Scientific reports

Establishment and Characterization of Human Germline Stem Cell Line with Unlimited Proliferation Potentials and no Tumor Formation.

PMID 26585066


Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) have significant applications in both reproductive and regenerative medicine. However, primary human SSCs are very rare, and a human SSC line has not yet been available. In this study, we have for the first time reported a stable human SSC line by stably expressing human SV40 large T antigen. RT-PCR, immunocytochemistry, and Western blots revealed that this cell line was positive for a number of human spermatogonial and SSC hallmarks, including VASA, DAZL, MAGEA4, GFRA1, RET, UCHL1, GPR125, PLZF and THY1, suggesting that these cells are human SSCs phenotypically. Proliferation analysis showed that the cell line could be expanded with significant increases of cells for 1.5 years, and high levels of PCNA, UCHL1 and SV40 were maintained for long-term culture. Transplantation assay indicated that human SSC line was able to colonize and proliferate in vivo in the recipient mice. Neither Y chromosome microdeletions of numerous genes nor tumor formation was observed in human SSC line although there was abnormal karyotype in this cell line. Collectively, we have established a human SSC line with unlimited proliferation potentials and no tumorgenesis, which could provide an abundant source of human SSCs for their mechanistic studies and translational medicine.