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Spermatogonia Loss Correlates with LAMA 1 Expression in Human Prepubertal Testes Stored for Fertility Preservation

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Kurek, Magdalena 
Åkesson, Elisabet 
Yoshihara, Masahito  ORCID logo
Cui, Yanhua 


Fertility preservation for male childhood cancer survivors not yet capable of producing mature spermatozoa, relies on experimental approaches such as testicular explant culture. Although the first steps in somatic maturation can be observed in human testicular explant cultures, germ cell depletion is a common obstacle. Hence, understanding the spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) niche environment and in particular, specific components such as the seminiferous basement membrane (BM) will allow progression of testicular explant cultures. Here, we revealed that the seminiferous BM is established from 6 weeks post conception with the expression of laminin alpha 1 (LAMA 1) and type IV collagen, which persist as key components throughout development. With prepubertal testicular explant culture we found that seminiferous LAMA 1 expression is disrupted and depleted with culture time correlating with germ cell loss. These findings highlight the importance of LAMA 1 for the human SSC niche and its sensitivity to culture conditions.



germ cells, basal membrane, stem cell niche, seminiferous tubules, infertility, late effects, spermatogonia, Sertoli cells

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Vetenskapsrådet (2018-03094)
Barncancerfonden (PR2016-0124, PR2019-0123, TJ2016-0093, TJ2020-0023)
Birgitta and Carl-Axel Rydbeck’s Research Grant for Pediatric Research (2020-00348, MR/S017151/1, 2018-02870)
Seventh Framework Programme (EU-FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN 603568)