis through in situ hybridization and forward genetic screens, have laid the foundation for our understanding of germ cell development in zebrafish. In this chapter, we discuss some of these classic techniques, as well as recent cutting-edge methodologies that have improved our ability to visualize the process of germ cell specification and differentiation, and the tracking of specific molecules involved in these processes. Additionally, we discuss traditional and novel technologies for manipulating the zebrafish genome to identify new components through loss-of-function studies of putative germ cell regulators. Together with the numerous aforementioned advantages of zebrafish as a genetic model for studying development, we believe these new techniques will continue to advance zebrafish to the forefront for investigation of the molecular regulators of germ cell specification and germ line biology. PMID:27312489

  11. The effects of steel mutation on testicular germ cell differentiation.

    PubMed

    Nishimune, Y; Haneji, T; Kitamura, Y

    1980-10-01

    The effects of artificial cryptorchidism and its surgical reversal on spermatogenesis were examined in germ cell mutant, S1/+ and wild type, +/+, mice. In cryptorchid testes no difference was found between S1/+ and +/+ mice in the number of undifferentiated type A spermatogonia. The activity of type A spermatogonia in mutant mice appeared normal as judged by its mitotic cell number and DNA synthesis. The surgical reversal of cryptorchidism resulted in regenerative differentiation of mature germ cells in both types of mice, but the pattern of cellular differentiation in the mutant testes was completely different from that of the wild type testes. At two steps of cellular differentiation, intermediate or type B spermatogonia and spermatid, the numbers of cells were much smaller in the S1/+ testes than those in the +/+ testes. The steel gene was therefore suggested to exert its effects on the differentiation of type A spermatogonia to intermediate or type B spermatogonia, on meiotic division and/or the survival rate of these cells, but not on the undifferentiated type A spermatogonia or stem cells.

  12. Amniotic membrane mesenchymal stem cells can differentiate into germ cells in vitro.

    PubMed

    Afsartala, Zohreh; Rezvanfar, Mohammad Amin; Hodjat, Mahshid; Tanha, Shima; Assadollahi, Vahideh; Bijangi, Khosro; Abdollahi, Mohammad; Ghasemzadeh-Hasankolaei, Mohammad

    2016-12-01

    This is the first report on differentiation of mouse amniotic membrane mesenchymal stem cells (AM-MSCs) into male germ cells (GCs). AM-MSCs have the multipotent differentiation capacity and can be differentiated into various cell types. In the present study, AM-MSCs were induced for differentiation into GCs. AM-MSCs were isolated from mouse embryonic membrane by enzymatic digestion. AM-MSCs were characterized with osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation test and flow cytometric analysis of some CD-markers. AM-MSCs were induced to differentiate into GCs using a creative two-step method. Passage-3 AM-MSCs were firstly treated with 25 ng/ml bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) for 5 d and in continuing with 1 μM retinoic acid (RA) for 12 d (total treatment time was 17 d). At the end of the treatment period, real-time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR was performed to evaluate the expression of GC-specific markers-Itgb1, Dazl, Stra8, Piwil2, Mvh, Oct4, and c-Kit- in the cells. Moreover, flow cytometry and immunofluorescence staining were performed to evaluate the expression of Mvh and Dazl at protein level. Real-time RT-PCR showed that most of the tested markers were upregulated in the treated AM-MSCs. Furthermore, flow cytometric and immunofluorescence analyses both revealed that a considerable part of the treated cells expressed GC-specific markers. The percentage of positive cells for Mvh and Dazl was about 23 and 46%, respectively. Our results indicated that a number of AM-MSCs successfully differentiated into the GCs. Finally, it seems that AM-MSCs would be a potential source of adult pluripotent stem cells for in vitro generation of GCs and cell-based therapies for treatment of infertility.

  13. A zebrafish homologue of the chemokine receptor Cxcr4 is a germ-cell guidance receptor.

    PubMed

    Knaut, Holger; Werz, Christian; Geisler, Robert; Nüsslein-Volhard, Christiane

    2003-01-16

    Germ cells preserve an individual's genetic information and transmit it to the next generation. Early in development germ cells are set aside and undergo a specialized developmental programme, a hallmark of which is the migration from their site of origin to the future gonad. In Drosophila, several factors have been identified that control germ-cell migration to their target tissues; however, the germ-cell chemoattractant or its receptor have remained unknown. Here we apply genetics and in vivo imaging to show that odysseus, a zebrafish homologue of the G-protein-coupled chemokine receptor Cxcr4, is required specifically in germ cells for their chemotaxis. odysseus mutant germ cells are able to activate the migratory programme, but fail to undergo directed migration towards their target tissue, resulting in randomly dispersed germ cells. SDF-1, the presumptive cognate ligand for Cxcr4, shows a similar loss-of-function phenotype and can recruit germ cells to ectopic sites in the embryo, thus identifying a vertebrate ligand-receptor pair guiding migratory germ cells at all stages of migration towards their target.

  14. A zebrafish homologue of the chemokine receptor Cxcr4 is a germ-cell guidance receptor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knaut, Holger; Werz, Christian; Geisler, Robert; Tübingen 2000 Screen Consortium; Nüsslein-Volhard, Christiane

    2003-01-01

    Germ cells preserve an individual's genetic information and transmit it to the next generation. Early in development germ cells are set aside and undergo a specialized developmental programme, a hallmark of which is the migration from their site of origin to the future gonad. In Drosophila, several factors have been identified that control germ-cell migration to their target tissues; however, the germ-cell chemoattractant or its receptor have remained unknown. Here we apply genetics and in vivo imaging to show that odysseus, a zebrafish homologue of the G-protein-coupled chemokine receptor Cxcr4, is required specifically in germ cells for their chemotaxis. odysseus mutant germ cells are able to activate the migratory programme, but fail to undergo directed migration towards their target tissue, resulting in randomly dispersed germ cells. SDF-1, the presumptive cognate ligand for Cxcr4, shows a similar loss-of-function phenotype and can recruit germ cells to ectopic sites in the embryo, thus identifying a vertebrate ligand-receptor pair guiding migratory germ cells at all stages of migration towards their target.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Rod T; E Camacho-Moll, Maria; Macdonald, Joni; Anderson, Richard A; Kelnar, Christopher J H; O'Donnell, Marie; Sharpe, Richard M; Smith, Lee B; Grigor, Ken M; Wallace, W Hamish B; Stoop, Hans; Wolffenbuttel, Katja P; Donat, Roland; Saunders, Philippa Tk; Looijenga, Leendert Hj

