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

Immunomagnetic isolation and long-term culture of mouse type A spermatogonia.

In the mammalian testis, type A spermatogonia proliferate and differentiate into sperm under the tight control of both endocrine and paracrine factors. In order to study the complex process of spermatogenesis at the molecular level, an in vitro system must be devised in which type A spermatogonia can be cultured for a prolonged period of time. Therefore, cocultures including type A spermatogonia and Sertoli cells, which act as nurse cells to the developing germ cells, are desirable. We have developed a method for the specific isolation of type A spermatogonia using magnetic beads and antibodies that recognize the c-kit receptor or the homophilic adhesion molecule, Ep-CAM. Purified spermatogonia could survive for a period of 25 days when cocultivated on Sertoli cell monolayers. Moreover, we recently established Sertoli cell lines that produce growth factors that are essential for the maintenance of spermatogonia in a proliferative state. Some of these Sertoli cell lines are able to reorganize into tubular structures when cultivated on a layer of Matrigel as extracellular matrix. We show here that type A spermatogonia associate specifically with the Sertoli cell tubules, and are able to replicate their DNA in this environment. Thus, these in vitro culture systems could be used for the long-term culture of primary, nonimmortalized type A spermatogonia.[1]


  1. Immunomagnetic isolation and long-term culture of mouse type A spermatogonia. van der Wee, K.S., Johnson, E.W., Dirami, G., Dym, T.M., Hofmann, M.C. J. Androl. (2001) [Pubmed]
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