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Improvement in sperm quality and spermatogenesis following faecal microbiota transplantation from alginate oligosaccharide dosed mice
  1. Pengfei Zhang1,2,
  2. Yanni Feng3,
  3. Lan Li2,
  4. Wei Ge2,
  5. Shuai Yu2,4,
  6. Yanan Hao1,2,
  7. Wei Shen2,
  8. Xiao Han1,2,
  9. Dongxue Ma2,
  10. Shen Yin2,
  11. Yu Tian2,
  12. Lingjiang Min5,
  13. Zhongyi Sun4,
  14. Qingyuan Sun6,
  15. Hongfu Zhang1,
  16. Yong Zhao1,2
  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Institute of Animal Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China
  2. 2College of Life Sciences, Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao, China
  3. 3College of Veterinary Medicine, Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao, China
  4. 4Urology Department, Peking University Shenzhen Hospital, Shenzhen, China
  5. 5College of Animal Sciences and Technology, Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao, China
  6. 6State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Yong Zhao, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Haidian District 100081, China; yzhao818{at}; Dr Hongfu Zhang; zhanghongfu{at}

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Very recent publications in Gut and elsewhere1 2 suggest that gut microbiota affects fertility. The application of faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) to modify fertility is an emerging novel area of interest.3 FMT from women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) leads to the disruption of ovarian function and a decrease in fertility which indicates that modification of gut microbiota may be a valuable approach in the management of PCOS.2 FMT of gut microbes, that developed under a high-fat diet, into mice on a normal diet leads to the disruption of spermatogenesis and a reduction of sperm motility,1 which highlights that restoring gut microbiota may be a means of improving disturbed male infertility caused by environmental factors.1 However, to date, there are no reports that address improvements of fertility following FMT. In a recent study,4 we found that busulfan damages spermatogenesis and sperm quality, and disturbs gut microbiota as found in many other studies.5 6 Alginate oligosaccharides (AOS), a natural product with many benefits, rescues busulfan disrupted spermatogenesis by supporting gut microbiota through an increase in ‘beneficial’ bacteria4 such as Bacteroidales and Lactobacillaceae and a decrease in ‘harmful’ bacteria, such as Desulfovibrionaceae.7 Gut microbiota from AOS dosed animals may improve spermatogenesis through benefit to the recipients gut microbes.

To test this hypothesis, we set out to explore the beneficial improvement of sperm quality and …

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