Supplementary Material for: Expression Profile of NOTCH3 in Mouse Spermatogonia
Stable and sustainable spermatogenesis is supported by the strict regulation of self-renewal and differentiation of spermatogonial stem cells (SSC), which are a rare population of undifferentiated spermatogonia. It has been revealed that some signaling factors regulate the self-renewal of SSC; however, the molecular mechanism of SSC maintenance is still not completely understood. Notch signaling is an evolutionarily conserved juxtacrine signaling that plays important roles in the cell fate determination of various tissue stem cells. Recently, analyses of loss- and gain-of-function suggested that Notch signaling was necessary for normal spermatogenesis. However, the expression of Notch signal components in spermatogonia is still unclear. Here, we analyzed the distribution of NOTCH3-expressing spermatogonia and the target genes. Double immunostaining with differentiation markers revealed that NOTCH3 was expressed in some undifferentiated and differentiated spermatogonia in mouse testes. To define the target gene of Notch3 signaling in spermatogonia, we analyzed the mRNA expression pattern of Hes and Hey family genes during testis development. Hes1 abundance was decreased during testis development, suggesting that spermatogonia may express Hes1. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that HES1 was expressed in prepubertal spermatogonia, whereas it was expressed predominantly in adult Sertoli cells and weakly in adult spermatogonia. Furthermore, NOTCH3-HES1 double-positive spermatogonia were in pup and adult testes. These results suggest that Notch3 signaling in spermatogonia could promote Hes1 expression.