PloS one

Petasites japonicus Stimulates the Proliferation of Mouse Spermatogonial Stem Cells.

PMID 26207817


Oriental natural plants have been used as medical herbs for the treatment of various diseases for over 2,000 years. In this study, we evaluated the effect of several natural plants on the preservation of male fertility by assessing the ability of plant extracts to stimulate spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) proliferation by using a serum-free culture method. In vitro assays showed that Petasites japonicus extracts, especially the butanol fraction, have a significant effect on germ cells proliferation including SSCs. The activity of SSCs cultured in the presence of the Petasites japonicus butanol fraction was confirmed by normal colony formation and spermatogenesis following germ cell transplantation of the treated SSCs. Our findings could lead to the discovery of novel factors that activate SSCs and could be useful for the development of technologies for the prevention of male infertility.