DOI: 10.1002/jat.4584 ISSN: 0260-437X

A novel alternative method for long‐term evaluation of male reproductive toxicity and its recovery using a pre‐pubertal mouse testis organ culture system

Kiyoshi Hashimoto, Hiroshi Arakawa, Rikako Imamura, Takuya Nishimura, Satoshi Kitajima, Takuya Sato, Kazuhide Makiyama, Takehiko Ogawa, Satoshi Yokota
  • Toxicology


Successful treatment of pediatric cancers often results in long‐term health complications, including potential effects on fertility. Therefore, assessing the male reproductive toxicity of anti‐cancer drug treatments and the potential for recovery is of paramount importance. However, in vivo evaluations are time‐intensive and require large numbers of animals. To overcome these constraints, we utilized an innovative organ culture system that supports long‐term spermatogenesis by placing the testis tissue between a base agarose gel and a polydimethylsiloxane ceiling, effectively mirroring the in vivo testicular environment. The present study aimed to determine the efficacy of this organ culture system for accurately assessing testicular toxicity induced by cisplatin, using acrosin‐green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgenic neonatal mouse testes. The testis fragments were treated with different concentrations of cisplatin‐containing medium for 24 h and incubated in fresh medium for up to 70 days. The changes in tissue volume and GFP fluorescence over time were evaluated to monitor the progression of spermatogenesis, in addition to the corresponding histopathology. Cisplatin treatment caused tissue volume shrinkage and reduced GFP fluorescence in a concentration‐dependent manner. Recovery from testicular toxicity was also dependent on the concentration of cisplatin received. The results demonstrated that this novel in vitro system can be a faithful replacement for animal experiments to assess the testicular toxicity of anti‐cancer drugs and their reversibility, providing a useful method for drug development.

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