In this photo Nov. 8, 2010 photo released by Kyoto University Prof. Mitinori Saitou, baby mice born with viable sperm created from stem cells of mice are shown shortly after their birth at a laboratory of the university in Kyoto, western Japan. Kyoto University researchers, led by Saitou, managed to induce mice stem cells into creating sperm precursors which were transplanted into infertile male mice. The mice then produced sperm that was successfully used to fertilize eggs in vitro. The offspring were healthy and fertile, according to a paper published online Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011 in the cell, an academic journal. (AP Photo/Kyoto University, Mitinori Saitou)
(AP) — A team of scientists has reported producing viable sperm using
the stem cells of mice in an experiment that researchers hope could one
day lead to treating infertile men.
Kyoto University researchers managed to induce mice stem cells into
creating sperm precursors, which were transplanted into infertile male
mice. The mice then produced sperm that was successfully used to
fertilize eggs in a lab dish.
The offspring were healthy and fertile, according to a paper published online Thursday in the scientific journal Cell.
of the research team, led by Mitinori Saitou, said they believe their
success may help in the development of infertility treatments in humans,
although they said many hurdles remain.
have high hopes, but it’s not that easy,” Saitou told the Associated
Press by telephone Friday from Kyoto, in western Japan. “There are many
difficult issues ahead in applying this to humans. But it is a first
Experts outside the group say it’s an important first step toward infertility treatment although there would be a long way.
is a very good experiment for thinking about treatment of infertile man
but a very very long way,” said Toshio Suda, developmental biology
professor at Keio University.
said the Kyoto team’s findings were great work but it is not easy to
prepare the mature sperm cells at present. If some hurdles are cleared,
it could successfully identify “which gene is very important to prepare
SOURCE: The Associated Press