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Potency of germ cells and its relevance for regenerative medicine

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jae Ho Lee, Professor Karim Nayernia


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Germline stem cells, which can self-renew and generate gametes, are unique stem cells in that they are solely dedicated to transmit genetic information from generation to generation. The germ cells have a special place in the life cycle because they must be able to retain the ability to recreate the organism, a property known as developmental totipotency. Several lines of evidence have suggested the extensive proliferation activity and pluripotency of prenatal, neonatal and adult germline stem cells. We showed that adult male germline stem cells, spermatogonial stem cells, can be converted into embryonic stem cell-like cells, which can differentiate into the somatic stem cells of three germ layers. Different cell types such as vascular, heart, liver, pancreatic and blood cells could also be obtained from these stem cells. Understanding how spermatogonial stem cells can give rise to pluripotent stem cells and how somatic stem cells differentiate into germ cells could give significant insight into the regulation of developmental totipotency as well as having important implications for male fertility and regenerative medicine. © 2008 The Authors Journal compilation © 2008 Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mardanpour P, Guan K, Nolte J, Lee JH, Hasenfuss G, Engel W, Nayernia K

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Anatomy

Year: 2008

Volume: 213

Issue: 1

Pages: 26-29

Print publication date: 01/07/2008

ISSN (print): 0021-8782

ISSN (electronic): 1469-7580


DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7580.2008.00930.x