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Stem cells

Cancer-drug infertility reversed

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Transplanted testicular stem cells can restore fertility to macaque monkeys made infertile by chemotherapy.

Kyle Orwig at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania and his colleagues took stem cells capable of developing into sperm from macaques and marked them with a lentivirus. After inducing infertility in the 12 adult and 5 prepubescent donors, the researchers returned the marked cells to the animals. Marked genetic material later appeared in the sperm of nine of the adults, and three of the juveniles when they reached maturity.

The team then ran a similar experiment, transplanting cells from the donors into other macaques. Of six adult recipients, two produced sperm from transplanted donor stem cells. Moreover, donor-derived sperm from one recipient successfully fertilized eggs to produce embryos with a donor father.

Cell Stem Cell 11, 715–726 (2012)

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Cancer-drug infertility reversed. Nature 491, 641 (2012).

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