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Kyoto U.-led team successfully treats infertility in mice with iPS cells

A joint research team including Kyoto University's Graduate School of Medicine has successfully treated infertility in mice using induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.

In an Aug. 17 announcement, the team revealed that it had managed to produce reproductive cells resulting in the birth of healthy baby mice, after first generating iPS cells collected as regular cells from a mouse with abnormal sex chromosomes. The achievement is hoped to lead to progress in human infertility treatments.

In general, mammals have two sex chromosomes in each cell: XY in males and XX in females. However, in certain rare cases there are male mammals born with three sex chromosomes, which makes sperm production impossible.

In the research team's experiment, iPS cells were created using cells taken from a male mouse that had three sex chromosomes in each cell. The team then found that in about 10 percent of cases, it was possible to generate iPS cells with the standard composition of XY chromosomes.

Those iPS cells were then changed into reproductive cells and transplanted into the testes of a male mouse with no reproductive cells, and the mouse was able to produce sperm. That sperm was later used to fertilize mouse ova, leading to the birth of healthy baby mice.

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