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Dev Growth Differ. 2000 Apr;42(2):105-12.

Real-time observation of transplanted 'green germ cells': proliferation and differentiation of stem cells.

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Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, Suita, Japan.


To elucidate the mechanism of proliferation and differentiation of testicular germ cells, donor testicular germ cells labeled with enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) were transplanted to recipient seminiferous tubules. The kinetics of colonization as well as of differentiation of the donor cells was followed in the same transplanted tubules (alive) under ultraviolet light. One week after transplantation, clusters of fluorescent cells were randomly spread as dots in the recipient seminiferous tubule, whereas non-homed cells flowed out from the testis to the epididymis. By 4 weeks after transplantation, green germ cells were observed with weak and moderate fluorescence along the recipient seminiferous tubule. By 8 weeks, proliferation and differentiation of the germ cells occurred, resulting in strong fluorescence in the middle part of the seminiferous tubule but in weak and moderate fluorescence at both terminals. The length of the fluorescent positive seminiferous tubule became longer. Detailed histological analyses of the recipient tubules indicated that the portions of the seminiferous tubule in weak, moderate, and strong fluorescence contained the spermatogonia, spermatogonia with spermatocytes, and all types of germ cells including spermatids, respectively. Thus, testicular stem cells colonized first as dots within 1 week, and then proliferated along the basement membrane of the seminiferous tubules followed by differentiation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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