    2014-09-01

    Testicular germ cell cancer develops from premalignant 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 hypothesized that cells expressing an immature (OCT4(+)/MAGEA4(-)) germ cell profile would exhibit an increased proliferation rate compared with 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 preinvasive 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 versus 3.4%, P<0.0001) irrespective of histological tumor type, reflected in the predominance of OCT4(+)/MAGEA4(-) cells in the invasive tumor component. Surprisingly, OCT4(+)/MAGEA4(-) cells in patients with preinvasive disease showed significantly higher proliferation compared to those with seminoma or non-seminoma (18.1 versus 10.2 versus 7.2%, P<0.05, respectively). In conclusion, this study

  17. 0610009K11Rik, a testis-specific and germ cell nuclear receptor-interacting protein

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang Heng; Denhard, Leslie A.; Zhou Huaxin; Liu Lanhsin; Lan Zijian

    2008-02-22

    Using an in silico approach, a putative nuclear receptor-interacting protein 0610009K11Rik was identified in mouse testis. We named this gene testis-specific nuclear receptor-interacting protein-1 (Tnrip-1). Tnrip-1 was predominantly expressed in the testis of adult mouse tissues. Expression of Tnrip-1 in the testis was regulated during postnatal development, with robust expression in 14-day-old or older testes. In situ hybridization analyses showed that Tnrip-1 is highly expressed in pachytene spermatocytes and spermatids. Consistent with its mRNA expression, Tnrip-1 protein was detected in adult mouse testes. Immunohistochemical studies showed that Tnrip-1 is a nuclear protein and mainly expressed in pachytene spermatocytes and round spermatids. Moreover, co-immunoprecipitation analyses showed that endogenous Tnrip-1 protein can interact with germ cell nuclear receptor (GCNF) in adult mouse testes. Our results suggest that Tnrip-1 is a testis-specific and GCNF-interacting protein which may be involved in the modulation of GCNF-mediated gene transcription in spermatogenic cells within the testis.

  18. The cell-free protein synthesis system from wheat germ.

    PubMed

    Takai, Kazuyuki; Endo, Yaeta

    2010-01-01

    The wheat-germ cell-free protein synthesis system had been one of the most efficient eukaryotic cell-free systems since it was first developed in 1964. However, radio-labeled amino acids had long been essential for detection of the products. Since the discovery of a method for prevention of the contamination by a protein synthesis inhibitor originated from endosperm, the wheat cell-free system has found a wide variety of applications in postgenomic high-throughput screening, structural biology, medicine, and so on. In this chapter, we describe a method for preparation of the cell-free extract and a standard protein synthesis method, as the methods for the applications are found in later chapters.

  19. Male Differentiation of Germ Cells Induced by Embryonic Age-Specific Sertoli Cells in Mice1

    PubMed Central

    Ohta, Kohei; Yamamoto, Miyuki; Lin, Yanling; Hogg, Nathanael; Akiyama, Haruhiko; Behringer, Richard R.; Yamazaki, Yukiko

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT Retinoic acid (RA) is a meiosis-inducing factor. Primordial germ cells (PGCs) in the developing ovary are exposed to RA, resulting in entry into meiosis. In contrast, PGCs in the developing testis enter mitotic arrest to differentiate into prospermatogonia. Sertoli cells express CYP26B1, an RA-metabolizing enzyme, providing a simple explanation for why XY PGCs do not initiate meios/is. However, regulation of entry into mitotic arrest is likely more complex. To investigate the mechanisms that regulate male germ cell differentiation, we cultured XX and XY germ cells at 11.5 and 12.5 days postcoitus (dpc) with an RA receptor inhibitor. Expression of Stra8, a meiosis initiation gene, was suppressed in all groups. However, expression of Dnmt3l, a male-specific gene, during embryogenesis was elevated but only in 12.5-dpc XY germ cells. This suggests that inhibiting RA signaling is not sufficient for male germ cell differentiation but that the male gonadal environment also contributes to this pathway. To define the influence of Sertoli cells on male germ cell differentiation, Sertoli cells at 12.5, 15.5, and 18.5 dpc were aggregated with 11.5 dpc PGCs, respectively. After culture, PGCs aggregated with 12.5 dpc Sertoli cells increased Nanos2 and Dnmt3l expression. Furthermore, these PGCs established male-specific methylation imprints of the H19 differentially methylated domains. In contrast, PGCs aggregated with Sertoli cells at late embryonic ages did not commit to the male pathway. These findings suggest that male germ cell differentiation is induced both by inhibition of RA signaling and by molecule(s) production by embryonic age-specific Sertoli cells. PMID:22262692

  20. Genome-wide methylation profiles in primary intracranial germ cell tumors indicate a primordial germ cell origin for germinomas.

