Picture of Ali Honaramooz

Ali Honaramooz Professor, Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences

Research Area(s)

  • Reproductive biology and technology

Academic Credentials

  • DVM, Shiraz University
  • PhD, University of Saskatchewan
  • Postdoctoral training, University of Saskatchewan
  • Research associate, University of Pennsylvania

Teaching and Clinical Areas

Dr. Honaramooz's teaching include participation in team-taught courses in the veterinary (DVM) program:

  • VBMS 250.9 (Veterinary Anatomy)
  • VBMS 208.1 (Biomedical Rounds)

 He also teaches in the graduate student program:

  • VBMS 830.3 (Physiology and Endocrinology of Reproduction; course co-ordinator)
  • VBMS 898.3 (Models of Testis Function; course co-ordinator)

Research Interests

Dr. Honaramooz's research interests are in reproductive biology and technology, with emphasis on spermatogenesis and male germline stem cells (i.e., gonocytes and spermatogonial stem cells). 

Honaramooz and colleagues have introduced several novel in vitro and in vivo models which have allowed breakthrough advances in the study and manipulation of testis cells and tissue. These models have also opened new avenues of research in male reproduction with widespread basic and applied applications (sample research stories, link, link, link, link, link).

For instance, his research has led to the introduction of a system for ‘germ cell transplantation’ in farm animals, a procedure in which testis cells are harvested from a fertile donor male and microinjected into the seminiferous tubules of an infertile recipient. This enables the recipient to become fertile and pass on the donor-derived or genetically-modified traits onto progeny. This has resulted in the production of world’s first transgenic farm animals using this new technology. This innovative system can be a faster, more efficient, and less-costly approach than cloning for production of transgenic farm animals. 

Another innovate model developed by Honaramooz and colleagues is ‘testis tissue xenografting’, a model system in which small fragments of testicular tissue from a newborn donor animal of almost any mammalian species can be grafted under the back skin of recipient mice. This in vivo culture system allows the progression of testicular tissue development from a neonatal state to full maturity and spermatogenesis. Using this system, it has now become feasible to produce sperm even from newborn mice, cats, dogs, sheep, goat, pig, cattle, horses, deer, bison, or monkeys, all in a host mouse. Therefore, testis tissue xenografting has opened new possibilities for research in reproductive biology and technology. This includes its use as a novel tool for the study and manipulation of spermatogenesis in different species, the conservation of valuable immature individuals such as endangered species and prized farm animals, and the potential preservation of fertility in prepubertal boys who are cancer patients undergoing gonadotoxic treatments.

Honaramooz and colleagues have also established a testis tissue regeneration model’ (otherwise known as the testis cell-aggregate implantation model). They demonstrated that isolated testis cells have an unexpected innate ability to form a completely new testis tissue again. This was achieved by enzymatic digestion of neonatal pig or sheep testis tissue to obtain fully dispersed testis cells, followed by centrifugation to form a cell aggregate, and implantation of the cell aggregate under the back skin of recipient mice. The host mouse acts as an in vivo incubator to allow rapid self-organization of the implanted cells into a structurally accurate and functionally competent pig or sheep regenerated testis tissue. This unique in vivo system provides an ideal model for the study and manipulation of testis factors involved in testis formation which naturally only occurs in the embryos and hence is inherently difficult to study. 

His research has also led to the introduction of novel and effective approaches for isolation, enrichment, culture, cryopreservation, characterization, genetic manipulation, and transplantation of spermatogonial stem cells or their progenitors (gonocytes).

Dr. Honaramooz is also a member of the One Reproductive Health team of researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (http://www.usask.ca/groups/onereproductivehealth/). If you would like to join Dr. Honaramooz’s research team, please contact Dr. Ali Honaramooz by email: ali.honaramooz@usask.ca.

Publications

Select Recent Publications:

F. Ibtisham, Y. Zhao, A. Nawab, J. Wu, X. Mei, A. Honaramooz, L. An (2021). In vitro production of haploid germ cells from murine spermatogonial stem cells using a two-dimensional cell culture system. Theriogenology, 162: 84-94. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2020.12.024. [PubMed] [Source]

T.C. Cham, X. Chen, and A. Honaramooz (2021). Current progress, challenges, and future prospects of testis organoids. Biology of Reproduction, 104(5): 942-96. doi: 10.1093/biolre/ioab014. [PubMed] [Source]

