Role of c-kit in mammalian spermatogenesis

P. Rossi, C. Sette, S. Dolci, R. Geremia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

111 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The tyrosine-kinase receptor c-kit and its ligand, stem cell factor (SCF), are essential for the maintenance of primordial germ cells (PGCs) in both sexes. However, c-kit and a post-meiotic-specific alternative c-kit gene product play important roles also during post-natal stages of spermatogenesis. In the adult testis, the c-kit receptor is re-expressed in differentiating spermatogonia, but not in spermatogonial stem cells, whereas SCF is expressed by Sertoli cells under FSH stimulation. SCF stimulates DNA synthesis in type A spermatogonia cultured in vitro, and injection of anti-c-kit antibodies blocks their proliferation in vivo. A point mutation in the c-kit gene, which impairs SCF-mediated activation of phosphatydilinositol 3-kinase, does not cause any significant reduction in PGCs number during embryonic development, nor in spermatogonial stem cell populations. However males are completely sterile due to a block in the initial stages of spermatogenesis, associated to abolishment of DNA-synthesis in differentiating A1-A4 spermatogonia. With the onset of meiosis c-kit expression ceases, but a truncated c-kit product, tr-kit, is specifically expressed in post-meiotic stages of spermatogenesis, and is accumulated in mature spermatozoa. Microinjection of tr-kit into mouse eggs causes their parthenogenetic activation, suggesting that it might play a role in the final function of the gametes, fertilization. (C)2000, Editrice Kurtis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-615
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Endocrinological Investigation
Volume23
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Fingerprint

Stem Cell Factor
Spermatogenesis
Spermatogonia
Germ Cells
Stem Cells
Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit
Sertoli Cells
DNA
Meiosis
Microinjections
Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
Point Mutation
Fertilization
Eggs
Genes
Embryonic Development
Spermatozoa
Testis
Phosphotransferases
Cell Count

Keywords

  • C-kit
  • Fertilization
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Stem cell factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

Cite this

Rossi, P., Sette, C., Dolci, S., & Geremia, R. (2000). Role of c-kit in mammalian spermatogenesis. Journal of Endocrinological Investigation, 23(9), 609-615.

Role of c-kit in mammalian spermatogenesis. / Rossi, P.; Sette, C.; Dolci, S.; Geremia, R.

In: Journal of Endocrinological Investigation, Vol. 23, No. 9, 2000, p. 609-615.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rossi, P, Sette, C, Dolci, S & Geremia, R 2000, 'Role of c-kit in mammalian spermatogenesis', Journal of Endocrinological Investigation, vol. 23, no. 9, pp. 609-615.
Rossi, P. ; Sette, C. ; Dolci, S. ; Geremia, R. / Role of c-kit in mammalian spermatogenesis. In: Journal of Endocrinological Investigation. 2000 ; Vol. 23, No. 9. pp. 609-615.
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