    PubMed

    Fukushima, Shintaro; Yamashita, Satoshi; Kobayashi, Hisato; Takami, Hirokazu; Fukuoka, Kohei; Nakamura, Taishi; Yamasaki, Kai; Matsushita, Yuko; Nakamura, Hiromi; Totoki, Yasushi; Kato, Mamoru; Suzuki, Tomonari; Mishima, Kazuhiko; Yanagisawa, Takaaki; Mukasa, Akitake; Saito, Nobuhito; Kanamori, Masayuki; Kumabe, Toshihiro; Tominaga, Teiji; Nagane, Motoo; Iuchi, Toshihiko; Yoshimoto, Koji; Mizoguchi, Masahiro; Tamura, Kaoru; Sakai, Keiichi; Sugiyama, Kazuhiko; Nakada, Mitsutoshi; Yokogami, Kiyotaka; Takeshima, Hideo; Kanemura, Yonehiro; Matsuda, Masahide; Matsumura, Akira; Kurozumi, Kazuhiko; Ueki, Keisuke; Nonaka, Masahiro; Asai, Akio; Kawahara, Nobutaka; Hirose, Yuichi; Takayama, Tatusya; Nakazato, Yoichi; Narita, Yoshitaka; Shibata, Tatsuhiro; Matsutani, Masao; Ushijima, Toshikazu; Nishikawa, Ryo; Ichimura, Koichi

    2017-03-01

    Intracranial germ cell tumors (iGCTs) are the second most common brain tumors among children under 14 in Japan. The World Health Organization classification recognizes several subtypes of iGCTs, which are conventionally subclassified into pure germinoma or non-germinomatous GCTs. Recent exhaustive genomic studies showed that mutations of the genes involved in the MAPK and/or PI3K pathways are common in iGCTs; however, the mechanisms of how different subtypes develop, often as a mixed-GCT, are unknown. To elucidate the pathogenesis of iGCTs, we investigated 61 GCTs of various subtypes by genome-wide DNA methylation profiling. We showed that pure germinomas are characterized by global low DNA methylation, a unique epigenetic feature making them distinct from all other iGCTs subtypes. The patterns of methylation strongly resemble that of primordial germ cells (PGC) at the migration phase, possibly indicating the cell of origin for these tumors. Unlike PGC, however, hypomethylation extends to long interspersed nuclear element retrotransposons. Histologically and epigenetically distinct microdissected components of mixed-GCTs shared identical somatic mutations in the MAPK or PI3K pathways, indicating that they developed from a common ancestral cell.

  1. Genotoxicity evaluation of buprofezin, petroleum oil and profenofos in somatic and germ cells of male mice.

    PubMed

    Fahmy, M A; Abdalla, E F

    1998-01-01

    The two pest control agents, buprofezin and petroleum oil (Super Royal), were tested to evaluate their potential mutagenicity, in comparison with the organophosphorus insecticide profenofos. Chromosomal aberration analysis was used in both somatic and germ cells of male mice. Single oral treatment at three different dose levels (1/16, 1/8 and 1/4 LD50) for each insecticide induced an increase in the percentage of chromosomal aberrations in bone-marrow cells 24 h post-treatment, indicating a dose-dependent relationship. The percentage of chromosomal aberrations reached 23 +/- 0.73, 10.5 +/- 0.64 and 15 +/- 1.4 after treatment with the highest tested dose of profenofos, buprofezin and Super Royal, respectively. Such percentages did not exceed the corresponding value of the positive control, mitomycin C (29.2 +/- 0.69). The percentage of chromosomal aberrations induced by the different doses of profenofos was still highly significant even after excluding gaps. The same trend of results was noticed only at the highest tested dose of buprofezin and Super Royal. With respect to germ cells, profenofos is also a potent inducer of chromosomal aberrations in 1ry spermatocytes, giving percentages of 14 +/- 1.3 and 19 +/- 1.6 at the two higher doses of 4.25 and 8.5 mg kg(-1) body wt., respectively. Buprofezin and Super Royal had no significant effect on mouse spermatocytes at the tested concentrations. The various types of induced aberrations were examined and recorded in both somatic and germ cells. In conclusion, the present investigation indicates that the two pest control agents buprofezin and Super Royal are relatively much safer compounds than the conventional organophosphorus insecticides.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-04-03

    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.

  3. Nanog regulates primordial germ cell migration through Cxcr4b.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Sánchez, Ana Virginia; Camp, Esther; Leal-Tassias, Aránzazu; Atkinson, Stuart P; Armstrong, Lyle; Díaz-Llopis, Manuel; Mullor, José L

    2010-09-01

    Gonadal development in vertebrates depends on the early determination of primordial germ cells (PGCs) and their correct migration to the sites where the gonads develop. Several genes have been implicated in PGC specification and migration in vertebrates. Additionally, some of the genes associated with pluripotency, such as Oct4 and Nanog, are expressed in PGCs and gonads, suggesting a role for these genes in maintaining pluripotency of the germ lineage, which may be considered the only cell type that perpetually maintains stemness properties. Here, we report that medaka Nanog (Ol-Nanog) is expressed in the developing PGCs. Depletion of Ol-Nanog protein causes aberrant migration of PGCs and inhibits expression of Cxcr4b in PGCs, where it normally serves as the receptor of Sdf1a to guide PGC migration. Moreover, chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis demonstrates that Ol-Nanog protein binds to the promoter region of Cxcr4b, suggesting a direct regulation of Cxcr4b by Ol-Nanog. Simultaneous overexpression of Cxcr4b mRNA and depletion of Ol-Nanog protein in PGCs rescues the migration defective phenotype induced by a loss of Ol-Nanog, whereas overexpression of Sdf1a, the ligand for Cxcr4b, does not restore proper PGC migration. These results indicate that Ol-Nanog mediates PGC migration by regulating Cxcr4b expression.

