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Hum Reprod. 2010 May;25(5):1104-12. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deq053. Epub 2010 Mar 5.

Screening for biomarkers of spermatogonia within the human testis: a whole genome approach.

Author information

1
Department of Andrology, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A key step in studying the biology of spermatogonia is to determine their global gene expression profile. However, disassociation of these cells from the testis may alter their profile to a considerable degree. To characterize the molecular phenotype of human spermatogonia, including spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs), within their cognate microenvironment, a rare subtype of human defective spermatogenesis was exploited in which spermatogonia were the only germ cell type.

METHODS:

The global expression profile of these samples was assessed on the Affymetrix microarray platform and compared with tissues showing homogeneous Sertoli-cell-only appearance; selected genes were validated by quantitative real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry on disparate sample sets.

RESULTS:

Highly significant differences in gene expression levels correlated with the appearance of spermatogonia, including 239 best candidates of human spermatogonially expressed genes. Specifically, fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3), desmoglein 2 (DSG2), E3 ubiquitin ligase c-CBL (casitas B-cell lymphoma), cancer/testis antigen NY-ESO-1 (CTAG1A/B), undifferentiated embryonic cell transcription factor 1 (UTF1) and synaptosomal-associated protein, 91 kDa homolog (SNAP91) were shown to represent specific biomarkers of human spermatogonia.

CONCLUSIONS:

These biomarkers, specifically the surface markers FGFR3 and DSG2, may facilitate the isolation and enrichment of human stem and/or progenitor spermatogonia and thus lay a foundation for studies of long-term maintenance of human SSCs/progenitor cells, spermatogonial self-renewal, clonal expansion and differentiation.

PMID:
20208059
DOI:
10.1093/humrep/deq053
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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