GDNF-induced seminomatous tmnours in mouse - An experimental model for human seminomas?

Hannu Sariola, Xiaojuan Meng, Sabine Kliesch, Tim Oliver, J. Wolter Oosterhuis, Finn Edler Von Eyben

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Glial-cell-line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is a distant member of the transforming growth factor superfamily. It binds to and activates a receptor complex consisting of GFR-α1 and Ret receptor tyrosine kinase. In testis, GDNF is expressed by Sertoli cells. We have shown by transgenic loss- and gain-of-function mouse models that GDNF regulates the cell fate decision of undifferentiated spermatogonia. In the GDNF +/- mice, the spermatogonia differentiate in excess leading to the depletion of germ cells. In the mice overexpressing GDNF in testes, undifferentiated spermatogonia accumulate in the tubules, no sperm is produced, and the mice are infertile. After a year, the GDNF overexpressing mice frequently (89%) develop testicular tumours, and most of them are bilateral (56%). All these tumours show the same histological pattern. They are composed of round spermatogonial/gonocytic cells with only a scant cytoplasm. The tumours are locally invasive but do not metastasise. They express germ line markers, are positive for alkaline phosphatase, and aneuploid with a triploid peak. Thus, by several histological, molecular, and histochemical characteristics, the GDNF-induced tumours mimic classical seminomas in men, but the precursor lesions are apparently different in mouse and man.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-196
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • GDNF
  • GFRα1
  • Ret
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Undifferentiated spermatogonia


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