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Roles of CD34+ cells and ALK5 signaling in the reconstruction of seminiferous tubule-like structures in 3-D re-aggregate culture of dissociated cells from neonatal mouse testes.

PloS one (2017-12-01)
Shin-Ichi Abe, Kazuko Abe, Jidong Zhang, Tomoaki Harada, Go Mizumoto, Hiroki Oshikawa, Haruhiko Akiyama, Kenji Shimamura
ABSTRACT

Tissue reconstruction in vitro can provide, if successful, a refined and simple system to analyze the underlying mechanisms that drive the morphogenesis and maintain the ordered structure. We have recently succeeded in reconstruction of seminiferous cord-like and tubule-like structures using 3-D re-aggregate culture of dissociated testicular cells. In testis formation, endothelial cells that migrated from mesonephroi to embryonic gonads have been shown to be critical for development of testis cords, but how endothelial cells contribute to testis cord formation remains unknown. To decipher the roles of endothelial and peritubular cells in the reconstruction of cord-like and tubule-like structures, we investigated the behavior of CD34+ endothelial and p75+ cells, and peritubular myoid cells (PTMCs) in 3-D re-aggregate cultures of testicular cells. The results showed that these 3 types of cells had the capacity of re-aggregation on their own and with each other, and of segregation into 3 layers in a re-aggregate, which were very similar to interstitial and peritubular tissues in vivo. Observation of behaviors of fluorescent Sertoli cells and other non-fluorescent types of cells using testes from Sox9-EGFP transgenic mice showed dynamic cell movement and segregation in re-aggregate cultures. Cultures of testicular cells deprived of interstitial and peritubular cells resulted in dysmorphic structures, but re-addition of them restored tubule-like structures. Purified CD34+ cells in culture differentiated into p75+ cells and PTMCs. These results indicate that CD34+ cells differentiate into p75+ cells, which then differentiate into PTMCs. TGFβ signaling inhibitors, SB431542 and ALK5i, disturbed the reconstruction of cord-like and tubule-like structures, and the latter compromised re-construction of interstitial-like and peritubular-like structures, as well as the proliferation of CD34+, p75+, PTMCs, and Sertoli cells, and their movement and differentiation. These results indicate that CD34+ cells and signaling through ALK5 play pivotal roles in the morphogenesis of interstitial-like, peritubular-like and cord-like structures.

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Solketal methacrylate, 50 wt. % in dichloromethane, contains ~280 ppm 4-tert-butylcatechol as inhibitor