  4. Endogenous interleukin 18 regulates testicular germ cell apoptosis during endotoxemia.

    PubMed

    Inoue, Taketo; Aoyama-Ishikawa, Michiko; Kamoshida, Shingo; Nishino, Satoshi; Sasano, Maki; Oka, Nobuki; Yamashita, Hayato; Kai, Motoki; Nakao, Atsunori; Kotani, Joji; Usami, Makoto

    2015-08-01

    Orchitis (testicular swelling) often occurs during systemic inflammatory conditions, such as sepsis. Interleukin 18 (IL18) is a proinflammatory cytokine and is an apoptotic mediator during endotoxemia, but the role of IL18 in response to inflammation in the testes was unclear. WT and IL18 knockout (KO) mice were injected lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to induce endotoxemia and examined 12 and 48  h after LPS administration to model the acute and recovery phases of endotoxemia. Caspase activation was assessed using immunohistochemistry. Protein and mRNA expression were examined by western blot and quantitative real-time RT-PCR respectively. During the acute phase of endotoxemia, apoptosis (as indicated by caspase-3 cleavage) was increased in WT mice but not in IL18 KO mice. The death receptor-mediated and mitochondrial-mediated apoptotic pathways were both activated in the WT mice but not in the KO mice. During the recovery phase of endotoxemia, apoptosis was observed in the IL18 KO mice but not in the WT mice. Activation of the death-receptor mediated apoptotic pathway could be seen in the IL18 KO mice but not the WT mice. These results suggested that endogenous IL18 induces germ cell apoptosis via death receptor mediated- and mitochondrial-mediated pathways during the acute phase of endotoxemia and suppresses germ cell apoptosis via death-receptor mediated pathways during recovery from endotoxemia. Taken together, IL18 could be a new therapeutic target to prevent orchitis during endotoxemia.

  5. Management of poor-prognosis testicular germ cell tumors

    PubMed Central

    Khurana, Kiranpreet; Gilligan, Timothy D.; Stephenson, Andrew J.

    2010-01-01

    Currently, the outcome of patients with intermediate-and poor-risk germ cell tumors at diagnosis is optimized by the use of risk-appropriate chemotherapy and post-chemotherapy surgical resection of residual masses. Currently, there is no role for high-dose chemotherapy in the first-line setting. Patients who progress on first-line chemotherapy or who relapse after an initial complete response also have a poor prognosis. In the setting of early relapse, the standard approach at most centers is conventional-dose, ifosfamide-based regimens and post-chemotherapy resection of residual masses. The treatment of patients with late relapse is complete surgical resection whenever feasible. Salvage chemotherapy for late relapse may be used prior to surgery in patients where a complete resection is not feasible. A complete surgical resection of all residual sites of disease after chemotherapy is critical for the prevention of relapse and the long-term survival of patients with advanced germ cell tumors. PMID:20535296

  6. 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.

  7. Current chemotherapeutic approaches for recurrent or refractory germ cell tumors.

    PubMed

    O'Carrigan, Brent; Grimison, Peter

    2015-08-01

    Up to 25% of patients with metastatic testicular germ cell tumour (GCT) are not cured by first line therapy and require treatment for refractory or relapsed disease. A literature search was conducted through PubMed, Medline, Cochrane and EMBASE from January 1950 to April 2014 for articles relating to trials of chemotherapy for patients with relapsed or refractory germ cell tumours. Relevant review papers and conference proceedings were hand searched for additional references. A range of conventional dose chemotherapy (CDCT) regimens can provide durable remissions in 20-30% of patients at first or subsequent salvage. This article reviews the evidence underlying commonly used salvage CDCT based on ifosfamide and cisplatin such as TIP, VIP and VeIP; other active combinations; and single agent salvage regimens. The treatment of growing teratoma syndrome and malignant transformation of teratoma will also be discussed. Companion articles will explore the role of high dose chemotherapy (HDCT) and novel targeted agents. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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

  9. RA induces differentiation of multipotent P19 cells towards male germ cell.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lei; Tang, Jiangjing; Haines, Christopher J; Feng, Huai; Teng, Xiaoming; Han, Yibing

    2015-01-01

    Generating male germ cells in vitro from multipotent stem cells is still a challenge for stem cell biologists. The difficulty is caused by the lack of knowledge about spermatogenesis molecular-controlling mechanisms. In vivo, PGCs differentiate into male germ cells in a very complicated environment through many middle steps. In this study, we use the pluripotent p19 cells to test their responses to different retinoic acid (RA) concentrations by evaluating markers for stem cells (bmp4, egr3), primordial germ cells (ddx4), spermatogonia (c-kit), premeiotic cells (stra8), and male germ cells (dazl and plzf). We have found that cyp26b1, which will catalyze RA, increases dramatically in p19 cells 1 d after RA treatment. Bmp3, egr3, and stra8 are stimulated after 1 d of RA treatment and then recover to normal after 3 d of RA treatment. C-kit keeps being expressed when treated with 10 nM-4 μM RA. Dazl and plzf are gained after 3 d of stimulation. The morphology of RA (100 nM-4 μM)-treated cells changes distinctively, and cell colonies are formed. Typical neural cell-like and germ cell-like morphologies appear in the 100 nM and 4 μM RA groups, respectively. We conclude that 100-500 nM RA can cause responses in p19 cells, but a high concentration of RA (1-4 μM) can drive these pluripotent cells' differentiation towards male germ cells. However, high concentrations of RA are also toxic. Some colonies that survived from 4 μM RA begin to express ddx4 and c-kit. Selection of the c-kit(+), dazl(+), and ddx4(+) cells after RA stimulation and creating a special culture medium for their propagation might benefit successful spermatogenesis induction in vitro.

  10. Possibilities in Germ Cell Research: An Engineering Insight.

    PubMed

    Esfandiari, Fereshteh; Mashinchian, Omid; Ashtiani, Mohammad Kazemi; Ghanian, Mohammad Hossein; Hayashi, Katsuhiko; Saei, Amir Ata; Mahmoudi, Morteza; Baharvand, Hossein

    2015-12-01

    Germ cells (GCs) are responsible for fertility and disruptions in their development or function cause infertility. However, current knowledge about the diverse mechanisms involved in GC development and function is still in its infancy. This is mainly because there are low numbers of GCs, especially during embryonic development. A deeper understanding of GCs would enhance our ability to produce them from stem cells. In addition, such information would enable the production of healthy gametes for infertile couples. In this regard, pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) demonstrated a promising ability to produce GCs in vitro. In this review, we highlight recent advances in the field of tissue engineering that suggest novel strategies to enhance GC research.

