Leydig stem cells and future therapies for hypogonadism

Justin K. Achua, Fabio S. Frech, Ranjith Ramasamy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: In this review, we outline the most recent advances in the development of Leydig stem cells (LSCs) and summarize the current and upcoming treatments for hypogonadism. RECENT FINDINGS: In-vitro and in-vivo studies show that inducing stem cells to differentiate into testosterone-producing adult Leydig cells is possible. In addition, LSCs can be grafted with Sertoli cells to increase testosterone levels in vivo. This therapy causes minimal effects on luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone levels. Novel therapies for hypogonadism include varying methods of testosterone delivery such as intranasal and oral agents, as well as novel selective estrogen and androgen receptor modulators. SUMMARY: LSC therapies provide an effective way of increasing testosterone levels without detrimentally affecting gonadotropin levels. Next steps in developing viable Leydig cell grafting options for the treatment of hypogonadism should include the assessment of efficacy and potency of current animal models in human trials. Recently, both intranasal and oral testosterone have been made available and shown promising results in treating hypogonadism while maintaining fertility. Enclomiphene citrate and selective androgen receptor modulators have been suggested as future therapies for hypogonadism; however, further studies assessing efficacy and adverse effects are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-423
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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