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A transit amplifying population underpins the efficient regenerative capacity of the testis

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    Rights statement: © 2017 Carrieri et al. This article is distributed under the terms of an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike–No Mirror Sites license for the first six months after the publication date (see http://www.rupress.org /terms/). After six months it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution–Noncommercial– Share Alike 4.0 International license, as described at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/).

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Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Early online date1 May 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 May 2017


The spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) that supports spermatogenesis throughout adult life resides within the GFR 1-expressing A type undifferentiated spermatogonia. The decision to commit to spermatogenic differentiation coincides with the loss of GFR 1 and reciprocal gain of Ngn3 (Neurog3) expression. Through the analysis of the piRNA factor Miwi2 (Piwil4), we identify a novel population of Ngn3-expressing spermatogonia that are essential for efficient testicular regeneration after injury.
Depletion of Miwi2-expressing cells results in a transient impact on testicular
homeostasis with this population behaving strictly as transit amplifying cells under homeostatic conditions. However, upon injury Miwi2-expressing cells are essential for the efficient regenerative capacity of the testis and also display facultative stem activity in transplantation assays. In summary, the mouse testis has adopted a regenerative strategy to expand stem cell activity by incorporating a transit amplifying population to the effective stem cell pool, thus ensuring rapid and efficient tissue repair.

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