  11. Germline stem cells are critical for sexual fate decision of germ cells

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Egg or sperm? The mechanism of sexual fate decision in germ cells has been a long‐standing issue in biology. A recent analysis identified foxl3 as a gene that determines the sexual fate decision of germ cells in the teleost fish, medaka. foxl3/Foxl3 acts in female germline stem cells to repress commitment into male fate (spermatogenesis), indicating that the presence of mitotic germ cells in the female is critical for continuous sexual fate decision of germ cells in medaka gonads. Interestingly, foxl3 is found in most vertebrate genomes except for mammals. This provides the interesting possibility that the sexual fate of germ cells in mammals is determined in a different way compared to foxl3‐possessing vertebrates. Considering the fact that germline stem cells are the cells where foxl3 begins to express and sexual fate decision initiates and mammalian ovary does not have typical germline stem cells, the mechanism in mammals may have been co‐evolved with germline stem cell loss in mammalian ovary. PMID:27699806

  12. 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.

  13. Regulatory mechanism of protein metabolic pathway during the differentiation process of chicken male germ cell.

    PubMed

    Li, Dong; Zuo, Qisheng; Lian, Chao; Zhang, Lei; Shi, Qingqing; Zhang, Zhentao; Wang, Yingjie; Ahmed, Mahmoud F; Tang, Beibei; Xiao, Tianrong; Zhang, Yani; Li, Bichun

    2015-08-01

    We explored the regulatory mechanism of protein metabolism during the differentiation process of chicken male germ cells and provide a basis for improving the induction system of embryonic stem cell differentiation to male germ cells in vitro. We sequenced the transcriptome of embryonic stem cells, primordial germ cells, and spermatogonial stem cells with RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq), bioinformatics analysis methods, and detection of the key genes by quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR). Finally, we found 16 amino acid metabolic pathways enriched in the biological metabolism during the differentiation process of embryonic stem cells to primordial germ cells and 15 amino acid metabolic pathways enriched in the differentiation stage of primordial germ cells to spermatogonial stem cells. We found three pathways, arginine-proline metabolic pathway, tyrosine metabolic pathway, and tryptophan metabolic pathway, significantly enriched in the whole differentiation process of embryonic stem cells to spermatogonial stem cells. Moreover, for these three pathways, we screened key genes such as NOS2, ADC, FAH, and IDO. qRT-PCR results showed that the expression trend of these genes were the same to RNA-Seq. Our findings showed that the three pathways and these key genes play an important role in the differentiation process of embryonic stem cells to male germ cells. These results provide basic information for improving the induction system of embryonic stem cell differentiation to male germ cells in vitro.

  14. Mutagenesis Is Elevated in Male Germ Cells Obtained from DNA Polymerase-beta Heterozygous Mice1

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Diwi; Herbert, Damon C.; McMahan, C. Alex; Rotrekl, Vladimir; Sobol, Robert W.; Wilson, Samuel H.; Walter, Christi A.

    2008-01-01

    Gametes carry the DNA that will direct the development of the next generation. By compromising genetic integrity, DNA damage and mutagenesis threaten the ability of gametes to fulfill their biological function. DNA repair pathways function in germ cells and serve to ameliorate much DNA damage and prevent mutagenesis. High base excision repair (BER) activity is documented for spermatogenic cells. DNA polymerase-beta (POLB) is required for the short-patch BER pathway. Because mice homozygous null for the Polb gene die soon after birth, mice heterozygous for Polb were used to examine the extent to which POLB contributes to maintaining spermatogenic genomic integrity in vivo. POLB protein levels were reduced only in mixed spermatogenic cells. In vitro short-patch BER activity assays revealed that spermatogenic cell nuclear extracts obtained from Polb heterozygous mice had one third the BER activity of age-matched control mice. Polb heterozygosity had no effect on the BER activities of somatic tissues tested. The Polb heterozygous mouse line was crossed with the lacI transgenic Big Blue mouse line to assess mutant frequency. The spontaneous mutant frequency for mixed spermatogenic cells prepared from Polb heterozygous mice was 2-fold greater than that of wild-type controls, but no significant effect was found among the somatic tissues tested. These results demonstrate that normal POLB abundance is necessary for normal BER activity, which is critical in maintaining a low germline mutant frequency. Notably, spermatogenic cells respond differently than somatic cells to Polb haploinsufficiency.. PMID:18650495

  15. Histological and immunohistochemical analyses of molar tooth germ in enamelin-deficient mouse.

    PubMed

    Sawada, Takashi; Sekiguchi, Hiroshi; Uchida, Takashi; Yamashita, Haruto; Shintani, Seikou; Yanagisawa, Takaaki

    2011-09-01

    Amelogenesis imperfecta (AI) is associated with mutations in a number of genes, including AMELX and ENAM. However, the precise mechanism leading to enamel malformation in different AI types remains to be elucidated. In the present study, we investigated morphological change in tooth germ obtained from ENAM-mutant mice (Enam(Rgsc521) homozygotes) as a model for human AI using histological and immunohistochemical methodologies. The results showed that ameloblasts detached from developing dentin and lost cell polarity in mutant mice at post-natal day 3. Cyst-like structures, including amelogenin-immunopositive materials, were observed between these detached cells and the dentin. No enamel-like structure, however, was observed in the cusp of the crown. These results suggest that enamelin acts as an adhesion molecule and is involved in ameloblast cell differentiation during the early stages of tooth development. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  16. Human amniotic epithelial cells differentiate into cells expressing germ cell specific markers when cultured in medium containing serum substitute supplement

