Skin Cells Generate Precursor Sperm Cells
Last week researchers have developed a technique using stem cells created from skin to generate precursor sperm cells for infertile males. This report shines light that someday we could overcome infertility issues from men. Statistically 1 in 10 couples are affected by infertility. In addition, mutation of the Y chromosome in sperm are more common than we think. A large number of males can have alterations in their genes which cause an assortment of issues including low sperm count, or even absence of sperm.
During this study researchers took skin samples from three male patients who were infertile and had gene mutations. These patients weren’t able to produce any sperm and this is why they were chosen for the study. The scientists used their skin cells called dermal fibroblasts to create induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). These type of cells have the ability to turn into any other type of cell in the body. The researchers then injected the cells into the testes of mice. However, they discovered the cells injected into the mice testes later formed tumors in the mice. Unfortunately this is a major safety concern. Although these tumors were formed and the technique is in its early stages; the study brings hope to someday will be able to get rid of infertility problems across the globe.