In vitro culture and characterization of spermatogonial stem cells on Sertoli cell feeder layer in goat (Capra hircus).
ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: To develop an efficient protocol for isolation, purification and long-term culture of spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) in goat. METHODS: The isolation of SSC was performed by testicular disaggregation by enzymatic digestion using collagenase IV, trypsin and DNase I. Further SSCs were enriched using Percoll density gradient centrifugation. The purity of SSCs was assessed by immunocytochemistry (ICC) using α6 integrin. The SSCs were co-cultured on Sertoli cell feeder layer. The SSC colonies were characterized by studying the expression of SSC specific markers (viz., α6 integrin and PLZF) using ICC. The abundance of mRNAs encoding the markers of SSC (viz., β1 integrin and Oct-4) and Sertoli cells (viz., vimentin) was also assayed using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). RESULTS: The viability of isolated testicular cells was > 90 % and the Percoll density gradient method resulted in 3.65 folds enrichment with a purity of 82.5 %. Co-culturing of SSCs with Sertoli cell feeder layer allowed the maintenance of stable SSC colonies even after one and half months of culture. The results of ICC analysis showed the expression of α6 integrin and PLZF in almost all the SSC colonies. qPCR analysis revealed a differential expression of mRNAs encoding β1 integrin, Oct-4 and vimentin markers. CONCLUSION: Results of this study demonstrate a simple enzymatic digestion and Percoll density gradient method for isolation and enrichment of SSCs, and suitability of Sertoli cell feeder layer for long term in vitro culture of SSC in goats. Results also suggest the possible application of non-caprine antibodies against SSC specific markers for the identification and subsequent assessment of SSCs in goats.
Project description:Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) function to regulate the balance of self-renewal and differentiation of male gametes. SSCs have been successfully isolated and cultured in vitro in several species, but not in feline. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to culture and characterize feline SSCs. In experiment 1, testes (n=5) from different pubertal domestic cats were cryosectioned and fluorescently immunolabeled to examine the expression of SSC (GFR?-1), differentiated spermatogonium (c-kit) and germ cell (DDX-4) markers. In experiments 2 and 3, testicular cells were digested and subsequently cultured in vitro. The resultant presumptive SSC colonies were then collected for SSC identification (experiment 2), or further cultured in vitro on feeder cells (experiment 3). Morphology, gene expression and immunofluorescence were used to identify the SSCs. Experiment 1 demonstrated that varying types of spermatogenic cells existed and expressed different germ cell/SSC markers. A rare population of putative SSCs located at the basement membrane of the seminiferous tubules was specifically identified by co-expression of GFR?-1 and DDX-4. Following enzymatic digestion, grape-like colonies formed by 13-15 days of culture. These colonies expressed GFRA1 and ZBTB16, but did not express KIT. Although we successfully isolated and cultured feline SSCs in vitro, the SSCs could only be maintained for 57 days. In conclusion, this study demonstrates, for the first time, that putative SSCs from testes of pubertal domestic cats can be isolated and cultured in vitro. These cells exhibited SSC morphology and expressed SSC-specific genes. However, long-term culture of these putative SSCs was compromised.
Project description:The development of a stem cell culture system would expedite our understanding of the biology of tissue regeneration. Spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) is the foundation for lifelong male spermatogenesis and the SSC culture has been optimized continuously in recent years. However, there have been many inconveniences to reconstruct SSC self-renewal and proliferation in vitro, such as the frequent refreshment of recombinant cytokines, including GDNF, the essential growth factor for SSC maintenance. In the present study, we observed that both STO and MEF cells, which were previously used as feeders for SSC growth, did not express GDNF, but a GDNF-expressing STO feeder could support undifferentiated mouse spermatogonia propagation in vitro for three months without the refreshment of recombinant growth factor GDNF. The cell morphology, growth rate and SSC-associated gene expression remained identical to the SSCs cultured using previous methods. The transplantation of SSCs growing on these GDNF-expressing STO feeders could generate extensive colonies of spermatogenesis in recipient testes, functionally validating the stemness of these cells. Collectively, our data indicated that the further modification of feeder cells might facilitate the self-renewal and propagation of SSCs in vitro.
