Sphingosine 1 phosphate suppresses cyclophosphamide induced follicle apoptosis in human fetal ovarian xenografts in nude mice

Antiapoptotic drug sphingosine-1-phosphate suppresses follicular depletion associated with chemotherapeutic agent cyclophosphamide treatment in human fetal ovarian xenografts, potentially providing a new option to prevent infertility associated with cancer treatments.

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Yuanyuan Meng, M.D., Zhihui Xu, M.D., Fangfang Wu, M.D., Wenming Chen, M.D., Shuangshuang Xie, M.D., Jun Liu, Ph.D., Xuefeng Huang, M.D., Ying Zhou, M.D.

Volume 102, Issue 3, Pages 871-877



To investigate the antiapoptosis effect of sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) on human fetal ovarian tissue treated by cyclophosphamide (CTX).


Experimental animal study.


University center for reproductive medicine and IVF unit.


Female immunodeficient BALB/c nude mice, 6 to 8 weeks old.


Human fetal ovarian tissue slowly cryopreserved then subcutaneously transplanted in immunodeficient mice.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Follicle survival assessed qualitatively and quantitatively using H&E staining, and cellular apoptosis of the ovarian grafts evaluated using transmission electron microscopy and DNA nick end labeling in situ (TUNEL assay).


The alkylating agent CTX caused a substantial follicle loss and apoptotic DNA fragmentation in the ovarian grafts in a period of 2 weeks of transplantation. The S1P treatment significantly prevented follicular apoptosis and maintained primordial follicle population in the grafts.


This study shows for the first time that S1P protects primordial follicles in human ovarian grafts from a chemotherapy drug treatment via suppressing follicle apoptosis.

Read the full text at: http://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(14)00503-2/fulltext

Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.