Spermatogenesis in Explanted Fetal Mouse Testis Tissues1

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We previously reported the successful induction of complete spermatogenesis of mice in neonatal testis tissues cultured on agarose gel, with the culture medium supplemented with a bovine serum albumin product, AlbuMAX. This method, however, has not been examined for fetal testis tissues. In this report, we tested the culture method for fetal testes of theAcrosin (Acr)-Gfptransgenic mouse, whose testicular germ cells express GFP from the midmeiotic phase onward, using AlbuMAX-containing medium. The fetal testis, from 19.5 days postcoitum (dpc) back to 14.5 dpc, showed spermatogenic progression and produced haploid cells in culture. On the other hand, testes of 13.5 dpc or earlier did not show the meiotic sign ofAcr-Gfpexpression. Regardless of the fetal age, tissue masses enlarged during the culture period because of the elongation and thickening of the seminiferous tubules. This simple culture method could be a useful experimental system to investigate fetal testicular development and germ cell biology.

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