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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

An extreme bias in the germ line of XY C57BL/6<->XY FVB/N chimaeric mice.

Chimaeric analysis is a powerful method to address questions about the cell-autonomous nature of defects in spermatogenesis. Symplastic spermatids ( sys) mice have a recessive mutation that causes male sterility due to an arrest in germ-cell development during spermiogenesis. Chimaeric mice were generated by aggregation of eight-cell embryos from sys (FVB/N genetic background) and wild-type C57BL/6 (B6) mice to determine whether the male germ-cell defect is cell-autonomous. The resulting FVB/N<->B6 chimaeras (<-> denotes fusion of embryos) were mated with FVB/N mice and coat colour of offspring was used to identify transmission of FVB/N or B6 gametes. Regardless of the relative contribution of B6 to somatic tissues of the chimaeras, almost all (282 of 284; 99.3%) offspring of B6 XY<->XY FVB/N (+/+ or sys/+) males (n = 9) received a FVB/N-derived paternal gamete. After mating of female B6<->FVB/N chimaeras, 51 of 73 (69.9%) offspring received an FVB-derived maternal gamete. Southern blot analysis of different tissues from chimaeric males indicated that, despite the presence of balanced chimaerism in somatic tissues, the germ line in B6 XY<->XY FVB/N mice was essentially FVB/N in composition. Thus there is a strong selective advantage for FVB/N male germ cells over B6 male germ cells in B6<->FVB/N-aggregation chimaeras at some stage during development of the male germ line. Each of three male chimaeras that were either B6 XY<->XY FVB/N ( sys/ sys) or B6 XX<->XY FVB/N ( sys/ sys) in composition was sterile, and testis histology was essentially sysmutant. This finding indicates that the function of the gene(s) affected in the sys mutation may be required in the testis, although whether expression is required in germ cells, somatic cells or both remains unknown. The extreme bias in transmission of male gametes has implications for experimental design in studies that use chimaeric analysis to address questions regarding the cell-autonomous nature of germ-cell defects in mice.[1]


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