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Nature. 2008 Nov 20;456(7220):344-9. doi: 10.1038/nature07404. Epub 2008 Oct 8.

Generation of pluripotent stem cells from adult human testis.

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Institute of Anatomy, Department of Experimental Embryology, Tübingen, Germany.

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  • Nature. 2009 Aug 20;460(7258):1044.


Human primordial germ cells and mouse neonatal and adult germline stem cells are pluripotent and show similar properties to embryonic stem cells. Here we report the successful establishment of human adult germline stem cells derived from spermatogonial cells of adult human testis. Cellular and molecular characterization of these cells revealed many similarities to human embryonic stem cells, and the germline stem cells produced teratomas after transplantation into immunodeficient mice. The human adult germline stem cells differentiated into various types of somatic cells of all three germ layers when grown under conditions used to induce the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells. We conclude that the generation of human adult germline stem cells from testicular biopsies may provide simple and non-controversial access to individual cell-based therapy without the ethical and immunological problems associated with human embryonic stem cells.

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