Apoptosis in the germ line

R John Aitken, Jock K Findlay, Karla J Hutt, Jeffrey B Kerr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

118 Citations (Scopus)


Apoptosis is a critical process for regulating both the size and the quality of the male and female germ line. In this review, we examine the importance of this process during embryonic development in establishing the pool of spermatogonial stem cells and primordial follicles that will ultimately define male and female fertility. We also consider the importance of apoptosis in controlling the number and quality of germ cells that ultimately contribute the reproductive process. The biochemical details of the apoptotic process as it affects germ cells in the mature gonad still await resolution, as do the stimuli that persuade these cells to commit to a pathway that leads to cell death. Our ability to understand and ultimately control the reproductive potential of male and female mammals depends upon a deeper understanding of these fundamental processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139 - 150
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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