Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sertoli cell transfer restores sperm production in infertile mice

18.11.2002


Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine have successfully transplanted specialized cells that are critical to sperm development in mice, restoring sperm production in once-infertile animals.

The research, reported on the Web site of the journal Biology of Reproduction, may give scientists a better understanding of how Sertoli cells -- which surround spermatogenic stem cells -- nourish sperm production and the survival of stem cells.

"Spermatogenesis is a highly organized process, requiring just the right environment, or ’niche,’ around the germ line stem cells," said Ralph L. Brinster, professor of reproductive physiology at Penn. "The Sertoli cells are essential to this environment, and it appears that by replacing them, we can essentially reconstruct the niche in which sperm development takes place."



Much of the volume of a mammalian testis consists of tightly coiled seminiferous tubules that hold mature sperm. Sperm development also occurs within these tubules, which are home to spermatogenic stem cells, the seeds from which spermatogenesis arises. Seminiferous tubules are lined with Sertoli cells, which are thought to nurture sperm cells as they develop and facilitate their eventual passage out of the testis.

Brinster and colleagues worked with Steel mutant mice, which are congenitally infertile due to a Sertoli cell defect. Before inserting healthy Sertoli cells, the researchers treated the mice’s testes with busulfan and cadmium to remove any defective germ cells and Sertoli cells. The seminiferous tubules remained, likely providing the structural support needed to completely reconstitute spermatogenesis from donor cells.

The Brinster group’s technique for transplanting Sertoli cells will likely allow scientists to study stem cells’ specialized environment in a way that has not been possible before. Currently, the best-studied stem cells are those that generate blood cells, even though these cells, which reside in bone marrow, are relatively inaccessible to researchers.

"I believe Dr. Brinster’s new results have catapulted the spermatogenic stem cell system into a position of maximum experimental flexibility among all other stem cell systems in the body," said John R. McCarrey, professor of cell and molecular biology at the University of Texas at San Antonio, who was not involved in this work. "This may lead to significant new insight into the manner in which the spermatogenic stem cell works in particular as well as to additional information about how all stem cells work in general."

Brinster’s work could eventually prove useful in the treatment of certain types of infertility in men, although complete spermatogenesis was established in only 1.5 to 3 percent of seminiferous tubules in this experiment.

"Male infertility can be caused either by defective germ cells or by a testicular environment that fails to promote proper spermatogenesis," Brinster said. "While several assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection, are now available for patients with low sperm counts, infertile patients with Sertoli cell defects have limited options."

The technique developed by Brinster and his colleagues may provide a new way of replacing defective Sertoli cells with healthy ones, which may initiate normal spermatogenesis in some infertile patients.


Brinster was joined in the research by Takashi Shinohara, now at Kyoto University, and Kyle E. Orwig and Mary R. Avarbock in Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine. The work was funded by the Japan Society for Promotion of Science, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Commonwealth and General Assembly of Pennsylvania and the Robert J. Kleberg Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation.


Steve Bradt | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.upenn.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease
22.08.2017 | Duke University

nachricht Once invincible superbug squashed by 'superteam' of antibiotics
22.08.2017 | University at Buffalo

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>