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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 384734, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/384734
Review Article

Propagation of Adult SSCs: From Mouse to Human

Department of Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, 1300 York Avenue, LC-701, P.O. Box 282, New York, NY 10065, USA

Received 2 November 2012; Accepted 6 December 2012

Academic Editor: Irma Virant-Klun

Copyright © 2013 Laura A. Martin and Marco Seandel. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Adult spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) represent a distinctive source of stem cells in mammals for several reasons. First, by giving rise to spermatogenesis, SSCs are responsible for the propagation of a father’s genetic material. As such, autologous SSCs have been considered for treatment of infertility and other purposes, including correction of inherited disorders. Second, adult spermatogonia can spontaneously produce embryonic-like stem cells in vitro, which could be used as an alternative for therapeutic, diagnostic, or drug discovery strategies for humans. Therefore, an increasing urgency is driving efforts to understand the biology of SSCs and improve techniques to manipulate them in vitro as a prerequisite to achieve the aforementioned goals. The characterization of adult SSCs also requires reproducible methods to isolate and maintain them in long-term culture. Herein, we describe recent major advances and challenges in propagation of adult SSCs from mice and humans during the past few years, including the use of unique cell surface markers and defined cultured conditions.