GPR56 is essential for testis development and male fertility in mice

Authors

  • Guangchun Chen,

    1. Department of Biomedical Genetics, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642
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  • Liquan Yang,

    1. Department of Biomedical Genetics, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York
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  • Shahinoor Begum,

    1. Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts
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  • Lei Xu

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biomedical Genetics, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York
    2. Department of Dermatology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York
    • Department of Biomedical Genetics, Department of Dermatology, 601 Elmwood Ave. Box 633, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642
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Abstract

Testis development is critical for male fertility and continuation of the mammalian species. Essential structural components of testes are seminiferous tubules, which are lined by Sertoli cells and provide nutrients and physical protection for the maturation of sperm. Seminiferous tubule formation is initiated in embryos as testis cords and relies on their remodeling for maturation during development. Recently, three-dimensional image analyses showed that testis cords in different parts of embryonic gonads undergo distinct remodeling processes. How this asymmetric remodeling is regulated has not been investigated. We report here that the absence of an adhesion G protein-coupled receptor, GPR56, leads to partial disruption of seminiferous tubules and reduced fertility in male mice. The defects appear to originate asymmetrically in embryonic gonads, but subsequent to the initial establishment of testis cords, suggesting that GPR56 might act to establish a spatial and/or temporal cue for asymmetric cord remodeling during male gonad development. Developmental Dynamics 239:3358–3367, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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