In mice, the juvenile spermatogonial depletion (jsd) mutation results in a single wave of spermatogenesis followed by failure of type A spermatogonial stem cells to repopulate the testis, rendering male animals sterile. It is not clear whether the defect in jsd resides in a failure of the somatic component to support spermatogenesis or in a failure that is intrinsic to the mutant's germ cells. To determine if the jsd intratesticular environment is capable of supporting spermatogenesis, germ cell transplantation experiments were performed in which C57BL/6 ROSA germ cells were transplanted into jsd recipients. To determine if jsd spermatogonia are able to develop in a permissive seminiferous environment, jsd germ cells were transplanted into W/Wv and busulfan-treated C57BL/6 animals. The data demonstrate that up to 7 mo after transplantation of normal germ cells, jsd seminiferous tubules are capable of supporting spermatogenesis. In contrast, when jsd germ cells were transplanted into busulfan-treated C57BL/6 testis, or into testis of W/Wv mice, no jsd-derived spermatogenesis was observed. The data support the hypothesis that the jsd phenotype is due to a defect in the germ cells themselves, and not in the intratubular environment.
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