Mitinori Saitou

Professor, Kyoto University Institute for Advanced Study
Developmental Biology, Cell Biology, Germ Cells, iPS Cells, Epigenetics

Title of Presentation

“Human In Vitro Gametogenesis Research: Significance and Perspective”

The germ cell lineage ensures the creation of new individuals, perpetuating/diversifying the genetic and epigenetic information across the generations.

We have been investigating the mechanism for germ cell development, and have shown that mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs)/induced pluripotent stem cells (miPSCs) are induced into primordial germ cell-like cells (mPGCLCs) with a robust capacity both for spermatogenesis and oogenesis and for contributing to offspring. These works have served as a basis for exploring the mechanism of key events during germ cell development such as epigenetic reprogramming and sex determination/meiotic entry.

We have also shown that human iPSCs (hiPSCs) with a primed pluripotency robustly generates human PGCLCs (hPGCLCs) with a property of human early PGCs. Moreover, by investigating the development of cynomolgus monkeys, we have defined a developmental coordinate of the spectrum of pluripotency among mice, monkeys, and humans, and have identified the origin of the germ cell lineage in cynomolgus monkeys in the amnion. More recently, we have shown the hPGCLCs can be induced into oogonia/early oocytes with appropriate epigenetic reprogramming in xenogenetic reconstituted ovaries.

Here, I would like to discuss our latest findings regarding the mechanism of and in vitro reconstitution of germ-cell development in mice, monkeys, and humans.


Web Site URL
A brief Biography(As of April 1, 2020)
1995 B.Med., Kyoto University
1999 M.D., Ph.D., Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University (supervised by Professor Shoichiro Tsukita)
1999-2003 Travelling Research Fellow/Senior Research Associate, Gordon Institute (supervised by Professor Azim Surani)
2003-2009 Team Leader, RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology
2009-Present Professor, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University
2011-2018 Research Director, Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology (ERATO), Strategic Basic Research Programs, Japan Science and Technology Agency
2018-Present Guest Principal Investigator, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University
2018-Present Professor, Institute for Advanced Study / Director, Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Biology
Details of selected Awards and Honors
A list of selected Publications