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

Transient disruption of spermatogenesis by deregulated expression of neurturin in testis.

Two related ligands, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and neurturin (NRTN), are expressed by Sertoli cells, but their cognate ligand-binding co-receptors, GDNF family receptor alpha1 and alpha2, are displayed by different germ cells suggesting different targets for the ligands. GDNF regulates cell fate decision of undifferentiated spermatogonia 'Science 287 (2000) 1489'. The role of NRTN was now approached by targeted overexpression in mouse testis. Between 3 and 5 weeks of age, transient degeneration of spermatogenic cells was observed in approximately 20% of all five transgenic lines generated. Spermatids and pachytene spermatocytes underwent segmental degeneration, if the rete testis was undilated. When it was dilated, the spermatids and spermatocytes were more generally depleted. After 5 weeks of age, spermatogenic defects were no more observed and the NRTN overexpressing mice were fertile. The data suggest that NRTN might regulate survival and differentiation of spermatocytes and spermatids, but the low penetrance indicates that either the transgene expression has not been high enough or NRTN is not as essential as GDNF for spermatogenesis.[1]


  1. Transient disruption of spermatogenesis by deregulated expression of neurturin in testis. Meng, X., Pata, I., Pedrono, E., Popsueva, A., de Rooij, D.G., Jänne, M., Rauvala, H., Sariola, H. Mol. Cell. Endocrinol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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