Project description:Melatonin has been reported to be an important endogenous hormone for regulating neurogenesis, immunityand the biological clock. Recently, the effects of melatonin on neural stem cells (NSCs), mesenchymal stem cells(MSCs), and induced pluripotent stem cells(iPSCs) have been reported; however, the effects of melatonin on spermatogonia stem cells (SSCs) are not clear. Here, 1?M and 1nM melatonin was added to medium when goat SSCs were cultured in vitro, the results showed that melatonin could increase the formation and size of SSC colonies. Real-time quantitative PCR (QRT-PCR) and western blot analysis showed that the expression levels of SSC proliferation and self-renewal markers were up-regulated. Meanwhile, QRT-PCR results showed that melatonin inhibit the mRNA expression level of SSC differentiation markers. ELISA analysis showed an obvious increase in the concentration of GDNF (a niche factor secreted by Sertoli cells) in the medium when treated with melatonin. Meanwhile, the phosphorylation level of AKT, a downstream of GDNF-GFRa1-RET pathway was activated. In conclusion, melatonin promotes goat SSC proliferation by stimulating GDNF production in Sertoli cells.
Project description:Maintenance of adult tissues depends on stem cell self-renewal in local niches. Spermatogonial stem cells (SSC) are germline adult stem cells necessary for spermatogenesis and fertility. We show that testicular endothelial cells (TECs) are part of the SSC niche producing glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and other factors to support human and mouse SSCs in long-term culture. We demonstrate that FGF-2 binding to FGFR1 on TECs activates the calcineurin pathway to produce GDNF. Comparison of the TEC secretome to lung and liver endothelial cells identified 5 factors sufficient for long-term maintenance of human and mouse SSC colonies in feeder-free cultures. Male cancer survivors after chemotherapy are often infertile since SSCs are highly susceptible to cytotoxic injury. Transplantation of TECs alone restores spermatogenesis in mice after chemotherapy-induced depletion of SSCs. Identifying TECs as a niche population necessary for SSC self-renewal may facilitate fertility preservation for prepubertal boys diagnosed with cancer.
Project description:Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs, also called germline stem cells) are self-renewing unipotent stem cells that produce differentiating germ cells in the testis. SSCs can be isolated from the testis and cultured in vitro for long-term periods in the presence of feeder cells (often mouse embryonic fibroblasts). However, the maintenance of SSC feeder culture systems is tedious because preparation of feeder cells is needed at each subculture. In this study, we developed a Matrigel-based feeder-free culture system for long-term propagation of SSCs. Although several in vitro SSC culture systems without feeder cells have been previously described, our Matrigel-based feeder-free culture system is time- and cost- effective, and preserves self-renewability of SSCs. In addition, the growth rate of SSCs cultured using our newly developed system is equivalent to that in feeder cultures. We confirmed that the feeder-free cultured SSCs expressed germ cell markers both at the mRNA and protein levels. Furthermore, the functionality of feeder-free cultured SSCs was confirmed by their transplantation into germ cell-depleted mice. These results suggest that our newly developed feeder-free culture system provides a simple approach to maintaining SSCs in vitro and studying the basic biology of SSCs, including determination of their fate.
Project description:Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) derived from mouse testis are unipotent in regard of spermatogenesis. Our previous study demonstrated that SSCs can be fully reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells, so called germline-derived pluripotent stem cells (gPS cells), on feeder cells (mouse embryonic fibroblasts), which supports SSC proliferation and induction of pluripotency. Because of an uncontrollable microenvironment caused by interactions with feeder cells, feeder-based SSC reprogramming is not suitable for elucidation of the self-reprogramming mechanism by which SSCs are converted into pluripotent stem cells. Recently, we have established a Matrigel-based SSC expansion culture system that allows long-term SSC proliferation without mouse embryonic fibroblast support. In this study, we developed a new feeder-free SSC self-reprogramming protocol based on the Matrigel-based culture system. The gPS cells generated using a feeder-free reprogramming system showed pluripotency at the molecular and cellular levels. The differentiation potential of gPS cells was confirmed in vitro and in vivo. Our study shows for the first time that the induction of SSC pluripotency can be achieved without feeder cells. The newly developed feeder-free self-reprogramming system could be a useful tool to reveal the mechanism by which unipotent cells are self-reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells.