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Human amniotic epithelial cells (hAECs) maintain the plasticity of pregastrulation embryonic cells, having the potential to differentiate into all three germ layers. The potential of these cells to differentiate into cells expressing germ cell specific markers has never been described before. Methods In the present study, hAECs were cultured in medium containing serum substitute supplement (SSS). Gene and protein expression of germ cell and oocyte specific markers was assessed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), immunofluorescence staining and flow activated cell sorter analysis (FACS) in hAECs at different time points during the differentiation into cells expressing germ cell specific markers. Results When cultured with SSS, already at passage 1, hAECs start to express the germ cell specific genes C-KIT, DAZL, VASA and ZP3 and at passage 5 large round cells, resembling oocytes, appeared. The cells express the germ cell specific marker DAZL, the oocyte specific markers GDF9 and ZP3 and the meiosis specific markers DMC1 and SCP3 at the protein level. Conclusions From our preliminary results we can conclude that hAECs have the potential to differentiate into cells expressing germ cell specific markers. PMID:23241213

  17. The role of germ cell loss during primordial follicle assembly: a review of current advances.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yuan-Chao; Sun, Xiao-Feng; Dyce, Paul W; Shen, Wei; Chen, Hong

    2017-01-01

    In most female mammals, early germline development begins with the appearance of primordial germ cells (PGCs), and develops to form mature oocytes following several vital processes. It remains well accepted that significant germ cell apoptosis and oocyte loss takes place around the time of birth. The transition of the ovarian environment from fetal to neonatal, coincides with the loss of germ cells and the timing of follicle formation. All told it is common to lose approximately two thirds of germ cells during this transition period. The current consensus is that germ cell loss can be attributed, at least in part, to programmed cell death (PCD). Recently, autophagy has been implicated as playing a part in germ cell loss during the time of parturition. In this review, we discuss the major opinions and mechanisms of mammalian ovarian PCD during the process of germ cell loss. We also pay close attention to the function of autophagy in germ cell loss, and speculate that autophagy may also serve as a critical and necessary process during the establishment of primordial follicle pool.

  18. Paediatric germ cell tumours and congenital abnormalities: a Children's Oncology Group study

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, K J; Ross, J A; Poynter, J N; Linabery, A M; Robison, L L; Shu, X O

    2009-01-01

    Methods: Maternally reported congenital abnormalities (CAs) were examined in a case–control study of 278 cases of paediatric germ cell tumours (GCTs) and 423 controls. Results and conclusions Germ cell tumours were significantly associated with cryptorchidism in males (OR=10.8, 95% CI: 2.1–55.1), but not with any other specific CA in either sex. PMID:19603020

  19. 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...

  20. Transient regression of an intracranial germ cell tumour after intravenous steroid administration: a case report

    PubMed Central

    Mascalchi, M.; Roncaroli, F.; Salvi, F.; Frank, G.

    1998-01-01

    Magnetic resonance imaging showed transient regression of the lesion after intravenous steroid administration in a patient with intracranial multifocal germ cell tumour. Prominent lymphocyte infiltration of the tumour was seen at histological examination and presumably accounts for the regression. Germ cell tumour must be included in the differential diagnosis of intracranial mass lesions sensitive to steroids.

 PMID:9598688

  1. 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...

  2. Mixed Malignant Germ Cell Tumour of Third Ventricle with Hydrocephalus: A Rare Case with Recurrence

    PubMed Central

    Monappa, Vidya; Rao, Lakshmi; Kudva, Ranjini

    2014-01-01

    Malignant Germ Cell Tumours (GCTs) are rare, accounting for 3% of intracranial tumours and just like their extracranial counterparts represent a wide array of disease. Combination of Germinoma with Teratoma is very rare. Here in, we describe a case of Mixed Malignant Germ cell tumor of third ventricle with recurrence with emphasis on histopathological and radiological findings. PMID:25584231

  3. Specific variants of general transcription factors regulate germ cell development in diverse organisms

    PubMed Central

    Freiman, Richard N.

    2009-01-01

    Through the reductive divisions of meiosis, sexually reproducing organisms have gained the ability to produce specialized haploid cells called germ cells that fuse to establish the diploid genome of the resulting progeny. The totipotent nature of these germ cells is highlighted by their ability to provide a single fertilized egg cell with all the genetic information necessary to develop the complete repertoire of cell types of the future organism. Thus, the production of these germ cells must be tightly regulated to ensure the continued success of the germ line in future generations. One surprising germ cell development mechanism utilizes variation of the global transcriptional machinery, such as TFIID and TFIIA. Like histone variation, general transcription factor variation serves to produce gonadal-restricted or -enriched expression of selective transcriptional regulatory factors required for establishing and/or maintaining the germ line of diverse organisms. This strategy is observed among invertebrates and vertebrates, and perhaps plants, suggesting that a common theme in germ cell evolution is the diversification of selective promoter initiation factors to regulate critical gonadal-specific programs of gene expression required for sexual reproduction. This review discusses the identification and characterization of a subset of these specialized general transcription factors in diverse organisms that share a common goal of germ line regulation through transcriptional control at its most fundamental level. PMID:19437618

  4. An Overview on Predictive Biomarkers of Testicular Germ Cell Tumors.

    PubMed

    Chieffi, Paolo

    2017-02-01

    Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) are frequent solid malignant tumors and cause of death in men between 20-40 years of age. Genetic and environmental factors play an important role in the origin and development of TGCTs. Although the majority of TGCTs are responsive to chemotherapy, about 20% of patient presents incomplete response or tumors relapse. In addition, the current treatments cause acute toxicity and several chronic collateral effects, including sterility. The present mini-review collectively summarize the most recent findings on the new discovered molecular biomarkers such as tyrosine kinases, HMGAs, Aurora B kinase, and GPR30 receptor predictive of TGCTs and as emerging new possible molecular targets for therapeutic strategies. J. Cell. Physiol. 232: 276-280, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Human germ cell formation in xenotransplants of induced pluripotent stem cells carrying X chromosome aneuploidies

    PubMed Central

    Dominguez, Antonia A.; Chiang, H. Rosaria; Sukhwani, Meena; Orwig, Kyle E.; Reijo Pera, Renee A.

