Spermatogonial Stem Cells (SSC) in the Domestic Cat and Endangered Species

 

Seminiferous tubule from domestic cat stained for vimentin (red) and DNA (blue).

 Spermatogonial stem cells (SSC) reside in a specialized environment (niche) within the seminiferous tubules.

Spermatogonial stem cells (SSC) reside in a specialized environment (niche) within the seminiferous tubules.

Spermatogonial stem cell markers in the cat. Reproduction in Domestic Animals.  47 Suppl 6:256-60. doi: 10.1111/rda.12079

Vansandt, L,, Pukazhenthi, B., and  Keefer, C.L. (2012).  

Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) represent an exciting new avenue for assisted reproduction in endangered and genetically valuable species. Before this technology can be applied to wildlife, species-specific markers are required to evaluate SSC enrichment strategies and monitor subsequent in vitro culture. In the study published in Reproduction in Domestic Animals we demonstrate that six conserved SSC markers (THY1, GPR125, GFRalpha1, PLZF, UCHL1 and OCT4)  are also expressed in the cat. Testes from three juveniles and three adults were obtained following routine castrations and processed for mRNA extraction. RT-PCR of whole testis and cell suspensions enriched for SSCs by differential plating confirmed that all six SSC markers are expressed in both the whole testis and SSC-enriched cell fractions. The expression of all six putative SSC marker genes in SSC-enriched cell fractions suggests conservation of markers, and perhaps self-renewal mechanisms, in felids.