This study developed and characterized human testis extracellular matrix (htECM) and porcine testis ECM (ptECM) for testing in human spermatogonial stem cell (hSSC) culture. Results confirmed the hypothesis that ECM from the homologous species (human) and homologous tissue (testis) is optimal for maintaining hSSCs. We describe a simplified feeder-free, serum-free condition for future iterative testing to achieve the long-term goal of stable hSSC cultures. To facilitate analysis and understand the fate of hSSCs in culture, we describe a multiparameter, high-throughput, quantitative flow cytometry approach to rapidly count undifferentiated spermatogonia, differentiated spermatogonia, apoptotic spermatogonia, and proliferative spermatogonia in hSSC cultures.
Keywords: SSC culture; extracellular matrix; reproduction; spermatogonial stem cells; testis; tissue engineering.