• 888-778-6481

    Sperm cells in a dish matured into healthy pups

    A team of Chinese researchers reports turning a dish of a certain type of mouse stem cell into sperm-like cells, which then were used to fertilize eggs and produce healthy mouse pups. The approach could help researchers study mammalian sperm development more directly, and it could spur efforts to develop treatments for male infertility in people.
    Recreating mammalian sperms in vitro has long been proven unsuccessful for stem cell biologists. This new technique offers them the first full glimpse of mammalian meiosis. If a similar technique could produce human sperm cells, the impact would be unprecedented. Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and Nanjing Medical University first took mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells and managed to turn them into cells that resemble primordial germ cells (PGCs). They then combined these in a dish with testicular cells from newborn mice in various culture conditions—a process that took hundreds of trials. They finally landed on a cocktail of sex hormones and growth factors that includes a hormone-rich extract from the pituitary glands of cows. Under those conditions, the cells go through a division process that has “all the hallmarks of meiosis”. The researchers then injected the resulting spermlike cells—which couldn’t swim—directly into eggs and implanted them in surrogate mouse mothers. The team detailed their findings on Feb. 25th in Cell Stem Cell.
    Read more: “Complete Meiosis from Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Germ Cells In Vitro” DOI: