Let-7a mimic transfection reduces chemotherapy-induced damage in a mouse ovarian transplantation model

Sci Rep. 2022 Jun 27;12(1):10863. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-14926-z.


Pharmacological approaches offer a non-invasive and promising option for fertility preservation in young female cancer patients undergoing gonadotoxic therapy. The GnRH-agonists are the only clinically available drugs in this indication, but their use and mechanisms of protection are still controversial. Recently, we have investigated new targeted drugs based on microRNA (miRNA) replacement therapy, and have identified the let-7a miRNA as candidate for fertility preservation strategies. Here, the effect of let-7a replacement during chemotherapy exposure on follicular growth and oocyte maturation capacity was investigated using a mouse ovarian-kidney transplantation model. Newborn mouse ovaries were cultured under different conditions; control, chemotherapy exposure (4-hydroperoxycyclophosphamide, 4-HC), and co-treatment with 4-HC and let-7a mimic transfection (4-HC + let-7a). The ovaries were then transplanted under the kidney capsule of recipient mice and follicular growth, survival, and oocyte in vitro maturation were assessed after 3 weeks. The results showed that the follicular pool was highest in the control group but higher in the 4-HC + let-7a group than the 4-HC group. DNA-damage/apoptosis ratios were higher in all 4-HC-exposed groups compared to control but were reduced in the 4-HC + let-7a group. In addition, the post-transplantation oocyte in vitro maturation rate was higher in the 4-HC + let-7a group compared to the 4-HC group, suggesting better oocyte quality. These results provide new information regarding the beneficial effects of let-7a replacement against chemotherapy-induced ovarian damage and open new perspectives for future in vivo applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents* / adverse effects
  • Apoptosis
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs* / genetics
  • MicroRNAs* / pharmacology
  • Ovary
  • Transfection


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • MicroRNAs