The chromatoid body: a germ-cell-specific RNA-processing centre

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2007 Jan;8(1):85-90. doi: 10.1038/nrm2081.


The chromatoid body, a unique cloud-like structure of male germ cells, moves dynamically in the cytoplasm of haploid spermatids, but its function has remained elusive for decades. Recent findings indicate that microRNA and RNA-decay pathways converge to the chromatoid body. This highly specialized structure might function as an intracellular focal domain that organizes and controls RNA processing in male germ cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytoplasmic Structures / metabolism*
  • Cytoplasmic Structures / ultrastructure
  • Germ Cells / metabolism*
  • Germ Cells / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Spermatogenesis


  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA-Binding Proteins