Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mice become first animals to produce other species’ sperm

15.08.2002


Find has implications for preservation of endangered species, livestock



With pinhead-sized grafts of testicular tissue from newborn mammals, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have induced mice to produce fully functional sperm from evolutionarily distant species. The result has important implications for preserving the germ lines of critically endangered species as well as prized livestock.
The study, in which male mice produced functional gametes first from other mice and then from pigs and goats, is reported in the Aug. 15 issue of the journal Nature.

"This is the first report of complete spermatogenesis from tissue grafted across species," said Ina Dobrinski, assistant professor of large animal reproduction in Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine. "The production of functionally competent sperm from three different mammals indicates that testis tissue grafting may be applicable to a wide variety of species."



The work also yielded the first functional sperm from immature reproductive tissue, meaning sperm could be derived even from individuals that have not reached sexual maturity. Unlike cryonic approaches to preservation, testis tissue grafting offers a potentially inexhaustible supply of male gametes.

Mice with the testis grafts could aid studies of the effects of drugs -- including potential male contraceptives -- on sperm production. The mice also give scientists a valuable model to better understand testicular function, many aspects of which remain murky.

Dobrinski and colleagues grafted as much as one cubic millimeter of tissue from the testes of newborn mice, goats and pigs onto the backs of mice. As many as eight miniature testes developed, and in vitro fertilization revealed that the sperm produced by those testis grafts were functional.

"At least 60 percent of grafts grew into functional testis tissue under the skin," Dobrinski said, "and those grafts produced as much sperm, gram for gram, as testes in the donor species. Some grafts grew more than 100-fold."

Similar cross-species grafts of testicular tissue have been tried previously, but no sperm cells resulted. Dobrinski speculates that the mice’s backs may have provided both an ideal temperature and suitable blood vessels to allow for the growth of functional testes.

"Dr. Dobrinski is one of the few investigators attempting to remove testicular stem cells and transplant them into recipients," said Michael D. Griswold, interim dean of science at Washington State University’s School of Molecular Biosciences, who was not involved in the work. "The fact that she can graft portions of testes from other mammalian species into mice and get sperm produced is an important step forward."

The work also demonstrates that testosterone and other mammalian hormones can work across species, said David de Kretser, director of the Institute of Reproduction and Development at Monash University in Australia. "These data indicate that the hormones produced by the mouse are adequate to stimulate sperm production in a range of species."

Spermatogenesis is a highly organized process that generates virtually unlimited sperm cells during adulthood. Continuous proliferation and differentiation of germ cells occurs in a delicate balance with various testicular compartments.

"It seems that the testis grafts transferred this entire environment to the recipient mice," Dobrinski said.

She was joined in the work by Ali Honaramooz, Amy Snedaker, Michele Boiani and Hans Schöler of Penn’s Center for Animal Transgenesis and Germ Cell Research and Stefan Schlatt of the University Münster in Germany. Schlatt conducted the group’s research with mice, Honaramooz and Snedaker conducted the work involving pigs and goats, and Boiani completed the in vitro fertilization.


###
The work was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the Marion Dilley and David George Jones Funds and the Commonwealth and General Assembly of Pennsylvania.

Steve Bradt | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Russian scientists show changes in the erythrocyte nanostructure under stress
22.02.2019 | Lobachevsky University

nachricht How the intestinal fungus Candida albicans shapes our immune system
22.02.2019 | Exzellenzcluster Präzisionsmedizin für chronische Entzündungserkrankungen

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: (Re)solving the jet/cocoon riddle of a gravitational wave event

An international research team including astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has combined radio telescopes from five continents to prove the existence of a narrow stream of material, a so-called jet, emerging from the only gravitational wave event involving two neutron stars observed so far. With its high sensitivity and excellent performance, the 100-m radio telescope in Effelsberg played an important role in the observations.

In August 2017, two neutron stars were observed colliding, producing gravitational waves that were detected by the American LIGO and European Virgo detectors....

Im Focus: Light from a roll – hybrid OLED creates innovative and functional luminous surfaces

Up to now, OLEDs have been used exclusively as a novel lighting technology for use in luminaires and lamps. However, flexible organic technology can offer much more: as an active lighting surface, it can be combined with a wide variety of materials, not just to modify but to revolutionize the functionality and design of countless existing products. To exemplify this, the Fraunhofer FEP together with the company EMDE development of light GmbH will be presenting hybrid flexible OLEDs integrated into textile designs within the EU-funded project PI-SCALE for the first time at LOPEC (March 19-21, 2019 in Munich, Germany) as examples of some of the many possible applications.

The Fraunhofer FEP, a provider of research and development services in the field of organic electronics, has long been involved in the development of...

Im Focus: Regensburg physicists watch electron transfer in a single molecule

For the first time, an international team of scientists based in Regensburg, Germany, has recorded the orbitals of single molecules in different charge states in a novel type of microscopy. The research findings are published under the title “Mapping orbital changes upon electron transfer with tunneling microscopy on insulators” in the prestigious journal “Nature”.

The building blocks of matter surrounding us are atoms and molecules. The properties of that matter, however, are often not set by these building blocks...

Im Focus: University of Konstanz gains new insights into the recent development of the human immune system

Scientists at the University of Konstanz identify fierce competition between the human immune system and bacterial pathogens

Cell biologists from the University of Konstanz shed light on a recent evolutionary process in the human immune system and publish their findings in the...

Im Focus: Transformation through Light

Laser physicists have taken snapshots of carbon molecules C₆₀ showing how they transform in intense infrared light

When carbon molecules C₆₀ are exposed to an intense infrared light, they change their ball-like structure to a more elongated version. This has now been...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Global Legal Hackathon at HAW Hamburg

11.02.2019 | Event News

The world of quantum chemistry meets in Heidelberg

30.01.2019 | Event News

Our digital society in 2040

16.01.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

JILA researchers make coldest quantum gas of molecules

22.02.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Understanding high efficiency of deep ultraviolet LEDs

22.02.2019 | Materials Sciences

Russian scientists show changes in the erythrocyte nanostructure under stress

22.02.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>