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

Abnormal manchette development in spermatids of azh/azh mutant mice.

A study of manchette development during spermiogenesis in azh/azh mutant mice was carried out by thin-section transmission electron microscopy with the goal of determining which of the initial steps in spermatid development are aberrant. In the homozygous mutant, spermatogenesis was quantitatively normal; but 100% of the sperm nuclei produced had abnormal shapes. The first defect, observed in steps 8-9, was the abnormal positioning of many manchette microtubules. These microtubules were directed towards regions of the plasma membrane not normally associated with manchette formation, in addition to being located at the caudal rim of the acrosome in the normal region of manchette formation. At steps 10-12, sheets of manchette microtubules were often in ectopic positions along the plasma membrane, rather than in association with the nuclear membrane as well. The fine structural appearance of the manchette was generally normal; the defect appeared to be in its positioning within the cell. In many step 8-10 spermatids nuclear invaginations and evaginations were observed, always associated with irregularities in the position of some of the manchette microtubules; these illustrate the capacity of manchette microtubules to deform nuclear shape. The nuclear irregularities remained throughout spermiogenesis. These observations are consistent with the hypothesis that the manchette is involved in at least some aspects of sperm nuclear shaping and that the improper positioning of manchette formation is a likely candidate for the primary abnormality resulting from a defective allele at the azh locus.[1]


  1. Abnormal manchette development in spermatids of azh/azh mutant mice. Meistrich, M.L., Trostle-Weige, P.K., Russell, L.D. Am. J. Anat. (1990) [Pubmed]
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