Cell cycle analysis of fetal germ cells during sex differentiation in mice

Spiller, Cassy, Wilhelm, Dagmar and Koopman, Peter (2009) Cell cycle analysis of fetal germ cells during sex differentiation in mice. Biology of The Cell, 101 10: 587-598. doi:10.1042/BC20090021

Author Spiller, Cassy
Wilhelm, Dagmar
Koopman, Peter
Title Cell cycle analysis of fetal germ cells during sex differentiation in mice
Journal name Biology of The Cell   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0248-4900
Publication date 2009-10
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1042/BC20090021
Volume 101
Issue 10
Start page 587
End page 598
Total pages 12
Editor Thierry Gally
Place of publication London, U.K.
Publisher Portland Press
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
060403 Developmental Genetics (incl. Sex Determination)
Formatted abstract
Background information. Primordial germ cells in developing male and female gonads are responsive to somatic cell cues that direct their sex-specific differentiation into functional gametes. The first divergence of the male and female pathways is a change in cell cycle state observed from 12.5 dpc (days post coitum) in mice. At this time XY and XX germ cells cease mitotic division and enter G1/G0 arrest and meiosis prophase I respectively. Aberrant cell cycle regulation at this time can lead to disrupted ovarian development, germ cell apoptosis, reduced fertility and/or the formation of germ cell tumours.

. In order to unravel the mechanisms utilized by germ cells to achieve and maintain the correct cell cycle states, we analysed the expression of a large number of cell cycle genes in purified germ cells across the crucial time of sex differentiation. Our results revealed common signalling for both XX and XY germ cell survival involving calcium signalling. A robust mechanism for apoptosis and checkpoint control was observed in XY germ cells, characterized by p53 and Atm (ataxia telangiectasia mutated) expression. Additionally, a member of the retinoblastoma family and p21 were identified, linking these factors to XY germ cell G1/G0 arrest. Lastly, in XX germ cells we observed a down-regulation of genes involved in both G1- and G2-phases of the cell cycle consistent with their entry into meiosis.

Conclusion. The present study has provided a detailed analysis of cell cycle gene expression during fetal germ cell development and identified candidate factors warranting further investigation in order to understand cases of aberrant cell cycle control in these specialized cells.
Keyword cell cycle array
fetal ovary
fetal testis
germ cell
G(1)/G(0) arrest
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
Institute for Molecular Bioscience - Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 19 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 02 Mar 2010, 10:00:25 EST by Susan Allen on behalf of Institute for Molecular Bioscience