Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor with or without stem cell factor extends time to premature ovarian insufficiency in female mice treated with alkylating chemotherapy

Fertil Steril. 2013 Jun;99(7):2045-54.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2013.01.135. Epub 2013 Feb 26.


Objective: To examine gonadal protective properties of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) alone or in combination with stem cell factor (SCF) in female mice treated with high-dose alkylating chemotherapy.

Design: Experimental laboratory animal study.

Setting: Tertiary care academic hospital and research institute.

Animal(s): Six- and 8-week-old C57Bl/6 female mice.

Intervention(s): Adult female mice were treated with [1] cyclophosphamide and busulfan (CTx), [2] CTx + G-CSF/SCF, [3] CTx + G-CSF, or [4] normal saline and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO; vehicle control).

Main outcome measure(s): Follicle counts, microvessel density, cellular response to DNA damage, and litter production.

Result(s): G-CSF ± SCF increased microvessel density and decreased follicle loss in CTx-treated female mice compared with CTx-only treated female mice. Mice administered CTx alone exhibited premature ovarian insufficiency, with only 28% of mice producing two litters. However, 100% of mice receiving CTx with G-CSF + SCF, and 80% of mice receiving CTx + G-CSF alone produced at least three litters and 20% of mice in each group produced five litters.

Conclusion(s): Treatment of mice with G-CSF decreases chemotherapy-induced ovarian follicle loss and extends time to premature ovarian insufficiency in female mice. Further studies are needed to validate these preclinical results in humans and compare efficacy with the established GnRH analogue treatments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols*
  • Busulfan
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • DNA Damage
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Fertility / drug effects*
  • Fertility Agents, Female / pharmacology*
  • Fertility Preservation / methods*
  • Filgrastim
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor / pharmacology*
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Infertility, Female / chemically induced
  • Infertility, Female / physiopathology
  • Infertility, Female / prevention & control*
  • Litter Size / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microvessels / drug effects
  • Ovarian Follicle / drug effects
  • Ovarian Follicle / physiopathology
  • Ovary / blood supply
  • Ovary / drug effects*
  • Ovary / physiopathology
  • Parity / drug effects
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency / chemically induced
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency / physiopathology
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency / prevention & control*
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology
  • Stem Cell Factor / pharmacology*
  • Time Factors


  • Fertility Agents, Female
  • H2AX protein, mouse
  • Histones
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Stem Cell Factor
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Busulfan
  • Filgrastim