Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

World-first stem cell research could aid male infertility

11.07.2006
Scientists have shown for the first time that sperm grown from embryonic stem cells can be used to produce offspring.

The experiment was carried out using mice and produced seven babies, six of which lived to adulthood.

The breakthrough, reported today, Monday July 10, in the academic journal Developmental Cell, helps scientists to understand more about how animals produce sperm. This knowledge has potential applications in the treatment of male infertility.

Karim Nayernia, who has just taken up a post as Professor of Stem Cell Biology at Newcastle University, led the research while in his previous position at Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany, with Prof. Dr Wolfgang Engel and colleagues from Germany and the UK, including Dr. David Elliott from Newcastle University's Institute of Human Genetics.

Stem cells have the potential to develop into any tissue type in the body and could therefore be used to develop a wide range of medical therapies.

Prof Nayernia, of the Newcastle-Durham-NHS Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine*, and his team describe in their paper how they developed a new strategy for generating mature sperm cells in the laboratory using embryonic stem cells from mice. They then went on to test whether this sperm would function in real life.

The team isolated stem cells from a blastocyst, an early-stage embryo that is a cluster of cells only a few days old.

These cells were grown in the laboratory and screened using a special sorting machine. Some had grown into a type of stem cell known as 'spermatogonial stem cells', or early-stage sperm cells.

The spermatogonial cells were singled out, then genetically marked and grown in the laboratory. Some of them grew into cells resembling sperm, known as gametes, which were themselves singled out and highlighted using a genetic marker.

The sperm that had been derived from the embryonic stem cells was then injectd into the female mouse eggs and grown into early-stage embryos.

The early-stage embryos were successfully transplanted into the female mice which produced seven babies. Six developed into adult mice.

The work was funded by the University of Göttingen and the Germany Research Council (DFG).

Prof Nayernia, who originally hails from Shiraz in Southern Iran, said: "This research is particularly important in helping us to understand more about spermatogenesis, the biological process in which sperm is produced. We must know this if we are to get to the root of infertility.

"If we know more about how spermatogonial stem cells turn into sperm cells, this knowledge could be translated into treatments for men who are unable to produce mature sperm, although this is several years down the line. For example, we could isolate a patient's spermatagonial cells using a simple testicular biopsy, encourage them in the laboratory into becoming functional sperm and transplant them back into the patient."

The findings could also inform a field of stem cell research known as nuclear transfer, or therapeutic cloning, which aims to provide tailor-made stem cells to aid disease therapy and infertility. Sperm cells could potentially be created using this method.

Prof Nayernia and his team in Germany were the first in the world to isolate spermatagonial stem cells. The team was also able to show that some of these stem cells, called multipotent adult germline stem cells (maGSCs), turned into heart, muscle, brain and other cells.

Although previous studies have shown that embryonic stem cells grown in the laboratory can become germ cells that give rise to cells resembling sperm cells or gametes, this is the first time scientists have tested whether the gametes really work in real life.

Prof Nayernia added: "Spermatogonial stem cells are extremely promising and more research is needed to establish their full potential."

* The Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (ISCBRM draws together Durham and Newcastle Universities, the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and other partners in a unique interdisciplinary collaboration to convert stem cell research and technologies into cost-effective, ethically-robust 21st century health solutions to ameliorate degenerative diseases, the effects of ageing and serious injury. The Institute has received substantial funding and other support from One NorthEast.

Claire Jordan | alfa
Further information:
http://www.iscbrm.org/
http://www.ncl.ac.uk/press.office/press.release

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Unique genome architectures after fertilisation in single-cell embryos
30.03.2017 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

nachricht Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA laser communications to provide Orion faster connections

30.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study

30.03.2017 | Studies and Analyses

Unique genome architectures after fertilisation in single-cell embryos

30.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>