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Biol Reprod. 2003 Mar;68(3):961-7.

Successful intra- and interspecific male germ cell transplantation in the rat.

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Departments of Zoology Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia.


The lumen of the seminiferous tubules has hitherto been regarded as an immunologically privileged site. We report here the birth of young following transplantation of stem spermatogonia from Long-Evans rats to the seminiferous tubules of Sprague-Dawley rats after treatment with the immunosuppressive agent cyclosporin. Follicle-stimulating hormone was also given to stimulate Sertoli cell proliferation, and testosterone to stimulate the recovery of spermatogenesis. Donor germ cells underwent normal spermatogenesis, and progeny were repeatedly produced from the donor germ cells as demonstrated by microsatellite paternity analysis. In addition, donor germ cells from the cryptorchid testes of LacZ mice were also able to colonize the seminiferous tubules of Sprague-Dawley rats using this protocol. Morphologically normal rat and mouse spermatozoa were present in the epididymis and vas deferens of the recipient rats. This highlights the potential for transplantation of male germ cells between different species.

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