Manipulation of fish germ cell: Visualization, cryopreservation and transplantation

Tomoyuki Okutsu, Ayaka Yano, Kazue Nagasawa, Shinya Shikina, Terumasa Kobayashi, Yutaka Takeuchi, Goro Yoshizaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


Germ-cell transplantation has many applications in biology and animal husbandry, including investigating the complex processes of germ-cell development and differentiation, producing transgenic animals by genetically modifying germline cells, and creating broodstock systems in which a target species can be produced from a surrogate parent. The germ-cell transplantation technique was initially established in chickens using primordial germ cells (PGCs), and was subsequently extended to mice using spermatogonial stem cells. Recently, we developed the first germ-cell transplantation system in lower vertebrates using fish PGCs and spermatogonia. During mammalian germ-cell transplantation, donor spermatogonial stem cells are introduced into the seminiferous tubules of the recipient testes. By contrast, in the fish germ-cell transplantation system, donor cells are microinjected into the peritoneal cavities of newly hatched embryos; this allows the donor germ cells to migrate towards, and subsequently colonize, the recipient genital ridges. The recipient embryos have immature immune systems, so the donor germ cells can survive and even differentiate into mature gametes in their allogeneic gonads, ultimately leading to the production of normal offspring. In addition, implanted spermatogonia can successfully differentiate into sperm and eggs, respectively, in male and female recipients. The results of transplantation studies in fish are improving our understanding of the development of germ-cell systems during vertebrate evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-693
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Reproduction and Development
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Developmental plasticity
  • Germ cell transplantation
  • Primordial germ cells
  • Sexual plasticity
  • Spermatogonial stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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