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Volume 25, Issue 3 (May 2023) 25, 322–330; 10.4103/aja202254

FOXP4 promotes proliferation of human spermatogonial stem cells

Shu-Wei Luo1,2, Le Tang1,2, Dai Zhou3,4, Hao Bo3,4, Li-Qing Fan3,4

1 Reproductive Medicine Center, Hunan Provincial Maternal and Child Health Care Hospital, Changsha 410000, China
2 NHC Key Laboratory of Birth Defect for Research and Prevention, Hunan Provincial Maternal and Child Health Care Hospital, Changsha 410000, China
3 Institute of Reproduction and Stem Cell Engineering, School of Basic Medicine Science, Central South University, Changsha 410000, China
4 Reproductive and Genetic Hospital of CITIC-Xiangya, Changsha 410000, China

Correspondence: Dr. LQ Fan (801646@csu.edu.cn)



Continuous self-renewal and differentiation of spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) is vital for maintenance of adult spermatogenesis. Although several spermatogonial stem cell regulators have been extensively investigated in rodents, regulatory mechanisms of human SSC self-renewal and differentiation have not been fully established. We analyzed single-cell sequencing data from the human testis and found that forkhead box P4 (FOXP4) expression gradually increased with development of SSCs. Further analysis of its expression patterns in human testicular tissues revealed that FOXP4 specifically marks a subset of spermatogonia with stem cell potential. Conditional inactivation of FOXP4 in human SSC lines suppressed SSC proliferation and significantly activated apoptosis. FOXP4 expressions were markedly suppressed in tissues with dysregulated spermatogenesis. These findings imply that FOXP4 is involved in human SSC proliferation, which will help elucidate on the mechanisms controlling the fate decisions in human SSCs.

Keywords: forkhead box P4; human; proliferation; spermatogonial stem cells; testis

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Asian Journal of Andrology CN 31-1795/R ISSN 1008-682X  Copyright © 2023  Shanghai Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences.  All rights reserved.