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15 February 2018 50 years of spermatogenesis: Sertoli cells and their interactions with germ cells
Michael D. Griswold
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Abstract

The complex morphology of the Sertoli cells and their interactions with germ cells has been a focus of investigators since they were first described by Enrico Sertoli. In the past 50 years, information on Sertoli cells has transcended morphology alone to become increasingly more focused on molecular questions. The goal of investigators has been to understand the role of the Sertoli cells in spermatogenesis and to apply that information to problems relating tomale fertility. Sertoli cells are unique in that they are a nondividing cell population that is active for the reproductive lifetime of the animal and cyclically change morphology and gene expression. The numerous and distinctive junctional complexes and membrane specializations made by Sertoli cells provide a scaffold and environment for germ cell development. The increased focus of investigators on the molecular components and putative functions of testicular cells has resulted primarily from procedures that isolate specific cell types from the testicular milieu. Products of Sertoli cells that influence germ cell development and vice versa have been characterized from cultured cells and from the application of transgenic technologies. Germ cell transplantation has shown that the Sertoli cells respond to cues from germ cells with regard to developmental timing and has furthered a focus on spermatogenic stem cells and the stem cell niche. Very basic and universal features of spermatogenesis such as the cycle of the seminiferous epithelium and the spermatogenic wave are initiated by Sertoli cells and maintained by Sertoli-germ cell cooperation.

© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Society for the Study of Reproduction. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com
Michael D. Griswold "50 years of spermatogenesis: Sertoli cells and their interactions with germ cells," Biology of Reproduction 99(1), 87-100, (15 February 2018). https://doi.org/10.1093/biolre/ioy027
Received: 13 November 2017; Accepted: 2 February 2018; Published: 15 February 2018
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