    2014-01-01

    Turner syndrome is caused by complete or partial loss of the second sex chromosome and is characterized by spontaneous fetal loss in >90% of conceptions. Survivors possess an array of somatic and germline clinical characteristics. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) offer an opportunity for insight into genetic requirements of the X chromosome linked to Turner syndrome. We derived iPSCs from Turner syndrome and control individuals and examined germ cell development as a function of X chromosome composition. We demonstrate that two X chromosomes are not necessary for reprogramming or maintenance of pluripotency and that there are minimal differences in gene expression, at the single cell level, linked to X chromosome aneuploidies. Formation of germ cells, as assessed in vivo through a murine xenotransplantation model, indicated that undifferentiated iPSCs, independent of X chromosome composition, are capable of forming germ-cell-like cells (GCLCs) in vivo. In combination with clinical data regarding infertility in women with X chromosome aneuploidies, results suggest that two intact X chromosomes are not required for human germ cell formation, qualitatively or quantitatively, but rather are likely to be required for maintenance of human germ cells to adulthood. PMID:25242416

  6. Human germ cell formation in xenotransplants of induced pluripotent stem cells carrying X chromosome aneuploidies.

    PubMed

    Dominguez, Antonia A; Chiang, H Rosaria; Sukhwani, Meena; Orwig, Kyle E; Reijo Pera, Renee A

    2014-09-22

    Turner syndrome is caused by complete or partial loss of the second sex chromosome and is characterized by spontaneous fetal loss in >90% of conceptions. Survivors possess an array of somatic and germline clinical characteristics. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) offer an opportunity for insight into genetic requirements of the X chromosome linked to Turner syndrome. We derived iPSCs from Turner syndrome and control individuals and examined germ cell development as a function of X chromosome composition. We demonstrate that two X chromosomes are not necessary for reprogramming or maintenance of pluripotency and that there are minimal differences in gene expression, at the single cell level, linked to X chromosome aneuploidies. Formation of germ cells, as assessed in vivo through a murine xenotransplantation model, indicated that undifferentiated iPSCs, independent of X chromosome composition, are capable of forming germ-cell-like cells (GCLCs) in vivo. In combination with clinical data regarding infertility in women with X chromosome aneuploidies, results suggest that two intact X chromosomes are not required for human germ cell formation, qualitatively or quantitatively, but rather are likely to be required for maintenance of human germ cells to adulthood.

  7. Complete androgen insensitivity syndrome: factors influencing gonadal histology including germ cell pathology.

    PubMed

    Kaprova-Pleskacova, Jana; Stoop, Hans; Brüggenwirth, Hennie; Cools, Martine; Wolffenbuttel, Katja P; Drop, Stenvert L S; Snajderova, Marta; Lebl, Jan; Oosterhuis, J Wolter; Looijenga, Leendert H J

    2014-05-01

    Patients with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome are at an increased risk for the development of gonadal germ cell cancer. Residual androgen receptor (AR) activity and abnormal gonadal location may influence the survival of atypical germ cells and the development of other histopathological features. To assess this, we evaluated 37 gonads from 19 patients with complete androgen insensitivity (ranging in age from 3 months to 18 years). Histological abnormalities were examined using hematoxylin and eosin-stained sections and sections stained for POU5F1 and KITLG, markers of early changes in germ cells at risk for malignant transformation. Hamartomatous nodules (HNs), Leydig cell hyperplasia (LCH), decreased germ cells, tubular atrophy and stromal fibrosis were more pronounced as age increased (P<0.001). Expected residual AR activity acted as a positive predictor only for non-malignant germ cell survival in (post)pubertal patients (P<0.05). Immunohistochemical studies indicated that delayed maturation of germ cells was present in three patients, whereas intermediate changes that occurred between delayed maturation and intratubular germ cell neoplasia, designated pre-intratubular germ cell neoplasia, were identified in four cases. Intratubular germ cell neoplasia was observed in one patient. Neither POU5F1 nor KITLG expression was dependent on expected residual AR activity. An independent effect of inguinal versus abdominal position of the gonads was difficult to assess because inguinal gonads were present primarily in the youngest individuals. In conclusion, many histological changes occur increasingly with age. Expected residual AR activity contributes to better survival of the general germ cell population in (post)pubertal age; however, it did not seem to have an important role in the survival of the germ cells at risk for malignant transformation (defined by POU5F1 positivity and KITLG overexpression) in complete androgen insensitivity. Comparison of the high

  8. A Novel Dynamic Expression of vasa in Male Germ Cells during Spermatogenesis in the Chinese Soft-Shell Turtle (Pelidiscus sinensis).

    PubMed

    Li, Wei; Zhang, Piaoyi; Wu, Xuling; Zhu, Xinping; Xu, Hongyan

    2017-05-01

    vasa gene encodes a highly conserved DEAD-box RNA helicase, required for germ cell development across animal kingdom. Vasa mutations cause male infertility in mammals. It has been widely used as a biomarker for studying animal fertility or manipulating germ cells in organisms. However, in reptilians, the functions of vasa gene involved in germ cell differentiation are largely unclear; this hampers the development of biological techniques and the improvement of the productivity in these species. Here a vasa cDNA was isolated in Chinese soft-shell turtle and it predicts a protein of 691 amino acid residues, which is 72%, 69%, 58%, 59%, and 54-56% identical to its homolog from mouse, platypus, frog, chicken, and fish, respectively, and named as PsVasa. The Psvasa mRNA was detected exclusively in the gonads of both sexes by RT-PCR. Chromogenic RNA in situ hybridization revealed that the Psvasa mRNA was restricted to germ cells in the testis: The psvasa mRNA is undetectable in resting spermatogonia, appears in proliferating spermatogonia, and becomes abundant in spermatocytes and detectable in spermatozoa. Immunofluorescence staining demonstrated that the PsVasa in the testis is also restricted to the germ cells, rich in spermatocytes and elongated spermatids but hardly detectable in spermatogonia and spermatozoa. Taken together, Psvasa is potentially a reliable germ cell marker in the Chinese soft-shell turtle; its RNA expression could distinguish the different spermatogenic stages of germ cells. These findings shed new insights into understanding the evolutionary conservations and divergences of vasa gene's functions in male germ cell differentiation in metazoans. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. AZFa protein DDX3Y is differentially expressed in human male germ cells during development and in testicular tumours: new evidence for phenotypic plasticity of germ cells.

