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Maturation of human sperm

New research sheds light on the complex process that occurs in the development of human sperm stem cells.

This is the first study to characterise the changes human sperm stem cells undergo as they mature. 

The authors claim the results, published in Cell, have implications for understanding male infertility, as well as cancer development. Previous studies of sperm stem cells have been limited to model systems. 

This first study of developing human sperm stem cells revealed the process is much more complex in humans than had been previously understood. 

The scientists used genome analysis tools to outline the multistage process that sperm stem cells undergo during their normal development.

The study examined all of the genes that turn “on” or “off” in any given cell during normal development. 

Using single cell RNA sequencing analysis, they profiled cells individually, establishing the gene expression profile in human sperm stem cells.

Their findings outline four distinct cellular phases of sperm stem cells maturation, revealing how the stem cells progress from a “quiescent” state, to a “proliferation” state during which stem cells divide, to a final “differentiation” state when stem cells mature to become sperm.

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