Specific arrests of spermatogenesis in genetically modified and mutant mice

Cytogenet Genome Res. 2003;103(3-4):267-76. doi: 10.1159/000076812.


In naturally occurring mutant mice but also in mice genetically modified for the study of other organs, relatively often a spermatogenic arrest is seen. In a number of cases the arrests appear to be very specific causing apoptosis of germ cells at a particular step in their development, while before this step cells progress normally. These steps include: proliferation/migration of primordial germ cells, the production of differentiating spermatogonia by gonocytes, the regulation of stem cell renewal/differentiation, the differentiation of A(al) into A1 spermatogonia, proliferation of A1-A4 spermatogonia, germ cell density regulation, start of meiosis, epithelial stage IV checkpoint of pachytene spermatocytes, the first meiotic division, the formation of the acrosomic vesicle in spermatids and several other steps in spermatid development. In addition, there are many mice that have not been studied in enough detail for a proper categorization. In this review an overview is given of the various mutations and genetically modified mice showing a direct effect on specific spermatogenic cell types. In addition, the relevance of these models to our understanding of the spermatogenic process is discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Lineage
  • Male
  • Meiosis
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Prophase
  • Rats
  • Spermatids / cytology
  • Spermatogenesis*
  • Spermatogonia / cytology
  • Spermatozoa / cytology*
  • Spermatozoa / growth & development