Google+ Facebook Twitter Twitter

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.

Related Articles

Crowd of people

Improving the health of future generations

Parmesher Singh explains the work that is being undertaken at UK Biobank and the impact that it is hoped to have.

Genomes DNA sequence

The 100,000 Genomes Project: it's not just about DNA

Gerry Thomas, Professor of Molecular Pathology, casts a critical eye over the 100,000 Genomes Project.*

Future antibiotics

Effective future antibiotics

Tuberculosis and other life-threatening microbial diseases could be more effectively tackled with future drugs.

Human embryo development

Researchers have used genome-editing technology to reveal the role of a key gene in human embryos
in the first few days of development.