According to latest studies, men suffering from infertility can soon heave a sigh of relief since a team of Japanese researchers have succeeded in inducing fertility in infertile mice. Several researches have been carried on in this regard over the years and unfortunately, all of them failed to deliver promising results. This research has succeeded in artificially manufacturing sperm cells from embryonic cells in controlled laboratory conditions. The future implications of the research are seen to be very bright and the success with mice can well be transferred into sterile men.
Although previous studies have proved that embryonic cells can be converted into sperm cells, they have failed to show a successful pregnancy. A certain research succeeded in delivering six mice through artificially converted sperms. However, the mice suffered an early death due to massive abnormalities in their genetic structure. In this latest study, several new factors have been considered. Chemicals and growth factors have been added to the research and the effects of factors that control cell conversion from embryonic to sperm have been controlled in a more efficient manner. The converted cells will be injected into mice in early stages of embryo development and will be part of the adult organs when the creatures grow into adults. The cells, which were like epiblast and grown in laboratory dishes, were introduced into seven day old mouse babies. These babies were infertile. The sperm production from them was nil. After the injection of these cells, it has been observed that the mice have begun producing sperms on their own and the sperms are completely natural in their growth.
The sperms that were produced in the laboratory have been used to create 214 embryos in a dish. Each of these embryos comprised of two cells. When these embryos were introduced into female mice, they gave birth to healthy babies. Of the total 214 embryos, 65 mice babies were born. According to the team leader of the research Dr. Saitou, the pups were doing fine. These pups in turn have had babies that are normal and fertile. The rate of pregnancy was also normal when compared to babies produced through artificial insemination. The major breakthrough in the study has been the ability to reprogram cells such as embryonic cells to be converted into sperm cells. While the method that can be used on humans will be different, this breakthrough is definitely going to open more new grounds for further research. The technique needs to be developed further.