Functional and molecular features of the Id4+ germline stem cell population in mouse testes

Frieda Chan, Melissa J. Oatley, Amy V. Kaucher, Qi En Yang, Charles J. Bieberich, Cooduvalli S. Shashikant, Jon M. Oatley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

184 Scopus citations


The maintenance of cycling cell lineages relies on undifferentiated subpopulations consisting of stem and progenitor pools. Features that delineate these cell types are undefined for many lineages, including spermato-genesis, which is supported by an undifferentiated spermatogonial population. Here, we generated a transgenic mouse line in which spermatogonial stem cells are marked by expression of an inhibitor of differentiation 4 (Id4)-green fluorescent protein (Gfp) transgene. We found that Id4-Gfp+ cells exist primarily as a subset of the type Asingle pool, and their frequency is greatest in neonatal development and then decreases in proportion during establishment of the spermatogenic lineage, eventually comprising ~ 2% of the undifferentiated spermatogonial population in adulthood. RNA sequencing analysis revealed that expression of 11 and 25 genes is unique for the Id4-Gfp+/stem cell and Id4-Gfp-/progenitor fractions, respectively. Collectively, these findings provide the first definitive evidence that stem cells exist as a rare subset of the Asingle pool and reveal transcriptome features distinguishing stem cell and progenitor states within the mammalian male germline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1351-1362
Number of pages12
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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