Stem Cell Discovery
Over 60 years ago, Yves Clermont and Charles Leblond characterized the steps of sperm differentiation in the testis. This enabled them to identify for the first time the population of spermatogonia responsible for the production of spermatozoa. We celebrate 60 years later the publication of their landmark paper and their discovery which is described by them as “the reappearance at each cycle of a new dormant cell which acts as the stem cell of a subsequent generation of spermatocytes…is described as the ‘Stem Cell Renewal Theory’. This paper reveals the first identified population of stem cells and the first use in the literature of the term stem cells in this biological context. This ground breaking discovery resonates today with the therapeutic application of stem cells in order to alleviate human disease from cancer to devastating degenerative diseases (Y. Clermont and C.P. Leblond. Renewal of spermatogonia in the rat. Am. J. Anat. 1953. 93:475-501).
Link to the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology Stem Cell Renewal Theory page.
Link to the article The Stem Cell Renewal Theory: The Other Big Paper of 1953 from The American Society for Cell Biology.
The 60th anniversary of Drs. C.P. Leblond and Yves Clermont’s seminal discovery of the stem cell renewal theory was recently recognized in Nature. Click here to read the full story.