M.A. Fayaz, A.H. Awang-Junaidi, J. Singh, and A. Honaramooz (2020). Long-term monitoring of donor xenogeneic testis tissue grafts and cell implants in recipient mice using ultrasound biomicroscopy. Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology, 46(11): 3088-3103. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2020.07.010. [PubMed] [Source] 

F. Ibtisham and A. Honaramooz (2020). Spermatogonial stem cells for in vitro spermatogenesis and in vivo restoration of fertility. Cells, 9(3), 745: 1-31. doi: 10.3390/cells9030745. [PubMed] [Source]

F. Ibtisham, A.H. Awang-Junaidi and A. Honaramooz (2020). The study and manipulation of spermatogonial stem cells using animal models. Cell and Tissue Research, 380: 393-414. doi: 10.1007/s00441-020-03212-x. [PubMed] [Source]

A.H. Awang-Junaidi, M.A. Fayaz, E. Kawamura, L. Sobchishin, D.J. MacPhee, and A. Honaramooz (2020). Live-cell imaging and ultrastructural analysis reveal remarkable features of cultured porcine gonocytes. Cell and Tissue Research, 381: 361-377. doi: 10.1007/s00441-020-03218-5. [PubMed] [Source]

S.J.K. Mund, E. Kawamura, A.H. Awang-Junaidi, J. Campbell, B. Wobeser, D.J. MacPhee, A. Honaramooz, and S. Barber (2020). Homing and engraftment of intravenously administered equine cord blood-derived multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells to surgically created cutaneous wound in horses: A pilot project. Cells, 9(5), 1162: 1-23. doi: 10.3390/cells9051162. [PubMed] [Source]

M.A. Fayaz, A.H. Awang-Junaidi, J. Singh, and A. Honaramooz (2020). Validation of ultrasound biomicroscopy for the assessment of xenogeneic testis tissue grafts and cell implants in recipient mice. Andrology, 8(5): 1332-1346. doi: 10.1111/andr.12771. [PubMed] [Source]

A.H. Awang-Junaidi, J. Singh, and A. Honaramooz (2020). Regeneration of testis tissue after ectopic implantation of porcine testis cell aggregates in mice: improved consistency of outcomes and in situ monitoring. Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 32(6): 594-609. doi: 10.1071/RD19043. [PubMed] [Source]

A.H. Awang-Junaidi, and A. Honaramooz (2018). Optimization of culture conditions for short-term maintenance, proliferation, and colony formation of porcine gonocytes. Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology, 9(8): 1-13. doi: 10.1186/s40104-017-0222-0. [PubMed] [Source]

S.J.K. Mund, C. Corbett, D.J. MacPhee, J. Campbell, A. Honaramooz, B. Wobeser, S.M. Barber (2018). Identification of mRNA of the inflammation-associated proteins CXCL8, CXCR2, CXCL10, CXCR3, and β-Arrestin-2 in equine wounded cutaneous tissue: A Preliminary Study. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 68: 51-54. doi: 10.1016/j.jevs.2018.05.216. [PubMed] [Source]

A.D. Olubamiji, N. Zhu, T. Chang, C.K. Nwankwo, Z. Izadifar, A. Honaramooz, X. Chen, and B.F. Eames (2017). Traditional invasive and synchrotron-based noninvasive assessments of three-dimensional-printed hybrid cartilage constructs in situ. Tissue Engineering Part C Methods, 23(3): 156-168. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEC.2016.0368. [PubMed] [Source]

D.A.F. Villagomez, T. Revay, B. Donaldson, S. Rezaei, A. Pinton, M. Palomino, A.H. Awang-Junaidi, A. Honaramooz, and W.A. King (2017). Azoospermia and testicular hypoplasia in a boar carrier of a novel Y-autosome translocation. Sexual Development, 11(1):56-51. [PubMed] [Source]

Z. Izadifar, A. Honaramooz, S. Wiebe, G. Belev, X. Chen, and D. Chapman (2016). Data of low-dose phase-based X-ray imaging for in situ soft tissue engineering assessments. Data in Brief, 6: 644-651. [PubMed] [Source]

Z. Izadifar, A. Honaramooz, S. Wiebe, G. Belev, X. Chen, and D. Chapman (2016). Low-dose phase-based X-ray imaging techniques for in situ soft tissue engineering assessments. Biomaterials. 82:151-67. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2015.11.044. [PubMed] [Source]

J. Chen, Y. Yang, S. Abbasi, D. Hajinezhad, S. Kontulainen, and A. Honaramooz (2015). The effects of elk velvet antler dietary supplementation on physical growth and bone development in growing rats. Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 2015: 819520, doi:10.1155/2015/819520. [PubMed] [Source]

