A Ben-Gurion University of the Negev researcher has achieved a significant breakthrough in male fertility, producing normal sperm from mouse cells.
"This study may open new therapeutic strategies for infertile men who cannot generate sperm and/or pre-pubertal cancer patients at risk of infertility due to aggressive chemo- or radiotherapy and cannot cryopreserve sperm as in adult patients," explains Prof. Mahmoud Huleihel, of BGU's Shraga Segal Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the Faculty of Health Sciences.
The article was just published online in Nature's Asian Journal of Andrology, and according to the authors is "the first original report revealing the generation of morphologically normal spermatozoa from mouse testicular germ cells." It outlines the generation of spermatozoa from mouse testicular germ cells under in vitro culture.
Huleihel and his team used a three-dimensional Soft Agar Culture System (SACS) to generate the sperm. Previously, Huleihel pioneered the use of SACS for spermatogenesis in vitro.
The study was performed in cooperation with Prof. Eitan Lunenfeld, Soroka University Medical Center, Beer-Sheva, and Prof. Stefan Schlatt, University of Münster, Münster, Germany. It was partially supported by a grant from the GermanIsrael Foundation.