2020 Volume 69 Issue 4 Pages 374-381
Infertility is a global health issue that affects 1 in 6 couples, with male factors contributing to 50% of cases. The flagellar axoneme is a motility apparatus of spermatozoa, and disruption of its structure or function could lead to male infertility. The axoneme consists of a “9+2” structure that contains a central pair of two singlet microtubules surrounded by nine doublet microtubules, in addition to several macromolecular complexes such as dynein arms, radial spokes, and nexin-dynein regulatory complexes. Molecular components of the flagellar axoneme are evolutionally conserved from unicellular flagellates to mammals, including mice. Although knockout (KO) mice have been generated to understand their function in the formation and motility regulation of sperm flagella, the majority of KO mice die before sexual maturation due to impaired ciliary motility, which makes it challenging to analyze mature spermatozoa. In this review, we introduce methods that have been used to overcome premature lethality, focusing on KO mouse lines of central pair components.