R. Mankidy, B. Ranjan, A. Honaramooz and J.P. Giesy (2014). Effects of novel brominated flame retardants on steroidogenesis in primary porcine testicular cells. Toxicology Letters, 224(1): 141-146. [PubMed] [Source]

W. Zeng, L. Tang, A. Bondareva, A. Honaramooz, V. Tanco, C. Dores, S. Megee, M. Modelski, J.R. Rodriguez-Sosa, M. Paczkowski, E. Silva, M. Wheeler, R.L. Krisher and I. Dobrinski (2013). Viral transduction of male germline stem cells results in transgene transmission after germ cell transplantation in pigs. Biology of Reproduction, 88(1): 27, 1-9. [PubMed] [Source]

S. Abbasi and A. Honaramooz (2012). Feasibility of salvaging genetic potential of post-mortem fawns: Production of sperm in testis tissue xenografts from immature donor white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in recipient mice. Animal Reproduction Science. 135(1-4): 47-52. [PubMed] [Source]

Y. Yang and A. Honaramooz (2012). Characterization and quenching of autofluorescence in piglet testis tissue and cells. Anatomy Research International, 2012: 820120. [PubMed] [Source]

J. Chen, M.R. Woodbury, J. Alcorn and A. Honaramooz (2012). Dietary supplementation of female rats with elk velvet antler improves physical and neurological development of offspring. Evidence Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 2012: 640680. [PubMed] [Source]

A. Honaramooz, S. Schlatt, K. Orwig and N-H. Kim (2011). Recent advances in reproductive technologies. Veterinary Medicine International, doi: 10.4061/2011/915031 (editorial). [PubMed] [Source]

A. Honaramooz and Y. Yang (2011). Recent advances in application of male germ cell transplantation in farm animals. Veterinary Medicine International, Doi; 10.4061/2011/657860 (review). [PubMed] [Source]

S. Abbasi and A. Honaramooz (2011). Xenografting of testis tissue from bison calf donors into recipient mice as a strategy for salvaging genetic material. Theriogenology, 76(4): 607-614. [PubMed] [Source]

Y. Yang and A. Honaramooz (2011). Efficient purification of neonatal porcine gonocytes with Nycodenz and differential plating. Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 23(3): 496-505. [PubMed] [Source]

W. Zeng, C. Baumann, A. Schmidtmann, A. Honaramooz, L. Tang, A. Bondareva, C. Dores, T. Fan, S. Xi, T. Geiman, R. Rathi, D. de Rooij, R. De La Fuente, K. Muegge and I. Dobrinski (2011). Lymphoid-specific helicase (HELLS) is essential for meiotic progression in mouse spermatocytes. Biology of Reproduction, 84(6): 1235-1241. [PubMed] [Source]

S. Abbasi and A. Honaramooz (2011). The number of grafted fragments affects the outcome of testis tissue xenografting from piglets into recipient mice. Veterinary Medicine International, 2011: 6686570. [PubMed] [Source]

Y. Yang, M. Yarahmadi and A. Honaramooz (2010). Development of novel strategies for the isolation of piglet testis cells with a high proportion of gonocytes. Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 22(7): 1057-1065. [PubMed] [Source]

S. Abbasi and A. Honaramooz (2010). Effects of recipient mouse strain, sex and gonadal status on the outcome of testis tissue xenografting. Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 22(8): 1279-1286. [PubMed] [Source]

R. Turner, R. Rathi, A. Honaramooz, W. Zeng and I. Dobrinski (2010). Xenografting restores spermatogenesis to cryptorchid testicular tissue but does not rescue the phenotype of idiopathic testicular degeneration in the horse (Equus caballus). Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 22(4): 673-683. [PubMed] [Source]

Y. Yang, J. Steeg and A. Honaramooz (2010). The effects of tissue sample size and media on short-term hypothermic preservation of porcine testis tissue. Cell and Tissue Research, 340(2): 397-406. [PubMed] [Source]

Y. Yang and A. Honaramooz (2010). Effects of medium and hypothermic temperatures on preservation of isolated porcine testis cells. Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 22(3): 523-532. [PubMed] [Source]

M. Abrishami, S. Abbasi and A. Honaramooz (2010). The effect of donor age on progression of spermatogenesis in canine testicular tissue after xenografting into immunodeficient mice. Theriogenology, 73(4): 512-522. [PubMed] [Source]

M. Abrishami, M. Anzar, Y. Yang and A. Honaramooz (2010). Cryopreservation of immature porcine testis tissue to maintain its developmental potential after xenografting into recipient mice. Theriogenology, 73(1): 86-96. [PubMed] [Source]

