Treosulfan induces distinctive gonadal toxicity compared with busulfan

Mattan Levi, Salomon M. Stemmer, Jerry Stein, Ruth Shalgi, Irit Ben-Aharon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Treosulfan (L-treitol-1,4-bis-methanesulfonate) has been increasingly incorporated as a main conditioning protocol for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in pediatric malignant and non-malignant diseases. Treosulfan presents lower toxicity profile than other conventional alkylating agents containing myeloablative and immunosuppressive traits such as busulfan. Yet, whereas busulfan is considered highly gonadotoxic, the gonadal toxicity profile of treosulfan remains to be elucidated. To study the gonadotoxicity of treosulfan, pubertal and prepubertal male and female mice were injected with treosulfan or busulfan and sacrificed one week, one month or six months later. Testicular function was assessed by measurements of sperm properties, testes and epididymides weights as well as markers for testicular reserve, proliferation and apoptosis. Ovarian function was assessed by measurements of ovary weight and markers for ovarian reserve, proliferation and apoptosis. Treosulfan testicular toxicity was milder than that of busulfan toxicity; possibly by sparing the stem spermatogonia in the testicular sanctuary. By contrast, ovarian toxicity of both treosulfan and busulfan was severe and permanent and displayed irreversible reduction of reserve primordial follicles in the ovaries. Our data indicate that treosulfan exerts a different gonadal toxicity profile from busulfan, manifested by mild testicular toxicity and severe ovarian toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19317-19327
Number of pages11
Issue number27
StatePublished - 10 Apr 2018


  • Busulfan
  • Gonadal toxicity
  • Treosulfan


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