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Cancer Cell death Cell cycle Cytoskeleton Exo/endocytosis Differentiation Division Organelles Signalling Stem cells Trafficking
Cell Biology International (2010) 34, S65 (Printed in Great Britain)
Meeting Abstract
Observation of movement behavior of mouse primordial germ cells in vitro
Jun Fu1, Chunhua Wan1, Qian Di1, Jie Cheng2, Changyong Zhang2, Shiying Miao1 and Shudong Zong2
1National Laboratory of Medical Molecular Biology, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100005, China, and 2National Research Institute for Family Planning Beijing, WHO Collaboration Center of Human Reproduction, Beijing 100081, China


Mouse primordial germ cells (PGCs) are known to reside originally in the extra-embryonic epiblast of the gastrulating embryo. The germ cell precursors migrate back into the embryo, through the yolk sac, hindgut and dorsal mesentery, and arrive in the genital ridge finally. The mechanism of their migration behavior is going to be discovered. Data from the literature suggested that the PGCs migrate by extension of their simple amoeboid movement over the underlying cell surfaces and the extra cellular matrix. Our work on seminiferous tubule transplantation of mouse PGCs unexpectedly revealed a peculiar morphology and migration behavior of PGCs. PGCs isolated from 15 day mouse embryo testis, stained with either Neutral Red or PKH26, were observed by fluorescence microscopy. Initially, the PGCs appeared as big round cells. Shortly thereafter, they were noted to extend several crescent filopodia, one of which then became elongated into a drumstick-like process which quickly swung the swollen end side to side, seemingly in search of an attractant. These processes were rapidly, subsequently becoming long cytoplasmic processes. The addition of a drop of crude extract from 15 day embryonic testis onto one side of the cover glass induced most of the PGCs to direct their processes toward the extract. Thirty minutes later, the processes of the PGCs formed very long fine fibers, some of which measured several hundred micrometers long, resembling the axons of nerve cells. The drumstick-like end of these thin axon-like processes attached to the surface of other PGCs to form a meshwork structure. This is the first description of the behavior and morphology of live PGCs in vitro under fluorescence microscope, which can provide a useful model for studying PGC migration behavior and its mechanism.




Published online 1 August 2010, doi:10.1042/CBI034S065b


© The Author(s) Journal compilation © 2010 Portland Press Limited


ISSN Print: 1065-6995
ISSN Electronic: 1095-8355
Published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the International Federation for Cell Biology (IFCB)