Xeno-Free Propagation of Spermatogonial Stem Cells from Infant Boys

Lihua Dong, Murat Gul, Simone Hildorf, Susanne Elisabeth Pors, Stine Gry Kristensen, Eva R Hoffmann, Dina Cortes, Jorgen Thorup, Claus Yding Andersen

14 Citations (Scopus)


Spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) transplantation therapy is a promising strategy to renew spermatogenesis for prepubertal boys whose fertility is compromised. However, propagation of SSCs is required due to a limited number of SSCs in cryopreserved testicular tissue. This propagation must be done under xeno-free conditions for clinical application. SSCs were propagated from infant testicular tissue (7 mg and 10 mg) from two boys under xeno-free conditions using human platelet lysate and nutrient source. We verified SSC-like cell clusters (SSCLCs) by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immune-reaction assay using the SSC markers undifferentiated embryonic cell transcription factor 1 (UTF1), ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase isozyme L1 (UCHL1), GDNF receptor alpha-1 (GFRα-1) Fα and promyelocytic leukaemia zinc finger protein (PLZF). The functionality of the propagated SSCs was investigated by pre-labelling using green fluorescent Cell Linker PKH67 and xeno-transplantation of the SSCLCs into busulfan-treated, therefore sterile, immunodeficient mice. SSC-like cell clusters (SSCLCs) appeared after 2 weeks in primary passage. The SSCLCs were SSC-like as the UTF1, UCHL1, GFRα1 and PLZF were all positive. After 2.5 months' culture period, a total of 13 million cells from one sample were harvested for xenotransplantation. Labelled human propagated SSCs were identified and verified in mouse seminiferous tubules at 3-6 weeks, confirming that the transplanted cells contain SSCLCs. The present xeno-free clinical culture protocol allows propagation of SSCs from infant boys.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2019


  • In vitro propagation
  • Male fertility cryopreservation
  • Spermatogonial stem cells
  • Xeno-free culture
  • Xenotransplantation


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