Growth factors in mouse primordial germ cell migration and proliferation

Massimo De Felici, Maurizio Pesce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Information obtained mainly from in vitro culture studies and genetic analysis of mouse mutants White spotting and Steel indicate a pivotal role of growth factors in the development of mouse primordial germ cells (PGCs). While stem cell factor (SCF) and TGFβ1 seem to have a role in PGC migration (as an adhesion factor and a chemoattractant, respectively), the former is certainly required for PGC survival in vitro and probably in vivo as well. Recent findings suggest that the mechanism by which SCF supports PGC survival is by preventing PGC apoptosis. A similar action appears to be exerted by leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), a further growth factor influencing PGC growth in culture. PGC proliferation seems to be mainly induced by cAMP dependent mechanisms, but futther investigations are needed to clarify the interrelationships among the different molecular pathways activated by SCF, LIF, cAMP and other putative PGC growth factors (i.e. bFGF). Stimulation of long-term proliferation of PGCs, leading to derivation of ES-like cells (embryonal germ cells) obtained by using a combination of growth factors (bFGF, SCF and LIF), opens new intriguing perspectives for such studies and transgenic technology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-143
Number of pages9
JournalProgress in Growth Factor Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • cyclic AMP
  • embryonal germ cells
  • leukemia inhibitory factor
  • Primordial germ cells
  • stem cell factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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