Human umbilical cord perivascular cells prevent chemotherapeutic drug-induced male infertility in a mouse model

Gamete Biology

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VOLUME 2, ISSUE 1, P24-32, FEBRUARY 01, 2021


Jordana Mashiach, M.D., Khaled Zohni, M.D., Ph.D., Lianet Lopez, M.Sc., Melissa Filice, M.Sc., Meredith Garcia, B.Sc., Brandon Wyse, M.Sc., Karen Glass, M.D., Michal Dviri, M.D., Shira Baram, M.D., Andrée Gauthier-Fisher, Ph.D., Clifford L. Librach, M.D.



To study whether intratesticular (IT) administration of 2 sources of human umbilical cord perivascular cells (HUCPVC), rich and potent sources of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC), before chemotherapy can prevent infertility in a mouse model.


Two control groups of CD1 male mice without busulfan (BUS) administration (untreated and IT media injection groups) were included. Experimental groups included IT administration of media, first trimester (FTM) HUCPVCs or term HUCPVCs (n = 5 each) injected 3 days before BUS treatment (20 mg/kg). All groups were included in a mating time course study over 6 months.


Preclinical study in a fertility center research laboratory.


Not applicable.


IT delivery of FTM or term HUCPVC before BUS treatment.

Main Outcome Measures

Pregnancies, litter sizes, and gross morphology of offspring were monitored. Caudal epididymal sperm concentration, motility, and progressive motility were assessed by computer-assisted sperm analysis. Spermatogenesis was also assessed histologically in testicular tissue sections.


FTM and term HUCPVC displayed an MSC-associated immunophenotype and expressed transcripts encoding paracrine factors known to regulate the testicular cell niche. IT administration of FTM and term HUCPVC before chemotherapy promoted the recovery of spermatogenesis and fertility compared with BUS-treated animals that received a media injection. Although the total number of pups sired over 6 months by males treated with FTM or term HUCPVC was reduced compared with untreated or media-injected controls, litter size and sperm parameters in fertile animals did not differ between control and cell-treated groups.


HUCPVC represent a promising source of MSC-based therapy to prevent gonadotoxic chemotherapeutic drug-induced infertility.

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.