Mouse germ cell clusters form by aggregation as well as clonal divisions.
After their arrival in the fetal gonad, mammalian germ cells express E-cadherin and are found in large clusters, similar to germ cell cysts in Drosophila. In Drosophila, germ cells in cysts are connected by ring canals. Several molecular components of intercellular bridges in mammalian cells have been identified, including TEX14, a protein required for the stabilization of intercellular bridges, and several associated proteins that are components of the cytokinesis complex. This has led to the hypothesis that germ cell clusters in the mammalian gonad arise through incomplete cell divisions. We tested this hypothesis by generating chimeras between GFP-positive and GFP-negative mice. We show that germ cell clusters in the fetal gonad arise through aggregation as well as cell division. Intercellular bridges, however, are likely restricted to cells of the same genotype.
Mork, L; Tang, H; Batchvarov, I; Capel, B
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