Autologous grafting of cryopreserved prepubertal rhesus testis produces sperm and offspring

Science. 2019 Mar 22;363(6433):1314-1319. doi: 10.1126/science.aav2914.


Testicular tissue cryopreservation is an experimental method to preserve the fertility of prepubertal patients before they initiate gonadotoxic therapies for cancer or other conditions. Here we provide the proof of principle that cryopreserved prepubertal testicular tissues can be autologously grafted under the back skin or scrotal skin of castrated pubertal rhesus macaques and matured to produce functional sperm. During the 8- to 12-month observation period, grafts grew and produced testosterone. Complete spermatogenesis was confirmed in all grafts at the time of recovery. Graft-derived sperm were competent to fertilize rhesus oocytes, leading to preimplantation embryo development, pregnancy, and the birth of a healthy female baby. Pending the demonstration that similar results are obtained in noncastrated recipients, testicular tissue grafting may be applied in the clinic.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autografts
  • Cryopreservation
  • Fertility Preservation / methods*
  • Fertilization*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Reproduction
  • Sexual Maturation
  • Spermatogenesis*
  • Spermatozoa / growth & development*
  • Testis / physiology*
  • Testis / transplantation*
  • Transplantation, Autologous