Regulation of germ cell death in mammalian gonads

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38 Citations (Scopus)


A large number of primordial germ cells (PGCs), as well as spermatogonia, undergo programmed cell death or apoptosis in the physiological context. In this process, environmental, cytoplasmic and nuclear factors are involved. Bcl-2 and its related molecules are known as general regulators of cell death, and some are important for survival of PGCs and spermatogonia. Steel factor, a ligand for c-Kit, also supports growth and survival of these cells. In addition, bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)8B and Desert Hedgehog (Dhh), which are secreted proteins, and a nuclear factor, c- Myc, play a role in spermatocyte survival. This suggests that germ cell survival or death at each stage of differentiation is precisely controlled by specific signalling pathways which consist of a number of molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-148
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Apoptosis
  • Bcl-2
  • Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)
  • Hedgehog
  • Primordial germ cells
  • Spermatocyte
  • Spermatogonia
  • Steel factor
  • c- Kit
  • c-Myc


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