Impaired fertility represents a major health problem worldwide. Males suffering from various infections are at risk of testicular tissue damage associated with the impaired number of spermatogonia and their functional qualities. In these cases, no therapy protects the blood-testis barrier, preventing or suppressing testicular inflammation.

We aim to introduce Sertoli cell (SC) therapy to protect testicular immune privilege, suppress inflammation and support spermatogonial cells in males suffering from infections associated with the risk of impaired reproductive health. SCs are the most important contributor of spermatogonial stem cell niches, forming a blood-testis barrier, but also producing a variety of biomolecules to support germ cell development and creating an immunosuppressive environment necessary for germ cell survival. They are a suitable therapeutic tool since they can be easily isolated from patient testicular biopsies performed routinely in fertility clinics.

The project aims to study the immunological properties and immunometabolism of SCs. SC-germ cells interactions will be determined in 3D culture testicular organoids, to test the success of SC therapy in various conditions in vitro. The introduction of new, less invasive techniques to address the cause of male infertility will help patients suffering from various diseases associated with worsened SC or spermatogonial function.


Five relevant publications of the research group:


Porubska B, Vasek D, Somova V, Hajkova M, Hlaviznova M, Tlapakova T, Holan V, Krulova M. 2021 Sertoli Cells Possess Immunomodulatory Properties and the Ability of Mitochondrial Transfer Similar to Mesenchymal Stromal Cells. Stem Cell Rev Rep. 2021 Oct;17(5):1905-1916 (IF=5.316)


Hajkova M, Jaburek F, Porubska B, Bohacova P, Holan V, Krulova M. 2019. Cyclosporine A promotes the therapeutic effect of mesenchymal stem cells on transplantation reaction.  Clinical Science, 133(21):2143-2157. (IF=5.223)


Javorkova E, Vackova J, Hajkova M, Hermankova B, Zajicova A, Holan V, Krulova M. 2018. The effect of clinically relevant doses of immunosuppressive drugs on human mesenchymal stem cells. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 97:402-411 (IF= 4.545)


Hajkova M, Hermankova B, Javorkova E, Bohacova P, Zajicova A, Holan V, Krulova M. 2017.  Mesenchymal stem cells attenuate the adverse effects of immunosuppressive drugs on distinct T cell subopulations. Stem Cell Rev. Rep 13:104-115. (IF=3.111)


Hajkova M , Javorkova E, Zajicova A, Trosan P, Holan V, Krulova M. 2017. A local application of mesenchymal stem cells and cyclosporine A attenuates immune response by a switch in macrophage phenotype. J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 11:1456-1465. (IF=5.199)

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