Melatonin promotes development of haploid germ cells from early developing spermatogenic cells ofSuffolksheep under in vitro condition

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Promotion of spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) differentiation into functional sperms under in vitro conditions is a great challenge for reproductive physiologists. In this study, we observed that melatonin (10−7 m) supplementation significantly enhanced the cultured SSCs differentiation into haploid germ cells. This was confirmed by the expression of sperm special protein, acrosin. The rate of SSCs differentiation into sperm with melatonin supplementation was 11.85 ± 0.93% which was twofold higher than that in the control. The level of testosterone, the transcriptions of luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR), and the steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) were upregulated with melatonin treatment. At the early stage of SSCs culture, melatonin suppressed the level of cAMP, while at the later stage, it promoted cAMP production. The similar pattern was observed in testosterone content. Expressions for marker genes of meiosis anaphase, Dnmt3a, and Bcl-2 were upregulated by melatonin. In contrast, Bax expression was downregulated. Importantly, the in vitro-generated sperms were functional and they were capable to fertilize oocytes. These fertilized oocytes have successfully developed to the blastula stage.

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