W. Zeng, A.K. Snedaker, S. Megee, R. Rathi, F. Chen, A. Honaramooz and I. Dobrinski (2009). Preservation and transplantation of porcine testis tissue. Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 21(3): 489-497. [PubMed] [Source]

A. Honaramooz, X-S. Cui, N-H. Kim and I. Dobrinski (2008). Porcine embryos produced after ICSI using xenogeneic pig sperm from neonatal testis tissue grafted in mice. Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 20(7): 802–807. [PubMed] [Source]

L. Arregui, R. Rathi, S.O. Megee, A. Honaramooz, M. Gomendio, E.R. Roldan and I. Dobrinski (2008). Xenografting of sheep testis tissue and isolated cells as a model for preservation of genetic material from endangered ungulates. Reproduction, 136(1): 85-93. [PubMed] [Source]

A. Honaramooz, S. Megee, W. Zeng, M.M. Destrempes, S.A. Overton, J. Luo, H. Galantino-Homer, M. Modelski, F. Chen, S. Blash, D.T. Melican, W.G. Gavin, S. Ayres, F. Yang, P.J. Wang, Y. Echelard and I. Dobrinski (2008). Adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated transduction of male germ line stem cells results in transgene transmission after germ cell transplantation. FASEB Journal, 22(2): 374-382. [PubMed] [Source]

L. Arregui, R. Rathi, W. Zeng, A. Honaramooz, M. Gomendio, E.R. Roldan and I. Dobrinski (2008). Xenografting of adult mammalian testis tissue. Animal Reproduction Science, 106(1-2): 65-76. [PubMed] [Source]

A. Honaramooz, S.O. Megee, R. Rathi and I. Dobrinski (2007). Building a testis: Formation of functional testis tissue after transplantation of isolated porcine (Sus scrofa) testis cells. Biology of Reproduction, 76: 43-47. [PubMed] [Source]

E.T. Bagu, S.J. Cook, A. Honaramooz, J.P. Aravindakshan, S. Huchkowsky and N.C. Rawlings (2006). Changes in serum luteinizing hormone (LH) concentrations in response to luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) in bull calves that attained puberty early or late. Theriogenology, 66: 937-944. [PubMed] [Source]

R. Rathi, A. Honaramooz, W. Zeng, R. Turner and I. Dobrinski (2006). Germ cell development in equine testis tissue xenografted into mice. Reproduction, 131: 1091-1098. [PubMed] [Source]

R.M. Turner, R. Rathi, W. Zeng, A. Honaramooz and I. Dobrinski (2006). Xenografting to study testis function in stallions. Animal Reproduction Sciences, 94: 161-164. [USDA] [Source]

S. Schlatt, A. Honaramooz, J. Ehmcke, P.J. Goebell, R. Dhir, I. Dobrinski and P. Patrizio (2006). Limited survival of adult human testicular tissue as ectopic xenograft. Human Reproduction, 21: 384-389. [PubMed] [Source]

A. Honaramooz, E. Behboodi, C.L. Hausler, S. Blash, S. Ayres, C.O. Azuma, Y. Echelardand I. Dobrinski (2005). Depletion of endogenous germ cells in male pigs and goats in preparation for germ cell transplantation. Journal of Andrology, 26: 698–705. [PubMed] [Source]

R. Rathi, A. Honaramooz, W. Zeng, S. Schlatt and I. Dobrinski (2005). Germ cell fate and seminiferous tubule development in bovine testis xenografts. Reproduction, 130: 923-929. [PubMed] [Source]

A. Snedaker, A. Honaramooz and I. Dobrinski (2004). A game of cat and mouse: Xenografting of testis tissue from domestic kittens results in complete cat spermatogenesis in a mouse host. Journal of Andrology, 25:926-930. [PubMed] [Source]

A. Honaramooz, M.W. Li, C.T. Penedo, S.A. Meyers and I. Dobrinski (2004). Accelerated maturation of primate testis by xenografting into mice. Biology of Reproductive, 70: 1500-1503. [PubMed] [Source]

A. Honaramooz, J.P. Aravindakshan, R.K. Chandolia, A.P. Beard, P.M. Bartlewski, R.A. Pierson and N.C. Rawlings (2004). Ultrasonographic evaluation of the pre-pubertal development of the reproductive tract in beef heifers. Animal Reproduction Science, 80:15-29. [PubMed] [Source]

