Researchers of Kyoto University, headed by Prof. Michinori Saito, succeeded to bring seven mice to an infertile male-mouse.
First they turned a male mouse embryonic stem cell into a reproduction cell, which was then transferred to the testis of a male-mouse without reproduction cells; a infertile mouse. In about 10 weeks time, sperms were created in his spermary! With these sperms, external fertilization was implemented. Two female-mice were transplanted embryos and healthy seven baby mice were born. Congratulations! These seven mice were mated with regular mice then and they had their offspring.
The team also tested with ES cells, following the same manner. The birth ratio of embryos fertilized by iPS cell-sperm was 30% and by ES cells was 30-50%. They have already started another experiment, on eggs. In the near future the group will use monkeys for their research.
Prof. Saito says that ethical issues have to be carefully discussed; yet this study will surely bring a light to infertility.
For the more detailed information, please go to the ‘Cell’ website, the online publication of this research.