Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) provide the foundation for spermatogenesis. Earlier studies have shown that the transplantation of SSCs restores fertility to infertile recipients. However, most of the previously described experiments have depended on transplantation using sexually immature animals, and the effectiveness of spermatogonial transplantation in mature animals has not been examined in detail. In this study, we evaluated the efficiency of offspring production by adult recipients of spermatogonial transplantation using germline stem (GS) cells, cultured spermatogonia with enriched SSC activity. GS cells were transplanted into mature WBB6F1-W/Wv (W) or busulfan-treated mice, which were then mated with female mice to obtain offspring from donor cells. We found that GS cells produced offspring most efficiently by transplantation into busulfan (44 mg/kg)-treated mice and all recipients produced progeny within 4 mo (76–111 days) after transplantation. When the dose dependence of offspring production was examined in W mice, approximately 40–80 SSCs were estimated to be required for fertility restoration. Efficient offspring production using GS cells and spermatogonial transplantation will be useful for analyzing factors involved in male fertility.
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Vol. 94 • No. 5