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Reproduction. 2002 Apr;123(4):567-77.

Characterization of mouse spermatogonia by transmission electron microscopy.

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Laboratory of Cellular Biology, Department of Morphology, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte 31270-901, Brazil.


Characteristics of the various type A, intermediate (In) and B spermatogonia were determined in C57BL/6J mice using transmission electron microscopy. Spermatogonia were photographed at all stages of the cycle of the seminiferous epithelium. Over 450 images were taken. Spermatogonia could be classified into As, Apr, Aal, A1 cells, A2 cells, A3 cells, A4 cells, intermediate type and type B cells primarily on the basis of nuclear and nucleolar characteristics. The most primitive spermatogonia (As, Apr, Aal) had mottled chromatin; A1 cells contained homogeneously finely granular chromatin throughout the nucleus; A2, A3, A4 and intermediate type spermatogonia had progressively increasing amounts of chromatin encrusting the nuclear envelope; type B spermatogonia had less heterochromatin along the nuclear envelope, although the particles were more dense and rounded than in intermediate type spermatogonia. Mitochondrial size and position of Golgi complexes varied in different types of spermatogonia. These data show that types of spermatogonia can be differentiated such that these characteristics can be used in functional studies.

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