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RFD is the official journal of the International Embryo Transfer Society and the Society for Reproductive Biology.


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 22(1)


J. E. Lim A, J. H. Eum A, H. J. Kim B, H. S. Lee A, J. H. Kim B, J. E. Lee B, D. H. Shin B, H. M. Chung A, T. K. Yoon A, D. R. Lee A

A Department of Biomedical Science, College of Life Science, CHA University, Seoul, 135-081, Korea;
B Fertility Center of CHA Gangnam Medical Center, CHA University, Seoul, 135-081, Korea
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Multi-potent spermatogonial stem cells (mSSC), derived from uni-potent SSC, are a type of reprogrammed cells with similar characteristics to embryonic stem cells (ESC). Similar to ESC, mSSC are capable of differentiating into 3-germ layers in vitro and teratoma formation in vivo. Additionally, mSSC proliferate rapidly and can be transfected more easily than SSC. In contrast to previous reports, we have found that mSSC also have germ-cell-specific micro (mi)RNA and gene expression profiles. Therefore, the aims of this study were to compare the efficiency of mSSC v. ESC to differentiate into germ lineage and produce male gametes, as well as to develop a novel system for the production of genetically modified mice. Mouse mSSC were transfected with a lentiviral vector expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) and testis-specific gene and maintained in the ESC-culture medium containing leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF). Embryonic bodies (EB) were formed after the cells were detached from the feeder cells. Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-4 (10 ng mL˜1) and retinoic acid (RA, 0.1 μM) were added to the ESC-culture medium for 3 days in order to induce differentiation into germ lineage cells. Then, these cells were changed to germ cell-culture medium (Stem-Pro™ containing GDNF; Invitrogen, Carlsbad, CA, USA) and cultured for 3 days. After 6 days, cultured cells were sorted by magnetic activating cell sorting system using specific marker for germ cells, CD-9. Isolated germ lineage cells were transplanted into a busulfan-treated mouse testis for the production of male germ cells. Three to 6 weeks later, the testis and epididymis were collected, and half of the sample was used to perform histological analysis and the other half for the production of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)-derived embryos. The statistical significance of differences between the 2 groups was evaluated by Student’s t-test Immunocytochemical and flow cytometrical analysis performed 6 days after differentiation showed that the ratio of germ cell-specific markers in EB derived from mSSC was higher than those from ESC. Moreover, after 3 to 6 weeks of transplantation the testis produced sperms and germ cells expressing GFP. We have successfully produced embryos by ICSI and offspring by embryo transfer into uteri of poster mothers. These results demonstrate that mSSC can be easily differentiated into germ lineage cells compared with ESC and have the potential to generate functional gametes. Therefore, the differentiation and transgenesis of mSSC may be a useful model for production of genetically modified mice.

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