Evaluation of in vivo conception after testicular stem cell transplantation in a mouse model shows altered post-implantation development

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Apart from research applications, testicular stem cell transplantation (TSCT) may one day also have valuable clinical applications. Therefore, it is important to investigate whether this technique is a safe method to have progeny. This controlled study aims at evaluating the fetuses and the live born offspring obtained after TSCT in male mice.

METHODS

Male mice were mated with wild-type (WT) females after TSCT to produce offspring. First, fetuses were evaluated on the 17th gestational day. The length, weight and morphological age were compared to those of control mouse fetuses. The live born offspring were then investigated for their reproductive potential over three generations.

RESULTS

The litter sizes after TSCT were decreased compared to controls. Fetuses showed developmental retardation of a quarter of a day, but no major external abnormalities were observed. The live born pups were able to produce normal litter sizes, at least until the third generation.

CONCLUSIONS

Transplanted animals are able to reproduce naturally. Although litter sizes are lower and development is retarded, no major morphological or procreative abnormalities were observed.

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