Research Papers:

Melatonin promotes goat spermatogonia stem cells (SSCs) proliferation by stimulating glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) production in Sertoli cells

Bowen Niu, Bo Li, Chongyang Wu, Jiang Wu, Yuan Yan, Rui Shang, Chunling Bai, Guangpeng Li and Jinlian Hua _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:77532-77542. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12720

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Bowen Niu1, Bo Li1, Chongyang Wu1, Jiang Wu2, Yuan Yan1, Rui Shang1, Chunling Bai3, Guangpeng Li3, Jinlian Hua1

1College of Veterinary Medicine, Shaanxi Stem Cell Engineering and Technology Research Center, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China

2College of Agriculture, Guangdong Ocean University, Zhanjiang 524088, China

3Key Laboratory for Mammalian Reproductive Biology and Biotechnology, Ministry of Education, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot 010021, China

Correspondence to:

Jinlian Hua, email: [email protected]

Guangpeng Li, email: [email protected]

Keywords: melatonin, spermatogonia stem cells (SSCs), GDNF, Sertoli cells, proliferation

Received: August 29, 2016     Accepted: October 05, 2016     Published: October 18, 2016


Melatonin has been reported to be an important endogenous hormone for regulating neurogenesis, immunityand the biological clock. Recently, the effects of melatonin on neural stem cells (NSCs), mesenchymal stem cells(MSCs), and induced pluripotent stem cells(iPSCs) have been reported; however, the effects of melatonin on spermatogonia stem cells (SSCs) are not clear. Here, 1μM and 1nM melatonin was added to medium when goat SSCs were cultured in vitro, the results showed that melatonin could increase the formation and size of SSC colonies. Real-time quantitative PCR (QRT-PCR) and western blot analysis showed that the expression levels of SSC proliferation and self-renewal markers were up-regulated. Meanwhile, QRT-PCR results showed that melatonin inhibit the mRNA expression level of SSC differentiation markers. ELISA analysis showed an obvious increase in the concentration of GDNF (a niche factor secreted by Sertoli cells) in the medium when treated with melatonin. Meanwhile, the phosphorylation level of AKT, a downstream of GDNF-GFRa1-RET pathway was activated. In conclusion, melatonin promotes goat SSC proliferation by stimulating GDNF production in Sertoli cells.

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