Germ cell suicide: New insights into apoptosis during spermatogenesis

  • Print C
  • Loveland K
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Abstract

Mature sperm are the product of a precisely regulated developmental sequence in which germ cell proliferation, differentiation, self-renewal and apoptosis are carefully controlled. The control of germ cell apoptosis during spermatogenesis is especially important. It is mediated by signals derived from the Sertoli cells with which each germ cell is closely associated, as well as by signals originating outside the testis. A greater understanding of these signals is emerging from studies of the spermatogenic defects of genetically modified animals. In particular, the intracellular signaling cascades which ultimately determine germ cell fate are being illuminated by recent studies of the Bcl-2 protein family. This review summarises the crucial role which stringently regulated apoptosis plays in the production of male gametes.

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Authors

  • Cristin G. Print

  • Kate Lakoski Loveland

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