Improving posttransplantation survival of human ovarian tissue by treating the host and graft

Ronit Abir*, Benjamin Fisch, Shlomit Jessel, Carmela Felz, Avi Ben-Haroush, Raoul Orvieto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To improve posttransplantation survival of frozen-thawed human ovarian tissue in immunodeficient mice. Design: Histologic study of transplanted human ovaries after treating the host and graft. Setting: Infertility unit, university-affiliated tertiary medical center. Patient(s): Ovarian tissue from six girls/women (aged 5-23 years) who had undergone ovarian laparoscopy for fertility preservation. Intervention(s): None. Main Outcome Measure(s): Thawed ovarian samples were transplanted into the back muscle of immunodeficient mice divided into four groups: A) no treatment; B) host treatment with vitamin E and gonadotropins before and after grafting; C) graft incubation with vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) and vitamin E before transplantation; and D) host as in B, graft as in C. Ungrafted thawed samples served as control. Assessment of graft survival was conducted by follicle counts, apoptosis evaluation, immunohistochemical stainings for proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and VEGF-A expression. Result(s): Only grafts incubated before transplantation (groups C and D) retained their original size. Follicle number was low in all grafts. PCNA expression was found in most grafts. Apoptosis was significantly lower in the untreated and treated grafts transplanted into treated hosts (groups B and D) than in ungrafted-thawed samples and group A grafts. All grafted groups had significantly higher expression of VEGF-A than ungrafted-thawed samples. Conclusion(s): Survival of transplanted human ovarian tissue may be improved by treatment of the host and graft. Further studies to evaluate treatments with a potential benefit in human ovarian autotransplantation are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1205-1210
Number of pages6
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Human ovarian grafts
  • gonadotropins
  • immonodeficient mice
  • vascular endothelial growth factor A
  • vitamin E


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