Karthika Radhakrishnan, PhD Student
Sperm development and differentiation in mammalian testis is a unique event. Seminiferous tubules in the testis have germ cell progenitors known as primordial germ cells (PGCs), which are pluripotent stem cells. These cells can divide horizontally to make their own copies, but also can differentiate into spermatogonia. Spermatogonia retain a high level of multipotency, and can divide horizontally to make their copies. Through unknown mechanisms operating at their cellular level, they can differentiate into spermatozoa. While hormonal and local regulations operating on them are implicated in their differentiation, very little is known about the factors that regulate the transformation of a spermatogonium into primary spermatocyte. Similarly, factors that regulate the differentiation of primary spermatocyte into secondary spermatocyte also are intriguing. I focus on molecular aspects of initiation of meiosis in spermatogenic cells.