The origin of somatic cell lineages during testicular development is controversial in mammals. Employing basal amphibian tetrapod, Xenopus tropicalis, we established a cell culture derived from testes of juvenile male. Expression analysis showed transcription of some pluripotency genes and Sertoli cell, peritubular myoid cell and mesenchymal cell markers. Transcription of germ line specific genes was downregulated. Immunocytochemistry revealed that majority of cells express vimentin and co-express Sox9 and smooth muscle α-actin (Sma) indicating the existence of common progenitor of Sertoli and peritubular myoid cell lineages. Microinjection of transgenic, red fluorescent protein (RFP) positive somatic testicular cells into peritoneal cavity of X. tropicalis tadpoles resulted in cell deposits in heart, pronephros and intestine and later in a strong proliferation and formation of cell to cell net growing through the tadpole body. Immunohistochemistry analysis of transplanted tadpoles showed a strong expression of vimentin in RFP positive cells. No co-localization of Sox9 and Sma signals was observed during the first three weeks indicating their dedifferentiation to a migratory active mesenchymal cells recently described in human testicular biopsies.
- Received April 26, 2016.
- Accepted July 20, 2016.
- © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd
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