Histologic Analysis of Testes from Prepubertal Patients Treated with Chemotherapy Associates Impaired Germ Cell Counts with Cumulative Doses of Cyclophosphamide, Ifosfamide, Cytarabine, and Asparaginase

Jose V Medrano, D Hervás, T Vilanova-Pérez, A Navarro-Gomezlechon, E Goossens, A Pellicer, M M Andrés, E Novella-Maestre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Cryopreservation of immature testicular tissue is an experimental strategy for the preservation of fertility in prepubertal boys that will be subjected to a gonadotoxic onset, as is the case of oncologic patients. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the impact of chemotherapeutic treatments on the testicular histologic phenotype in prepubertal patients. A total of 56 testicular tissue samples from pediatric patients between 0 and 16 years old (28 with at least one previous chemotherapeutic onset and 28 untreated controls) were histologically analyzed and age-matched compared. At least two 5-μm sections from testis per patient separated by a distance of 100 μm were immunostained for the germ cell marker VASA, the spermatogonial markers UTF1, PLZF, UCHL1, and SALL4, the marker for proliferative cells KI67, and the Sertoli cell marker SOX9. The percentage of tubule cross-sections positive for each marker and the number of positive cells per tubule cross-section were determined and association with the cumulative dose received of each chemotherapeutic drug was statistically assessed. Results indicated that alkylating agents, cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide, but also the antimetabolite cytarabine and asparaginase were associated with a decreased percentage of positive tubules and a lower number of positive cells per tubule for the analyzed markers. Our results provide new evidences of the potential of chemotherapeutic agents previously considered to have low gonadotoxic effects such as cytarabine and asparaginase to trigger a severe testicular phenotype, hampering the potential success of future fertility restoration in experimental programs of fertility preservation in prepubertal boys.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-613
Number of pages11
JournalReproductive Sciences
Volume28
Issue number2
Early online date4 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

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