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Proteomics. 2014 Feb;14(2-3):274-85. doi: 10.1002/pmic.201300395. Epub 2014 Jan 10.

Establishment of a proteomic profile associated with gonocyte and spermatogonial stem cell maturation and differentiation in neonatal mice.

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State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Department of Histology and Embryology, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, P. R. China.


Initiation of the first wave of spermatogenesis in the neonatal mouse testis is characterized by differentiation of a transient population of germ cells called gonocytes in the center of the seminiferous tubules. After resuming mitotic activity, gonocytes relocate on the basement membrane, giving rise to spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs). These processes begin from birth in mice, and differentiated type A spermatogonia first appear by day 6 postpartum. During these processes, Sertoli cells within the seminiferous tubules and Leydig cells in the interstitial tissue form the stem cell "niche," and influence SSC fate decisions. Thus, we collected whole mouse testis tissues during the first wave of spermatogenesis at specific time points (days 0.5, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, 4.5, and 5.5 postpartum) and constructed a comparative proteomic profile. We identified 252 differentially expressed proteins classified into three clusters based on expression, and bioinformatics analysis correlated each protein pattern to specific cell processes. Expression patterns of nine selected proteins were verified via Western blot, and cellular localizations of three proteins with little known information in testes were further investigated during spermatogenesis. Taken together, the results provide an important reference profile of a functional proteome during neonatal mouse gonocyte and SSC maturation and differentiation.


Animal proteomics; Differentiation; Gonocyte; Migration; Spermatogonial stem cell

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