Ning Wang, PhD
Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Brief Overview of Wang Lab Research
Male fertility relies on a rare population of spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) in testes. In mice, SSCs, making up only ~0.03% of all germ cells, produce ~40 million sperm per gram of tissue per day by way of mitosis and meiosis. Proper maintenance of this small pool of SSCs is essential to sustain lifelong production of sperm. We have established a transgenic mouse line, in which the Stra8 promoter, whose activation is probably one of the earliest events during GSC differentiation of both sexes, drives GFP reporter expression (Stra8-GFP). We recently reported that, by using cell surface markers for undifferentiated and differentiating spermatogonia in Stra8-GFP mice, we are able to separate spermatogonia into six populations at consecutive differentiation stages (Figure 1; Xiong et al, Cell Cycle, 2015). Thus, we are using this unique system to:
1) Characterize novel phenotypical markers of the primitive spermatogonial stem cells.
2) Investigate the mechanisms governing stem cell maintenance and differentiation.