Scientists create artificial sperm from stem cells
In a recent experiment conducted by the fertility researchers, sperm-producing germ cells were created in a lab.
After transferring these germ cells into infertile mice, the study proved that the treatment curbed infertility in the mice and helped in producing healthy offspring.
This method could prove to be extremely useful for humans if it works on them as well.
With this discovery, infertile men' dream of becoming a father can come true.
Stem cells used to create germ cells
In this research, primordial germ cells were created by Japanese scientists at Kyoto University, with the help of stem cells from mouse embryos.
These are the same germ cells which lead to the production of sperm in men.
The same germ cells produced normal-looking sperm when transplanted into the testicles of infertile mice.
The research was performed under the guidance of Dr. Katsuhiko Hayashi.
During the experiment, researchers injected the sperm into mouse eggs and implanted them into female mice. This process gave birth to healthy offsprings of the mouse.
In a further advancement to this research work, a study published in the Cell journal proved that the babies produced through this process were capable of successful reproduction when they grew up.
Compared to previous experiments performed for creating sperm from embryonic stem cells, this research has been considered to be the most successful effort.
Landmark achievement in infertility treatment
Commenting on the success of this research work, fertility expert Dr. Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield said, "This is quite a step forward in developing a process by which sperm could be made for infertile men, perhaps by taking as a starting point a cell from their skin or from something like bone marrow.”
Dr. Jane Stewart, British Fertility Society spokesperson and consultant gynaecologist at Newcastle Fertility Centre called this research a “landmark achievement” in the field of fertility treatments.
She said, “This publication in an animal model marks a further step towards this goal, however as the authors clearly point out much work remains to be done.”
The study is not against any British law
This study also doesn’t fall under any legal restrictions set by British laws on the use of lab-made mature sperm in infertility treatments, as sperms were produced naturally in this research with the help of germ cells.
Expressing his views on the use of natural process in this study, Dr. Pricey said, “The philosophy of the law is to stop that kind of thing happening. But in this case you're not technically creating sperm, so it might be that you can sidestep this regulation. It all depends on definition.”