    PubMed

    Gueler, B; Sonne, S B; Zimmer, J; Hilscher, B; Hilscher, W; Græm, N; Rajpert-De Meyts, E; Vogt, P H

    2012-06-01

    DDX3Y (DBY), located within AZoospermia Factor a (AZFa) region of the human Y chromosome (Yq11), encodes a conserved DEAD-box RNA helicase expressed only in germ cells and with a putative function at G1-S phase of the cell cycle. Deletion of AZFa results most often in germ cell aplasia, i.e. Sertoli-cell-only syndrome. To investigate the function of DDX3Y during human spermatogenesis, we examined its expression during development and maturation of the testis and in several types of testicular germ cell tumours (TGCTs), including the pre-invasive carcinoma in situ (CIS) precursor cells which are believed to originate from fetal gonocytes. DDX3Y protein expression was analysed during development in different tissues by western blotting. The localization of DDX3Y in normal fetal and prepubertal testis tissue of different ages as well as in a series of distinct TGCT tissue samples (CIS, classical seminoma, spermatocytic seminoma, teratoma and embryonal carcinoma) was performed by immunohistochemistry. Germ cell-specific expression of DDX3Y protein was revealed in fetal prospermatogonia but not in gonocytes and not before the 17th gestational week. After birth, DDX3Y was expressed at first only in the nuclei of Ap spermatogonia, then also in the cytoplasm similarly to that seen after puberty. In CIS cells, DDX3Y was highly expressed and located predominantly in the nuclei. In invasive TGCT, significant DDX3Y expression was found in seminomas of the classical and spermatocytic type, but not in somatically differentiated non-seminomas, consistent with its germ-cell specific function. The fetal germ cell DDX3Y expression suggests a role in early spermatogonial proliferation and implies that, in men with AZFa deletion, germ cell depletion may begin prenatally. The strong expression of DDX3Y in CIS cells, but not in gonocytes, indicates phenotypic plasticity of CIS cells and suggests partial maturation to spermatogonia, likely due to their postpubertal microenvironment.

  10. 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.

  11. Endocrine disrupters, microRNAs, and primordial germ cells: a dangerous cocktail.

    PubMed

    Brieño-Enríquez, Miguel Angel; Larriba, Eduardo; Del Mazo, Jesús

    2016-09-15

    Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are environmental pollutants that may change the homeostasis of the endocrine system, altering the differentiation of germ cells with consequences for reproduction. In mammals, germ cell differentiation begins with primordial germ cells (PGCs) during embryogenesis. Primordial germ cell development and gametogenesis are genetically regulated processes, in which the posttranscriptional gene regulation could be mediated by small noncoding RNAs (sncRNAs) such as microRNAs (miRNAs). Here, we review the deleterious effects of exposure during fetal life to EDCs mediated by deregulation of ncRNAs, and specifically miRNAs on PGC differentiation. Moreover, the environmental stress induced by exposure to some EDCs during the embryonic window of development could trigger reproductive dysfunctions transgenerationally transmitted by epigenetic mechanisms with the involvement of miRNAs expressed in germ line cells. Copyright © 2016 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Tetraploid Embryonic Stem Cells Maintain Pluripotency and Differentiation Potency into Three Germ Layers.

    PubMed

    Imai, Hiroyuki; Kano, Kiyoshi; Fujii, Wataru; Takasawa, Ken; Wakitani, Shoichi; Hiyama, Masato; Nishino, Koichiro; Kusakabe, Ken Takeshi; Kiso, Yasuo

    2015-01-01

    Polyploid amphibians and fishes occur naturally in nature, while polyploid mammals do not. For example, tetraploid mouse embryos normally develop into blastocysts, but exhibit abnormalities and die soon after implantation. Thus, polyploidization is thought to be harmful during early mammalian development. However, the mechanisms through which polyploidization disrupts development are still poorly understood. In this study, we aimed to elucidate how genome duplication affects early mammalian development. To this end, we established tetraploid embryonic stem cells (TESCs) produced from the inner cell masses of tetraploid blastocysts using electrofusion of two-cell embryos in mice and studied the developmental potential of TESCs. We demonstrated that TESCs possessed essential pluripotency and differentiation potency to form teratomas, which differentiated into the three germ layers, including diploid embryonic stem cells. TESCs also contributed to the inner cell masses in aggregated chimeric blastocysts, despite the observation that tetraploid embryos fail in normal development soon after implantation in mice. In TESCs, stability after several passages, colony morphology, and alkaline phosphatase activity were similar to those of diploid ESCs. TESCs also exhibited sufficient expression and localization of pluripotent markers and retained the normal epigenetic status of relevant reprogramming factors. TESCs proliferated at a slower rate than ESCs, indicating that the difference in genomic dosage was responsible for the different growth rates. Thus, our findings suggested that mouse ESCs maintained intrinsic pluripotency and differentiation potential despite tetraploidization, providing insights into our understanding of developmental elimination in polyploid mammals.

  13. An Integrative Omics Strategy to Assess the Germ Cell Secretome and to Decipher Sertoli-Germ Cell