  N.C. Rawlings, A.C.O. Evans, A. Honaramooz and P.M. Bartlewski (2003). Antral follicle growth and endocrine changes in prepubertal cattle, sheep and goats. Animal Reproduction Science, 78: 259-270 (review). [PubMed] [Source]

A. Honaramooz, E. Behboodi, S.O. Megee, S.A. Overton, H. Galantino-Homer, Y. Echerlard and I. Dobrinski (2003). Fertility and germline transmission of donor haplotype following germ cell transplantation in immunocompetent goats. Biology of Reproductive, 69: 1260-1264. [PubMed] [Source]

S. Schlatt, A. Honaramooz, M. Boiani, H. Schöler and I. Dobrinski (2003). Progeny from sperm obtained after ectopic grafting of neonatal mouse testes. Biology of Reproductive, 68: 2331–2335. [PubMed] [Source]

A. Honaramooz, E. Behboodi, S. Blash, S.O. Megee and I. Dobrinski (2003). Germ cell transplantation in goats. Molecular Reproduction and Development, 64: 422-428. [PubMed] [Source]

A. Honaramooz, A. Snedaker, M. Boiani, H. Schöler, I. Dobrinski and S. Schlatt (2002). Sperm from neonatal mammalian testes grafted in mice. Nature, 418: 778-781. [PubMed] [Source]

A. Honaramooz, S.O. Megee and I. Dobrinski (2002). Germ cell transplantation in pigs. Biology of Reproduction, 66(1): 21-28. [PubMed] [Source]

A. Honaramooz, R.K. Chandolia, A.P. Beard and N.C. Rawlings (2000). Opioidergic, dopaminergic and adrenergic regulation of LH secretion in prepubertal heifers. Journal of Reproduction and Fertility, 119(2): 207-215. [PubMed] [Source]

J.P. Aravindakshan, A. Honaramooz, P.M. Bartlewski, A.P. Beard, R.A. Pierson and N.C. Rawlings (2000). Pattern of gonadotropin secretion and ultrasonographic evaluation of developmental changes in the testis of early and late maturing bull calves. Theriogenology, 54(3): 339-354. [PubMed] [Source]

J.P. Aravindakshan, A. Honaramooz, P.M. Bartlewski, A.P. Beard, R.A. Pierson and N.C. Rawlings (2000). Gonadotrophin secretion in prepubertal bull calves born in spring and autumn. Journal of Reproduction and Fertility, 120(1): 159-167. [PubMed] [Source]

A. Honaramooz, R.K. Chandolia, A.P. Beard and N.C Rawlings (1999). Effects of season of birth on the prepubertal pattern of gonadotropin secretion and age at puberty in beef heifers. Theriogenology, 52(1): 67-79. [PubMed] [Source]

A. Honaramooz, S.J. Cook, A.P. Beard, P.M. Bartlewski and N.C. Rawlings (1999). Nitric oxide regulation of gonadotrophin secretion in prepubertal heifers. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 11(9): 667-676. [PubMed] [Source]

P.M. Bartlewski, A.P. Beard, S.J. Cook, R.K. Chandolia, A. Honaramooz and N.C. Rawlings (1999). Ovarian antral follicular dynamics and their relationships with endocrine variables throughout the oestrous cycle in breeds of sheep differing in prolificacy. Journal of Reproduction and Fertility, 115(1): 111-124. [PubMed] [Source]

A.P. Beard, P.M. Bartlewski, R.K. Chandolia, A. Honaramooz and N.C. Rawlings (1999). Reproductive and endocrine function in rams exposed to the organochlorine pesticides lindane and pentachlorophenol from conception. Journal of Reproduction and Fertility, 115(2): 303-314. [PubMed] [Source]

A. Honaramooz, R.K. Chandolia, A.P. Beard and N.C Rawlings (1998). Excitatory amino acid regulation of gonadotropin secretion in prepubertal heifer calves. Biology of Reproduction, 59(5): 1124-1130. [PubMed] [Source]

R.K. Chandolia, A. Honaramooz, P.M. Bartlewski, A. Beard and N.C. Rawlings (1997). Effects of treatment with LH releasing hormone before the early increase in LH secretion on endocrine and reproductive development in bull calves. Journal of Reproduction and Fertility, 111(1): 41-50. [PubMed] [Source]

R.K. Chandolia, A. Honaramooz, B.C. Omeke, R. Pierson, A.P. Beard and N.C. Rawlings (1997). Assessment of development of the testes and accessory glands by ultrasonography in bull calves and associated endocrine changes. Theriogenology, 48(1): 119-132. [PubMed] [Source]