Brown University biologists have determined how the loss of a gene in male mice results in the premature exhaustion of their fertility. Their fundamental new insights into the complex process of sperm generation may have direct applications to a similar loss of fertility in men.
Mice lacking the gene for the protein TAF4b (right) produce fewer undifferentiated germ cells (green) than mice with the gene (left). This leads to a decreased ability to keep sperm production going after about a month or so of initial fertility.
Credit: Freiman lab/Brown University
In addition to Freiman, Lovasco and Gustafson, other authors are Kimberly Seymour of Brown and Dirk G. de Rooij of the Univerisity of Amsterdam.
The Ellison Medical Foundation and the National Institutes of Health (grant 1F32HD077986) supported the research.