Progress in translational reproductive science: testicular tissue transplantation and in vitro spermatogenesis
We review the current state of experimental testicular tissue and stem cell-based therapies for the treatment of male infertility and what is needed to bring these techniques into clinical use.
Volume 113, Issue 3, Pages 500–509
Daniel L. Pelzman, M.D., Kyle E. Orwig, Ph.D., Kathleen Hwang, M.D.
Since the birth of the first child conceived via in vitro fertilization 40 years ago, fertility treatments and assisted reproductive technology have allowed many couples to reach their reproductive goals. As of yet, no fertility options are available for men who cannot produce functional sperm, but many experimental therapies have demonstrated promising results in animal models. Both autologous (stem cell transplantation, de novo morphogenesis, and testicular tissue grafting) and outside-the-body (xenografting and in vitro spermatogenesis) approaches exist for restoring sperm production in infertile animals with varying degrees of success. Once safety profiles are established and an ideal patient population is chosen, some of these techniques may be ready for human experimentation in the near future, with likely clinical implementation within the next decade.