In vivo dynamics of GFRα1-positive spermatogonia stimulated by GDNF signals using a bead transplantation assay

Aya Uchida, Kasane Kishi, Yoshimi Aiyama, Kento Miura, Hinako M. Takase, Hitomi Suzuki, Masami Kanai-Azuma, Tokuko Iwamori, Masamichi Kurohmaru, Naoki Tsunekawa, Yoshiakira Kanai

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12 Citations (Scopus)


In mouse testes, spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs), a subpopulation of GFRα1 (GDNF family receptor-α1)-positive spermatogonia, are widely distributed along the convoluted seminiferous tubules. The proliferation and differentiation of the SSCs are regulated in part by local expression of GDNF (glial cell-derived neurotorphic factor), one of major niche factors for SSCs. However, the in vivo dynamics of the GDNF-stimulated GFRα1-positive spermatogonia remains unclear. Here, we developed a simple method for transplanting DiI-labeled and GDNF-soaked beads into the mouse testicular interstitium. By using this method, we examined the dynamics of GFRα1-positive spermatogonia in the tubular walls close to the transplanted GDNF-soaked beads. The bead-derived GDNF signals were able to induce the stratified aggregate formation of GFRα1-positive undifferentiated spermatogonia by day 3 post-transplantation. Each aggregate consisted of tightly compacted Asingle and marginal Apaired–Aaligned GFRα1-positive spermatogonia and was surrounded by Aaligned GFRα1-negative spermatogonia at more advanced stages. These data not only provide in vivo evidence for the inductive roles of GDNF in forming a rapid aggregation of GFRα1-positive spermatogonia but also indicate the usefulness of this in vivo assay system of various growth factors for the stem/progenitor spermatogonia in mammalian spermatogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-552
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 5 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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