Researchers create human sperm using embryonic stem cells

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 09 July 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b2790
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

    Researchers have created human sperm using embryonic stem cells for the first time, in research aiming to improve the understanding of male infertility and the transmission of genetic disorders.

    A team from the NorthEast England Stem Cell Institute developed the new technique, which enables human sperm cells to be produced in the laboratory. They used human embryonic stem cells with male and female chromosomes (XY and XX) to develop male germline stem cells. Only XY cells were then prompted to complete meiosis—cell division that halves the number of chromosomes. These cells then developed into fully mature, functional sperm, called in vitro derived sperm (IVD sperm) (Stem Cells and Development 2009;8 Jul online, doi:10.1089/scd.2009.0063)

    “While the full potential of the human embryonic stem cell derived sperm remains …

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