Project description:Tree shrews have a close relationship to primates and have many advantages over rodents in biomedical research. However, the lack of gene manipulation methods has hindered the wider use of this animal. Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) have been successfully expanded in culture to permit sophisticated gene editing in the mouse and rat. Here, we describe a culture system for the long-term expansion of tree shrew SSCs without the loss of stem cell properties. In our study, thymus cell antigen 1 was used to enrich tree shrew SSCs. RNA-sequencing analysis revealed that the Wnt/?-catenin signaling pathway was active in undifferentiated SSCs, but was downregulated upon the initiation of SSC differentiation. Exposure of tree shrew primary SSCs to recombinant Wnt3a protein during the initial passages of culture enhanced the survival of SSCs. Use of tree shrew Sertoli cells, but not mouse embryonic fibroblasts, as feeder was found to be necessary for tree shrew SSC proliferation, leading to a robust cell expansion and long-term culture. The expanded tree shrew SSCs were transfected with enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-expressing lentiviral vectors. After transplantation into sterilized adult male tree shrew's testes, the EGFP-tagged SSCs were able to restore spermatogenesis and successfully generate transgenic offspring. Moreover, these SSCs were suitable for the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene modification. The development of a culture system to expand tree shrew SSCs in combination with a gene editing approach paves the way for precise genome manipulation using the tree shrew.
Project description:Spermatogenesis originates from self-renewal of spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs). Previous studies have reported conflicting roles of gonadotropic pituitary hormones in SSC self-renewal. Here, we explored the role of hormonal regulation of SSCs using Fshb and Lhcgr knockout (KO) mice. Although follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is thought to promote self-renewal by glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), no abnormalities were found in SSCs and their microenvironment. In contrast, SSCs were enriched in Lhcgr-deficient mice. Moreover, wild-type SSCs transplanted into Lhcgr-deficient mice showed enhanced self-renewal. Microarray analysis revealed that Lhcgr-deficient testes have enhanced WNT5A expression in Sertoli cells, which showed an immature phenotype. Since WNT5A was upregulated by anti-androgen treatment, testosterone produced by luteinizing hormone (LH) is required for Sertoli cell maturation. WNT5A promoted SSC activity both in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, FSH is not responsible for GDNF regulation, while LH negatively regulates SSC self-renewal by suppressing WNT5A via testosterone.
Project description:Fertility preservation and assisted reproductive medicine require effective culture systems for the successful proliferation and differentiation of spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs). Many SSC culture systems require the addition of feeder cells at each subculture, which is tedious and inefficient. Here, we prepared decellularized testicular matrix (DTM) from testicular tissue, which preserved essential structural proteins of testis. The DTM was then solubilized and induced to form a porous hydrogel scaffold with randomly oriented fibrillar structures that exhibited good cytocompatibility. The viability of SSCs inoculated onto DTM hydrogel scaffolds was significantly higher than those inoculated on Matrigel or laminin, and intracellular gene expression and DNA imprinting patterns were similar to that of native SSCs. Additionally, DTM promoted SSC differentiation into round spermatids. More importantly, the DTM hydrogel supported SSC proliferation and differentiation without requiring additional somatic cells. The DTM hydrogel scaffold culture system provided an alternative and simple method for culturing SSCs that eliminates potential variability and contamination caused by feeder cells. It might be a valuable tool for reproductive medicine.
Project description:The blood-testis barrier (BTB) is thought to be indispensable for spermatogenesis because it creates a special environment for meiosis and protects haploid cells from the immune system. The BTB divides the seminiferous tubules into the adluminal and basal compartments. Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) have a unique ability to transmigrate from the adluminal compartment to the basal compartment through the BTB upon transplantation into the seminiferous tubule. Here, we analyzed the role of Cldn11, a major component of the BTB, in spermatogenesis using spermatogonial transplantation. Cldn11-deficient mice are infertile due to the cessation of spermatogenesis at the spermatocyte stage. Cldn11-deficient SSCs failed to colonize wild-type testes efficiently, and Cldn11-deficient SSCs that underwent double depletion of Cldn3 and Cldn5 showed minimal colonization, suggesting that claudins on SSCs are necessary for transmigration. However, Cldn11-deficient Sertoli cells increased SSC homing efficiency by >3-fold, suggesting that CLDN11 in Sertoli cells inhibits transmigration of SSCs through the BTB. In contrast to endogenous SSCs in intact Cldn11-deficient testes, those from WT or Cldn11-deficient testes regenerated sperm in Cldn11-deficient testes. The success of this autologous transplantation appears to depend on removal of endogenous germ cells for recipient preparation, which reprogrammed claudin expression patterns in Sertoli cells. Consistent with this idea, in vivo depletion of Cldn3/5 regenerated endogenous spermatogenesis in Cldn11-deficient mice. Thus, coordinated claudin expression in both SSCs and Sertoli cells expression is necessary for SSC homing and regeneration of spermatogenesis, and autologous stem cell transplantation can rescue congenital defects of a self-renewing tissue.