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Stem Cells Dev. 2008 Feb;17(1):67-80. doi: 10.1089/scd.2007.0077.

Identification of transcripts commonly expressed in both hematopoietic and germ-line stem cells.

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Department of Safety Research on Blood and Biological Products, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Japan.


Germ-line stem cells (GSCs) constitute a stem cell population with remarkable stability and proliferative potential in vitro and are a useful model for studying the mechanism of self-renewal and "stemness" function of committed tissue stem cells. To identify GSC-specific genes, we performed subtractive hybridization using cDNA from GSCs, testis, and embryonic stem (ES) cells, and successfully identified 11 genes highly expressed in GSCs. Histological analysis confirmed expression of Cry alpha b, Mcpt8, Cxcl5, Fth1, Ctla2 alpha, and Spp1 in undifferentiated spermatogonia on the basement membrane area of the seminiferous epithelium of the testis, where the GSC niche is thought to be located. Among GSC-specific genes, quantitative PCR analysis showed seven genes-Fth1, Cry alpha b, Spp1, Bcap31, Arhgap1, Ctla2 alpha, and Serpina3g-to be common transcripts highly expressed in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Histological analysis confirmed that Ctla2 alpha-, Serpina3g-, and Spp1-expressing cells were observed in the trabecular bone region of the bone marrow, where the HSC niche is located. Furthermore, histological analysis revealed that only Spp1 was expressed in the hair follicle bulge in the area of the hair follicle stem cell niche. Thus, identifying stemness genes by comparative analysis to GSCs is a powerful tool with which to explore the fundamental commonalities of HSCs and other stem cell types.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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