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  1. Ning Ding1,
  2. Fang Hong Li1,
  3. Bing Yao2,
  4. Yun Ping Mu1,
  5. Allan Z. Zhao1
  1. 1 The School of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
  2. 2 Center of Reproductive Medicine, Nanjing Jinling Hospital, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
  1. Correspondence to Professor Allan Z. Zhao, The School of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, China; azzhao{at}

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We appreciate the comment and discussion from Dr Cao1 and colleagues on our original article.2

We agree with Cao et al that gnotobiotic mice would help rule out the influence of indigenous microbiota. In this study, we carried out the transplantation experiment in a specific-pathogen-free (SPF) environment under the well-described cohousing3 condition. Thus, both the control and the experimental groups shared same gut ecosystem before transplantation (described in our original article). Second, in our original paper, we pretreated the mice with antibiotics to erase the pre-existing gut microbiota. Such procedure did not change the impact on spermatogenesis (Supplementary figure S6 in our original article). We avoided the extensive use of such procedure because it could potentially elicit obesity and insulin resistance, and thus, complicate …

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  • Contributors ND prepared the draft of the letter. FHL, BY, YPM and AZZ revised the draft critically and approved the contents of the letter.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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