Isolation and characterization of pluripotent human spermatogonial stem cell-derived cells

Stem Cells. 2009 Jan;27(1):138-49. doi: 10.1634/stemcells.2008-0439.


Several reports have documented the derivation of pluripotent cells (multipotent germline stem cells) from spermatogonial stem cells obtained from the adult mouse testis. These spermatogonia-derived stem cells express embryonic stem cell markers and differentiate to the three primary germ layers, as well as the germline. Data indicate that derivation may involve reprogramming of endogenous spermatogonia in culture. Here, we report the derivation of human multipotent germline stem cells (hMGSCs) from a testis biopsy. The cells express distinct markers of pluripotency, form embryoid bodies that contain derivatives of all three germ layers, maintain a normal XY karyotype, are hypomethylated at the H19 locus, and express high levels of telomerase. Teratoma assays indicate the presence of human cells 8 weeks post-transplantation but limited teratoma formation. Thus, these data suggest the potential to derive pluripotent cells from human testis biopsies but indicate a need for novel strategies to optimize hMGSC culture conditions and reprogramming.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Biopsy
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Separation
  • Cell Shape
  • DNA Methylation
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minisatellite Repeats / genetics
  • Multipotent Stem Cells / cytology
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3 / genetics
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Spectral Karyotyping
  • Spermatogonia / cytology*
  • Spermatogonia / metabolism
  • Sulfites
  • Telomerase / metabolism
  • Testis / cytology
  • Testis / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3
  • Sulfites
  • Telomerase
  • hydrogen sulfite