Making sperm from stem cells in a dish

Aug 04, 2011

Researchers have found a way to turn mouse embryonic stem cells into sperm. This finding, reported in the journal Cell in a special online release on August 4th, opens up new avenues for infertility research and treatment. A Kyoto University team has coaxed mouse embryonic stem cells into sperm precursors, called primordial germ cells (PGCs), and shown that these cells can give rise to healthy sperm. The researchers say that such in vitro reconstitution of germ cell development represents one of the most fundamental challenges in biology.

When transplanted into mice that were unable to produce sperm normally, the stem cell derived PGCs produced normal-looking sperm, which were then used to successfully fertilize eggs. These fertilized eggs, when transplanted into a recipient mother, produced healthy offspring that grew into fertile male and female adult mice. The same procedure could produce fertile offspring from induced that are often derived from adult .

"Continued investigations aimed at in vitro reconstitution of germ cell development, including the induction of female PGCLCs and their descendants, will be crucial for a more comprehensive understanding of germ cell biology in general, as well as for the advancement of reproductive technology and medicine," the researchers wrote.

Explore further: First detailed microscopy evidence of bacteria at the lower size limit of life

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers Reprogram Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Jan 27, 2009

For the first time, UCLA researchers have reprogrammed human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells into the cells that eventually become eggs and sperm, possibly opening the door for new treatments for infertility using patient-specific ...

Treating male infertility with stem cells

Mar 02, 2007

New research has examined the usefulness of bone marrow stem cells for treating male infertility, with promising results. The related report by Lue et al, “Fate of bone marrow stem cells transplanted into the testis: potential ...

Scientists turn stem cells into precursors for sperm, eggs

Oct 28, 2009

Human embryonic stem cells derived from excess IVF embryos may help scientists unlock the mysteries of infertility for other couples struggling to conceive, according to new research from the Stanford University School of ...

Recommended for you

Sall4 is required for DNA repair in stem cells

4 hours ago

A protein that helps embryonic stem cells (ESCs) retain their identity also promotes DNA repair, according to a study in The Journal of Cell Biology. The findings raise the possibility that the protein, Sall4, ...

Desmoplakin's tail gets the message

4 hours ago

Cells control the adhesion protein desmoplakin by modifying the tail end of the protein, and this process goes awry in some patients with arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy, according to a study in The Journal of ...

Looking for alternatives to antibiotics

5 hours ago

Bacteria that talk to one another and organize themselves into biofilms are more resistant to antibiotics. Researchers are now working to develop drugs that prevent bacteria from communicating.

How is the membrane protein folded?

5 hours ago

A key factor in the biosynthesis and stable expression of multi-pass transmembrane proteins was discovered, and its loss is thought to cause retinal degeneration. The factor works especially for multi-pass ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.