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Hum Reprod Update. 2004 May-Jun;10(3):197-206.

Experimental approaches to the study of primordial germ cell lineage and proliferation.

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Department of Public Health and Cell Biology, Section of Histology and Embryology, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome.


New information regarding primordial germ cell (PGC's) segregation and proliferation over the last decade is reviewed. Advances have been obtained in the mouse but current knowledge of human PGC's remains scant. Questions still fully or partially unresolved about the emergence of the germline in mammals are addressed. (i) When and where is the germ line set aside in the embryo? (ii) How is the germ line segregated from the somatic lineages? (iii) Which factors guide PGC's to the gonadal ridges? (iv) Which factors regulate PGC's proliferation? The main purpose of this review is to outline the information obtained using mainly in vitro culture systems about two aspects of these processes namely the segregation of PGC's and their proliferation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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