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Science. 2007 Apr 20;316(5823):404-5.

Male germline stem cells: from mice to men.

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  • 1Department of Animal Biology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


The production of functional male gametes is dependent on the continuous activity of germline stem cells. The availability of a transplantation assay system to unequivocally identify male germline stem cells has allowed their in vitro culture, cryopreservation, and genetic modification. Moreover, the system has enabled the identification of conditions and factors involved in stem cell self-renewal, the foundation of spermatogenesis, and the production of spermatozoa. The increased knowledge about these cells is also of great potential practical value, for example, for the possible cryopreservation of stem cells from boys undergoing treatment for cancer to safeguard their germ line.

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