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R R, R Speed, M Taggart and HJ Cooke

Dazl knockout male mice are infertile because their germ cells are unable to complete the first meiotic prophase in the first wave of spermatogenesis and thereafter decrease in number due to a block at the A-aligned to A1 transition. The ability of the surviving somatic components of the testes to retain their function in the absence of mature germ cells was tested by injecting marked wild-type germ cell suspensions containing spermatogonial stem cells. Comparison of the frequency and extent of colonization of Dazl knockout testes with that of testes chemically depleted of germ cells showed little if any difference. It was concluded that Dazlko testes seem unimpaired in their ability to support spermatogenesis. Therefore, Dazlko testes provide a useful and reliable recipient in which to evaluate spermatogonial stem cells. The results furthermore demonstrate that the somatic compartment of the testis of these animals retains functionality.