The X-linked gene Rlim plays major roles in female mouse development and reproduction, where it is crucial for the maintenance of imprinted X chromosome inactivation in extraembryonic tissues of embryos. However, while females carrying a systemic Rlim knockout (KO) die around implantation, male Rlim KO mice appear healthy and are fertile. Here we report an important role for Rlim in testis where it is highly expressed in post-meiotic round spermatids as well as in Sertoli cells. Systemic deletion of the Rlim gene results in lower numbers of mature sperm that contains excess cytoplasm, leading to decreased sperm motility and in vitro fertilization rates. Targeting the conditional Rlim cKO specifically to the spermatogenic cell lineage largely recapitulates this phenotype. These results reveal functions of Rlim in male reproduction specifically in round spermatids during spermiogenesis.
- Ingolf Bach
- Oliver J Rando
- Pablo E Visconti
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All mice were housed in the animal facility of UMMS and utilized according to NIH guidelines and those established by the UMMS Institute of Animal Care and Usage Committee (IACUC; protocol #201900344).
- Jeannie T Lee, Massachusetts General Hospital, United States
© 2021, Wang et al.
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