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Human sperm created from embryonic stem cells
Date:7/7/2009

the genes on a Y chromosome are essential for meiosis and for sperm maturation.

IVD sperm

The IVD sperm will not and cannot be used for fertility treatment. As well as being prohibited by UK law, the research team say fertilization of human eggs and implantation of embryos would hold no scientific merit for them as they want to study the process as a model for research.

"While we can understand that some people may have concerns, this does not mean that humans can be produced 'in a dish' and we have no intention of doing this. This work is a way of investigating why some people are infertile and the reasons behind it. If we have a better understanding of what's going on it could lead to new ways of treating infertility," adds Professor Nayernia.

Technique

The Newcastle University team have developed a method for establishing early stage sperm from human embryonic stem cells in the laboratory.

The embryonic stem cells were cultured in a new medium containing vitamin A derivative (retinoic acid), in a new technique established by the team. Based on this technique, the cells differentiated into germline stem cells.

These expressed a protein which was stained with a green fluorescent marker and they were separated out by FACSTM (Fluorescence-activated cell sorting) using a laser.

After further differentiation, these in vitro derived germline stem cells expressed markers which are specific to primordial germ cells, spermatogonial stem cells, meiotic (spermatocytes) and post meiotic germ cells (spermatids and sperm).

These results indicated maturation of the primordial germ cells to haploid male gametes called IVD sperm - characterised by containing half a chromosome set (23 chromosomes).


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Contact: Karen Bidewell
press.office@ncl.ac.uk
01-912-227-850
Newcastle University
Source:Eurekalert

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