ABSTRACT: We recently developed bimodal germline chimera production approaches by transfer of primordial germ cells (PGCs) or embryonic germ cells (EGCs) into embryos and by transplantation of spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) or germline stem cells (GSCs) into adult testes. This study was undertaken to investigate the reversible developmental unipotency of chicken germ cells using our established germline chimera production systems. First, we transferred freshly isolated SSCs from adult testis or in vitro cultured GSCs into stage X and stage 14-16 embryos, and we found that these transferred SSCs/GSCs could migrate to the recipient embryonic gonads. Of the 527 embryos that received SSCs or GSCs, 135 yielded hatchlings. Of 17 sexually mature males (35.3%), six were confirmed as germline chimeras through testcross analysis resulting in an average germline transmission efficiency of 1.3%. Second, PGCs/EGCs, germ cells isolated from embryonic gonads were transplanted into adult testes. The EGC transplantation induced germline transmission, whereas the PGC transplantation did not. The germline transmission efficiency was 12.5 fold higher (16.3 vs 1.3%) in EGC transplantation into testis (EGCs to adult testis) than that in SSC/GSC transfer into embryos (testicular germ cells to embryo stage). In conclusion, chicken germ cells from different developmental stages can (de)differentiate into gametes even after the germ cell developmental clock is set back or ahead. Use of germ cell reversible unipotency might improve the efficiency of germ cell-mediated germline transmission.
Reproduction 09/2009; 139(1):113-9. · 2.58 Impact Factor