The spermatogonial transplantation system was applied to evaluate stem cell kinetics and niche quality and to produce gene-modified animals using the stem cells after homologous recombination-based selection. This study was designed to determine whether the transplanted spermatogonia were able to proliferate and differentiate in male rats expressing the c-myc transgene under control of the human metallothionein IIA promoter (MT-myc Tg rats). Donor testicular cells were prepared from heterozygous chicken β actin (CAG)/enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-transgenic rats (EGFP Tg rats) during the second week after birth and injected into the seminiferous tubules of the MT-myc Tg rats (line-A and -B; both subfertile) or rats pretreated with busulfan to remove endogenous spermatogonia. Three to four months after transplantation, cell colonies with EGFP fluorescence were detected in 36% (4/11), 40% (8/20), and 71% (5/7) of the transplanted testes in line-A MT-myc Tg rats, line-B MT-myc Tg rats, and busulfan-treated rats, respectively. No EGFP-positive colonies were detected when wild-type male rats were used as recipients (0/7; testis-basis). The histopathological and immunofluorescent examination of the serial sections from the transplanted testes showed normal spermatogenesis of the donor spermatogonia, but atrophy of the recipient seminiferous tubules. Microinsemination with round spermatids and mature spermatozoa derived from EGFP-positive testes in line-A rats resulted 26% (10/39 transferred) and 23% (11/48 transferred) full-term offspring, respectively. Thus, the MT-myc Tg male rats were suitable as potent recipients for spermatogonial transplantation without any chemical pretreatment to remove the endogenous spermatogonia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Agronomy and Crop Science