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Review of injection techniques for spermatogonial stem cell transplantation

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BACKGROUND: Although the prognosis of childhood cancer survivors has increased dramatically during recent years, chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer and other conditions may lead to permanent infertility in prepubertal boys. Recent developments have shown that spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) transplantation may be a hope for restoring fertility in adult survivors of childhood cancers. For this reason, several centres around the world are collecting and cryopreserving testicular tissue or cells anticipating that, in the near future, some patients will return for SSC transplantation. This review summarizes the current knowledge and utility of SSC transplantation techniques.

OBJECTIVE AND RATIONALE: The aim of this narrative review is to provide an overview of the currently used experimental injection techniques for SSC transplantation in animal and human testes. This is crucial in understanding and determining the role of the different techniques necessary for successful transplantation.

SEARCH METHODS: A comprehensive review of peer-reviewed publications on this topic was performed using the PubMed and Google Scholar databases. The search was limited to English language work and studies between 1994 (from the first study on SSC transplantation) and April 2019. Key search terms included mouse, rat, boar, ram, dog, sheep, goat, cattle, monkey, human, cadaver, testes, SSC transplantation, injection and technique.

OUTCOMES: This review provides an extensive clinical overview of the current research in the field of human SSC transplantation. Rete testis injection with ultrasonography guidance currently seems the most promising injection technique thus far; however, the ability to draw clear conclusions is limited due to long ischemia time of cadaver testis, the relatively decreased volume of the testis, the diminishing size of seminiferous tubules, a lack of intratesticular pressure and leakage into the interstitium during the injection on human cadaver testis. Current evidence does not support improved outcomes from multiple infusions through the rete testes. Overall, further optimization is required to increase the efficiency and safety of the infusion method.

WIDER IMPLICATIONS: Identifying a favourable injection method for SSC transplantation will provide insight into the mechanisms of successful assisted human reproduction. Future research could focus on reducing leakage and establishing the optimal infusion cell concentrations and pressure.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Reproduction Update
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)368-391
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2020

    Research areas

  • efferent duct, fertility restoration, injection, male infertility, rete testis, seminiferous tubule, stem cell transplantation

ID: 59545713