Male pregnancy is a unique phenomenon in syngnathidae which refers to embryo or fetus incubation by males. However, whether male mammalian animals have the potential to conceive and maintain pregnancy remains unclear. Here, we constructed a rat model of pregnancy in the male parabiont using a four-step strategy. First, a heterosexual parabiotic pair was produced by surgically joining a castrated male rat and a female rat. After 8 weeks, uterus transplantation was performed on the male parabiont. After recovery, blastocyst-stage embryos were transplanted to the grafted uterus of the male parabiont and the native uterus of the female parabiont. Caesarean section was performed at embryonic day 21.5. The success rate of the model was 3.68%, and pups were only delivered from the male parabiont under pregnant blood exposure. Our results reveal the potential for rat embryonic development in male parabionts, which may have a profound impact on reproductive biology.
One-sentence summary A rat model of pregnancy was constructed in the male parabiont using a four-step strategy.