The reversible developmental unipotency of germ cells in chicken

Department of Agricultural Biotechnology and Research Institute for Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-921, Republic of Korea.
Reproduction (Impact Factor: 3.17). 09/2009; 139(1):113-9. DOI: 10.1530/REP-09-0265
Source: PubMed


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.

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Available from: Jae Yong Han, Feb 06, 2014
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    • "In their study, no donor-derived offspring were obtained from recipient roosters that had received testicular gonocytes, although the presence of donor-derived DNA was detected in sperm samples from these roosters. Three years later, the germline transmission of SSCs obtained from adult testes after transplantation into either subgerminal cavity of stage X embryos or bloodstream of recipient embryos were reported (Jung et al. 2010). These results revealed that chicken SSCs have a high level of developmental reversibility. "
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