Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Stem Cells, Cellular Therapy & Biobanking
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Stem Cell Research Could aid Male Infertility

Published: Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Last Updated: Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Bookmark and Share
Study helps scientists to understand more about how animals produce sperm.

Scientists have shown that sperm grown from embryonic stem cells can be used to produce offspring.

The experiment was carried out using mice and produced seven babies, six of which lived to adulthood.

The study, reported Monday July 10, in the academic journal Developmental Cell, helps scientists to understand more about how animals produce sperm. This knowledge has potential applications in the treatment of male infertility.

Karim Nayernia, who has just taken up a post as Professor of Stem Cell Biology at Newcastle University, led the research while in his previous position at Georg-August University in Gotingen, Germany, with Prof. Dr Wolfgang Engel and colleagues from Germany and the UK, including Dr. David Elliott from Newcastle University's Institute of Human Genetics.

Prof Nayernia, of the Newcastle-Durham-NHS Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, and his team describe in their paper how they developed a strategy for generating mature sperm cells in the laboratory using embryonic stem cells from mice. They then went on to test whether this sperm would function in real life.

The team isolated stem cells from a blastocyst, an early-stage embryo that is a cluster of cells only a few days old.

These cells were grown in the laboratory and screened using a special sorting machine. Some had grown into a type of stem cell known as ‘spermatogonial stem cells’, or early-stage sperm cells.

The spermatogonial cells were singled out, then genetically marked and grown in the laboratory.

Some of them grew into cells resembling sperm, known as gametes, which were themselves singled out and highlighted using a genetic marker.

The sperm that had been derived from the embryonic stem cells was then injectd into the female mouse eggs and grown into early-stage embryos.

The early-stage embryos were transplanted into the female mice which produced seven babies. Six developed into adult mice.

Prof Nayernia, who originally hails from Shiraz in Southern Iran, said, "This research is particularly important in helping us to understand more about spermatogenesis, the biological process in which sperm is produced. We must know this if we are to get to the root of infertility."

"If we know more about how spermatogonial stem cells turn into sperm cells, this knowledge could be translated into treatments for men who are unable to produce mature sperm, although this is several years down the line."

"For example, we could isolate a patient’s spermatagonial cells using a simple testicular biopsy, encourage them in the laboratory into becoming functional sperm and transplant them back into the patient."

The findings could also inform a field of stem cell research known as nuclear transfer, or therapeutic cloning, which aims to provide tailor-made stem cells to aid disease therapy and infertility. Sperm cells could potentially be created using this method.

Although previous studies have shown that embryonic stem cells grown in the laboratory can become germ cells that give rise to cells resembling sperm cells or gametes.

Prof Nayernia added, "Spermatogonial stem cells are extremely promising and more research is needed to establish their full potential."

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,600+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,800+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Stem Cell Firm Selects Newcastle for European Base
RNL Bio has signed an initial 12 month tenancy agreement for a unit at the ‘Cels at Newcastle’ bio-incubator at Newcastle University's Medical School.
Friday, February 08, 2008
Scientific News
Urine Excretion From Stem Cell-Derived Kidneys
Researchers report a strategy for enabling urine excretion from kidneys grown from stem cells.
Stem Cell Research Hints at Evolution of Human Brain
Researchers at UC San Francisco have succeeded in mapping the genetic signature of a unique group of stem cells in the human brain that seem to generate most of the neurons in our massive cerebral cortex.
The Final Word on STAP
Researchers fail to replicate STAP study; computational analysis reveals genomic inconsistency.
CRI Scientists See Through Bones
Findings uncover new details about blood-forming stem cells.
Scientists Sequence Genome Of Worm That Can Regrow Body Parts
Worm’s genome could lead to better understanding of its regenerative prowess and advance stem cell biology.
Stem Cell-Derived 'Organoids' Help Predict Neural Toxicity
A new system developed by scientists may provide a faster, cheaper and more biologically relevant way to screen drugs and chemicals that could harm the developing brain.
New Way To Repair Nerves
Tufts University biomedical engineers recently published the first report of a promising new way to induce human mesenchymal stem cells to differentiate into neuron-like cells:treating them with exosomes.
Pancreatic Cancer Stem Cells Could be "Suffocated" by Anti-diabetic Drug
A new study shows that pancreatic cancer stem cells (PancSCs) are virtually addicted to oxygen-based metabolism, and could be “suffocated” with a drug already used to treat diabetes.
Filling A Void In Stem Cell Therapy
A new porous hydrogel could boost the success of stem-cell-based tissue regeneration.
Diabetes Research Institute's First Patient In Biohub Trial No Longer Requires Insulin Therapy
New transplant technique restores natural insulin production in type 1 diabetes.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,600+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos