, Volume 70, Issue 2, pp 497–502 | Cite as

Progress on the study of the mechanism of busulfan cytotoxicity

Review Article


The preparation of spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) transplant recipients laid the technical foundation for SSC transplant technology and the understanding of spermatogenesis mechanisms. Busulfan is commonly used to prepare recipients for mouse SSC transplantation; however, its safety and efficiency have been questioned. This review summarizes the relationship between SSCs and Sertoli cells (SCs), and the mechanism of busulfan toxicity against sperm cells. We concluded that the proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis of SSCs are regulated by SCs. The endogenous spermatogenic cells are depleted by busulfan treatment via alkylation of DNA, destruction of vimentin filament distribution, disruption of SSC differentiation, promotion of SSC dormancy, and generation of oxidative stress. However, the mechanisms require further exploration. The recent establishment of a model in vitro culture system has provided a good technical foundation to further explore these mechanisms, which will help us to find more efficient methods of recipient preparation and optimal transplantation times.


Mice Busulfan Spermatogenic cells Spermatogonial stem cells Sertoli cells 



This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31772595) and the Beijing Dairy Industry Innovation Team (BAIC06-2017).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Key Laboratory for Farm Animal Genetic Resources and Utilization of Ministry of Agriculture of China, Institute of Animal ScienceChinese Academy of Agriculture SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Jilin Agriculture UniversityChangchunChina

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