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GDNF family receptor alpha-1 precursor (GDNF receptor alpha-1) (GDNFR-alpha-1) (GFR-alpha-1) (RET ligand 1) (TGF-beta-related neurotrophic factor receptor 1) [GDNFRA] [RETL1] [TRNR1]


Determination phase at transition of gonocytes to spermatogonial stem cells improves establishment efficiency of spermatogonial stem cells in domestic cats.

The development of germ cells has not been entirely documented in the cat especially the transition phase of the gonocyte to the spermatogonial stem cell (G/SSC). The aims of study were to examine testicular development and to identify the G/SSC transition in order to isolate and culture SSCs in vitro. Testes were divided into 3 groups according to donor age (I, < 4 months; II, 4-6 months; and III, > 6 months). In Exp. 1, we studied testicular development by histology, transmission electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry. In Exp. 2, we determined the expression of GFRα-1, DDX-4 and c-kit and performed flow cytometry. The SSCs isolated from groups II and III were characterized by RT-PCR and TEM (Exp. 3). Chronological changes in the G/SSC transition were demonstrated. The size, morphology and ultrastructure of SSCs were distinguishable from those of gonocytes. The results demonstrated that group II contained the highest numbers of SSCs per seminiferous cord/tubule (17.66 ± 2.20%) and GFRα-1( ) cells (14.89 ± 5.66%) compared with the other groups. The findings coincided with an increased efficiency of SSC derivation in group II compared with group III (74.33 ± 2.64% vs. 23.33 ± 2.23%). The colonies expressed mRNA for GFRA1, ZBTB16, RET and POU5F1. Our study found that the G/SSC transition occurs at 4-6 months of age. This period is useful for isolation and improves the establishment efficiency of cat SSCs in vitro.

MeSH Terms

  • Adult Stem Cells
  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Spermatogonia