In Vitro Spermatogenesis



Induction of meiotic and post-meiotic alterations of male germ cells in vitro has been the target of several research efforts since 1960. However, to date, the establishment of an ideal culture system in which spermatogonial stem cells can be maintained and directed to proliferate and undergo meiosis and complete spermiogenesis does not exist. This is attributed to the difficulties concerning the isolation and purification of defined subpopulations of germ cells and the establishment of male germ cell lines. In addition, there is no adequate knowledge regarding the optimal biochemical conditions that promote the survival and differentiation of germ cells in long-term cultures. This lecture focuses on the methodologies that have been proved sufficient to achieve differentiation of cultured male germ cells. Furthermore, the factors regulating spermatogenesis and the technical prerequisites to achieve differentiation of cultured male germ cells will be described. Finally, the role of in vitro cultures of immature diploid germ cells in the therapeutic management of men negative for haploid cells in their testes and the subsequent potential genetic and epigenetic risks will be discussed.