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SALL4 Expression in Gonocytes and Spermatogonial Clones of Postnatal Mouse Testes

Gassei, K and Orwig, KE (2013) SALL4 Expression in Gonocytes and Spermatogonial Clones of Postnatal Mouse Testes. PLoS ONE, 8 (1).

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Abstract

The spermatogenic lineage is established after birth when gonocytes migrate to the basement membrane of seminiferous tubules and give rise to spermatogonial stem cells (SSC). In adults, SSCs reside within the population of undifferentiated spermatogonia (Aundiff) that expands clonally from single cells (Asingle) to form pairs (Apaired) and chains of 4, 8 and 16 Aaligned spermatogonia. Although stem cell activity is thought to reside in the population of Asingle spermatogonia, new research suggests that clone size alone does not define the stem cell pool. The mechanisms that regulate self-renewal and differentiation fate decisions are poorly understood due to limited availability of experimental tools that distinguish the products of those fate decisions. The pluripotency factor SALL4 (sal-like protein 4) is implicated in stem cell maintenance and patterning in many organs during embryonic development, but expression becomes restricted to the gonads after birth. We analyzed the expression of SALL4 in the mouse testis during the first weeks after birth and in adult seminiferous tubules. In newborn mice, the isoform SALL4B is expressed in quiescent gonocytes at postnatal day 0 (PND0) and SALL4A is upregulated at PND7 when gonocytes have colonized the basement membrane and given rise to spermatogonia. During steady-state spermatogenesis in adult testes, SALL4 expression overlapped substantially with PLZF and LIN28 in Asingle, Apaired and Aaligned spermatogonia and therefore appears to be a marker of undifferentiated spermatogonia in mice. In contrast, co-expression of SALL4 with GFRα1 and cKIT identified distinct subpopulations of Aundiff in all clone sizes that might provide clues about SSC regulation. Collectively, these results indicate that 1) SALL4 isoforms are differentially expressed at the initiation of spermatogenesis, 2) SALL4 is expressed in undifferentiated spermatogonia in adult testes and 3) SALL4 co-staining with GFRα1 and cKIT reveals distinct subpopulations of Aundiff spermatogonia that merit further investigation. © 2013 Gassei, Orwig.


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Details

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Gassei, Kgassei@pitt.eduGASSEI
Orwig, KEkeo6@pitt.eduKEO6
Date: 17 January 2013
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: PLoS ONE
Volume: 8
Number: 1
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053976
Schools and Programs: School of Medicine > Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences
Refereed: Yes
Other ID: NLM PMC3543410
PubMed Central ID: PMC3543410
PubMed ID: 23326552
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2013 14:30
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2019 23:55
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17720

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