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Theriogenology. 2016 Sep 1;86(4):1022-1035.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2016.03.031. Epub 2016 Apr 1.

Conservation of spermatogonial stem cell marker expression in undifferentiated felid spermatogonia.

Author information

1
Department of Animal and Avian Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA; Center for Species Survival, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Front Royal, Virginia, USA.
2
Department of Animal and Avian Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA.
3
Center for Species Survival, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Front Royal, Virginia, USA.
4
Department of Animal and Avian Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA. Electronic address: ckeefer@umd.edu.

Abstract

Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) are distinct in their ability to self-renew, transmit genetic information, and persist throughout the life of an individual. These characteristics make SSCs a useful tool for addressing diverse challenges such as efficient transgenic production in nonrodent, biomedical animal models, or preservation of the male genome for species in which survival of frozen-thawed sperm is low. A requisite first step to access this technology in felids is the establishment of molecular markers. This study was designed to evaluate, in the domestic cat (Felis catus), the expression both in situ and following enrichment in vitro of six genes (GFRA1, GPR125, ZBTB16, POU5F1, THY1, and UCHL1) that had been previously identified as SSC markers in other species. Antibodies for surface markers glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor family receptor alpha 1, G protein-coupled receptor 125, and thymus cell antigen 1 could not be validated, whereas Western blot analysis of prepubertal, peripubertal, and adult cat testis confirmed protein expression for the intracellular markers ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase 1, zinc finger and BTB domain-containing protein 16, and POU domain, class 5, transcription factor 1. Colocalization of the markers by immunohistochemistry revealed that several cells within the subpopulation adjacent to the basement membrane of the seminiferous tubules and identified morphologically as spermatogonia, expressed all three intracellular markers. Studies performed on cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) and Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) testis exhibited a conserved expression pattern in protein molecular weights, relative abundance, and localization of positive cells within the testis. The expression of the three intracellular SSC marker proteins in domestic and wild cat testes confirms conservation of these markers in felids. Enrichment of marker transcripts after differential plating was also observed. These markers will facilitate further studies in cell enrichment and IVC of felid SSCs enabling both production of transgenic domestic cats and preservation of the male genome from rare and endangered felids.

KEYWORDS:

Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis); Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus); Domestic cat (Felis catus); Spermatogonial stem cell; Testis

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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