Rebuilding the human testis in vitro

Andrology. 2020 Jul;8(4):825-834. doi: 10.1111/andr.12710. Epub 2019 Sep 28.


Increasing rates of male infertility have led to a greater need for relevant model systems to gain further insight into male fertility and its failings. Spermatogenesis and hormone production occur within distinct regions of the testis. Defined by specialized architecture and a diverse population of cell types, it is no surprise that disruption of this highly organized microenvironment can lead to infertility. To date, no robust in vitro system has facilitated full spermatogenesis resulting in the production of fertilization-competent human spermatozoa. Here, we review a selection of current in vitro systems available for modelling the human testis microenvironment with focus on the progression of spermatogenesis and recapitulation of the testis microenvironment.

Keywords: Leydig cells; Sertoli cells; fertility preservation; spermatogenesis; spermatogonial stem cells; testis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Models, Biological*
  • Spermatogenesis*
  • Testis*