Research Papers:

Treosulfan induces distinctive gonadal toxicity compared with busulfan

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

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:19317-19327. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.25029

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Mattan Levi1, Salomon M. Stemmer2,3, Jerry Stein2,3, Ruth Shalgi1 and Irit Ben-Aharon2,3

1Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

2Institute of Oncology, Davidoff Center, Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Campus, Petah-Tiqva, Israel

3Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

Correspondence to:

Irit Ben-Aharon, email: [email protected]

Keywords: busulfan; treosulfan; gonadal toxicity

Received: December 01, 2017     Accepted: March 19, 2018     Published: April 10, 2018


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.

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