Desmoplakin (Dsp) conditional knockout in NR5A1+ somatic cells affects germ cell survival in developing mouse gonads

Rafal P. Piprek, Izabela Rams-Pociecha, Robert Zdanowski, Malgorzata Kloc, Jacek Z. Kubiak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Cell to cell interactions are crucial for morphogenesis and tissue formation. Desmoplakin (encoded by the Dsp gene) is a component of desmosomes and anchors the transmembrane adhesion proteins to the cytoskeleton. Its role in gonad development remains vague. To study the role of desmoplakin in gonad development, we used a tissue-specific knockout of the Dsp gene in the NR5A1+ somatic cells of the gonads. We show here that desmoplakin is necessary for the survival of germ cells in fetal testes and ovaries. The Dspknockout in NR5A1+ somatic cells in testes decreased the number of germ cells, and thus the size of the testes, but did not affect the Sertoli cells or the structure of testis cords and interstitium. The Dspknockout in NR5A1+ somatic cells in ovaries decreased the number of female germ cells and drastically reduced the formation of ovarian follicles. Dsp knockout in NR5A1+ somatic cells did not affect the sex determination and sexual differentiation of the gonads, as judged from an unchanged expression of genes essential for these processes. We conclude that mediation by desmoplakin cell adhesion between the gonadal cells is necessary for germ cell survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-207
Number of pages9
JournalReproduction
Volume163
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 24 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Embryology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Cell Biology

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