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Stem cells get around male infertility

2017-09-12 09:12

Stem cells get around male infertility

TURNINGskin cells into sperm may one day help some infertile men have babies.
Most men have two sex chromosomes one X and one Y but some have three, which makes it difficult to produce fertile sperm. Around 1 in 500 men are
born with Klinefelter syndrome, caused by having an extra X chromosome, while roughly 1 in 1000 have double Y syndrome.

James Turner of the Francis Crick Institute in London and his team have found a way to get around this infertility. They bred mice that each had an extra X or Y chromosome, and then induced cells from their skin cells to become stem cells. To their surprise, around a third of the cells lost the extra chromosome.
When these cells were coaxed into forming sperm and used to fertilise eggs, 50 to 60 per cent of the resulting pregnancies led to live births.
But there was a problem. We don셳 yet know how to turn stem cells into mature sperm, so the team got around this by injecting the cells into mouse testes for the last stages of development. This led to fertile sperm, but it also caused tumours in many mice. 쏻hat we really need is being able to go from [stem] cells to sperm in a dish, says Turner.

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