Expression of the c-kit gene is critical for migration of neonatal rat gonocytes in vitro.

Authors: Orth, JM  Qiu, J  Jester WF, JR  Pilder, S 
Citation: Orth JM, etal., Biol Reprod. 1997 Sep;57(3):676-83.
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:9283007

Rat gonocytes migrate to the basement membrane during the first postnatal week, a change in position crucial for their survival. These cells express the c-kit gene from the day of birth through Day 5 in vivo and develop the ability to migrate in Sertoli cell-gonocyte cocultures. In this study, we asked whether c-kit expression and synthesis of Kit protein are required for pseudopod production by gonocytes in vitro. To determine whether gonocyte migration in vitro is invariably accompanied by c-kit expression, we quantified percentages of gonocytes expressing c-kit with increasing time in vitro and correlated these data with pseudopod development by individual cells. We also determined the effect of exposure to Kit antibodies on gonocyte migration in vitro, and, conversely, asked whether addition of exogenous stem cell factor (SCF), the Kit ligand, stimulates pseudopod development. We found that 1) increasing numbers of gonocytes express c-kit with increasing time in vitro; 2) once these cells begin migrating in vitro, the appearance of a pseudopod on a gonocyte is absolutely correlated with kit expression by that cell; 3) incubating cocultures with Kit antibodies significantly reduces the number of cells with pseudopods, without any detectable decrease in numbers of gonocytes; and 4) addition of exogenous SCF to cocultures prepared on Day 5 results in a transient but significant increase in the percentage of gonocytes with pseudopods even though we found that Sertoli cells in the cultures produce endogenous SCF. Thus, our findings provide evidence to support a role for c-kit expression by neonatal gonocytes and, presumably, SCF expression by neonatal Sertoli cells in stimulating migration of these germ cells in vitro.

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CRRD Object Information
CRRD ID: 2292525
Created: 2008-04-22
Species: All species
Last Modified: 2008-04-22
Status: ACTIVE



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RGD is funded by grant HL64541 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on behalf of the NIH.