Preliminary experience with subcutaneous human ovarian cortex transplantation in the NOD-SCID mouse

Ariel Weissman, Lynda Gotlieb, Terence Colgan, Andrea Jurisicova, Ellen M. Greenblatt, Robert F. Casper*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Xenogeneic transplantation of ovarian cortex into an immunodeficient animal host may be an approach toward fertility preservation for young female patients undergoing cancer therapy. Our objective was to evaluate the development of follicles in human ovarian cortex placed s.c. in non-obese diabetic-severe combined immune deficiency (NOD-SCID) mice (n = 54). The following variables were compared: 1) male versus female mice as hosts, 2) intact versus pituitary down-regulated mice, and 3) warm versus cold tissue transport. After 2 wk, 37 of 50 (74%) of the human xenografts contained follicles. At 12 wk after transplantation, exogenous gonadotropin stimulation resulted in follicle growth in 19 of 37 (51%) of the grafts, including the development of antral follicles, which could be palpated and visualized through the mouse skin. Significantly more developing follicles were identified in male versus female mice (13 of 17 vs. 6 of 20, respectively; p = 0.013) after stimulation. No difference was found between intact and pituitary down-regulated mice as hosts. Follicular survival was significantly increased by warm versus cold tissue transport. Our results suggest that s.c. ovarian cortex xenografting into NOD-SCID mice is feasible. Primordial follicles in ovarian xenografts retain their developmental potential and form antral follicles following gonadotropin stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1462-1467
Number of pages6
JournalBiology of Reproduction
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


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