KYOTO – A team of Japanese and British scientists has succeeded in producing fertile offspring from sterile mice made with a chromosomal abnormality by using induced pluripotent stem cells, better known as iPS cells, Kyoto University said Friday.
The researchers, including professor Michinori Saito of Kyoto University, first intentionally produced the sterile male mice using a type of chromosome abnormality called trisomy. The team then tried to create iPS cells by using cells taken from those mice.
The researchers found about 12 percent of the created iPS cells have no chromosome abnormalities. By using those iPS cell, the team successfully created normal sperm, which led to the production of fertile offspring.
How the trisomy was lost through the process of creating the iPS cells is not known yet. But the finding “could lead to the development of treatment for infertility caused by chromosomal or other genetic abnormalities,” said Saito, who is based at the Graduate School of Medicine at Kyoto University.
The research was published online by the journal Science.
The team also involves James Turner of the Francis Crick Institute in Britain.
Sex chromosome trisomy, associated with infertility, affects 0.1 percent of the human population, according to the research team.