Spermatogonial stem cells, in vivo transdifferentiation and human regenerative medicine

Liz Simon, Rex A. Hess, Paul S. Cooke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Importance of the field: Embryonic stem (ES) cells have potential for use in regenerative medicine, but use of these cells is hindered by moral, legal and ethical issues. Induced pluripotent cells have promise in regenerative medicine. However, since generation of these cells involves genetic manipulation, it also faces significant hurdles before clinical use. This review discusses spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) as a potential alternative source of pluripotent cells for use in human regenerative medicine. Areas covered in the review: The potential of SSCs to give rise to a wide range of other cell types either directly, when recombined with instructive inducers, or indirectly, after being converted to ES-like cells. Current understanding of the differentiation potential of murine SSCs and recent progress in isolating and culturing human SSCs and demonstrating their properties is also discussed. What the reader will gain: Insight into the plasticity of SSCs and the unique properties of these cells for regenerative applications, the limitations of SSCs for stem-cell-based therapy and the potential alternatives available. Take home message: If methodologies for isolation and conversion of adult human SSCs directly into other cell types can be effectively developed, SSCs could represent an important alternate source of pluripotent cells that can be used in human tissue repair and/or regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-530
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Cell-based therapy
  • Germ cells
  • Pluripotency
  • Transdifferentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Spermatogonial stem cells, in vivo transdifferentiation and human regenerative medicine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this