Spermatogenic lineage has been directly generated in spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) conditions from human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs). However, it remains unknown whether mouse ESCs can directly differentiate into advanced male germ cell lineage in the same conditions. Here, we showed that rather low efficiency of germ-like cell generation from mouse ESCs in SSC conditions. Interestingly, addition of retinoic acid (RA) into SSC conditions enabled efficient differentiation of mouse ESCs into germ-like cells, as shown by activating the expression of spermatogenesis-associated genes during differentiation process, such as Mvh , Dazl , Prdm14 , Stella , Scp1 , Scp3 , Stra8 and Rec8 . In contrast, for cells cultured in control medium, the activation of these above genes barely occurred. In addition, RA with SSC conditions yielded colonies of Acrosin expressing cells and the positive ratio reached a peak at day 6. Our work thus establishes a simple and cost efficient approach for male germ-like cell differentiation from mouse pluripotent stem cells and may propose a useful strategy for studying spermatogenesis in vitro.
- Retinoic acid
- Spermatogonial stem cell conditions
- Germ-like cells
- ©2017 The Author(s)
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