Spermatogonia Loss Correlates with LAMA 1 Expression in Human Prepubertal Testes Stored for Fertility Preservation

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Fertility preservation for male childhood cancer survivors not yet capable of producing mature spermatozoa, relies on experimental approaches such as testicular explant culture. Although the first steps in somatic maturation can be observed in human testicular explant cultures, germ cell depletion is a common obstacle. Hence, understanding the spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) niche environment and in particular, specific components such as the seminiferous basement membrane (BM) will allow progression of testicular explant cultures. Here, we revealed that the seminiferous BM is established from 6 weeks post conception with the expression of laminin alpha 1 (LAMA 1) and type IV collagen, which persist as key components throughout development. With prepubertal testicular explant culture we found that seminiferous LAMA 1 expression is disrupted and depleted with culture time correlating with germ cell loss. These findings highlight the importance of LAMA 1 for the human SSC niche and its sensitivity to culture conditions.


  • Magdalena Kurek
  • Elisabet Åkesson
  • Masahito Yoshihara
  • Elizabeth Oliver
  • Yanhua Cui
  • Martin Becker
  • João Pedro Alves-Lopes
  • Ragnar Bjarnason
  • Patrik Romerius
  • Mikael Sundin
  • Ulrika Norén Nyström
  • Cecilia Langenskiöld
  • Hartmut Vogt
  • Lars Henningsohn
  • Cecilia Petersen
  • Olle Söder
  • Jingtao Guo
  • Rod T. Mitchell
  • Kirsi Jahnukainen
  • Jan Bernd Stukenborg
External organisations
  • Karolinska University Hospital
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • National University Hospital of Iceland
  • University of Iceland
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Umeå University
  • Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital
  • Linköping University
  • University of Utah
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh
  • University of Helsinki
  • Stockholms Sjukhem Foundation
  • Linköping University Hospital
  • Helsinki University Central Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
  • Cancer and Oncology


  • basal membrane, germ cells, infertility, late effects, seminiferous tubules, Sertoli cells, spermatogonia, stem cell niche
Original languageEnglish
Article number241
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication categoryResearch