Basic features of bovine spermatogonial culture and effects of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor

Pedro M. Aponte, Takeshi Soda, H. J. G. van de Kant, Dirk G. de Rooij

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Spermatogonial stem cells (SSC) are a small self-renewing subpopulation of type A spermatogonia, which for the rest are composed of differentiating cells with a very similar morphology. We studied the development of primary co-cultures of prepubertal bovine Sertoli cells and A spermatogonia and the effect of glial cell line-derived neurotropic factor (GDNF) on the numbers and types of spermatogonia, the formation of spermatogonial colonies and the capacity of the cultured SSC to colonize a recipient mouse testis. During the first week of culture many, probably differentiating, A spermatogonia entered apoptosis while others formed pairs and chains of A spermatogonia. After 1 week colonies started to appear that increased in size with time. Numbers of single (A(s)) and paired (A(pr)) spermatogonia were significantly higher in GDNF treated cultures at Days 15 and 25 (P <0.01 and 0.05, respectively), and the ratio of A(s) to A(pr) and spermatogonial chains (A(al)) was also higher indicating enhanced self-renewal of the SSC. Furthermore, spermatogonial outgrowths in the periphery of the colonies showed a significantly higher number of A spermatogonia with a more primitive morphology under the influence of GDNF (P <0.05). Spermatogonial stem cell transplantation experiments revealed a 2-fold increase in stem cell activity in GDNF treated spermatogonial cultures (P <0.01). We conclude that GDNF rather than inducing proliferation, enhances self-renewal and increases survival rates of SSC in the bovine spermatogonial culture system
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1828-1847
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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