Primary Sertoli cell cultures have been established from several animals including the sheep and rhesus monkey; however, not for the domestic dog, Canis familiaris. Sertoli cells are the only readily accessible cell type in the body which expresses all six type IV collagens. These collagens play key roles in tissue structure, basement membrane formation, and filtration. The study of these genes is necessary to determine their exact roles and regulation in the aforementioned functions and to investigate diseases associated with mutations in these genes. For such studies, a cell culture system is a requisite tool. Therefore, Sertoli cells were targeted, and a culture was established from cells isolated from canine testes. Cultures maintained consistent morphology and steady growth for up to seven passages. Cultured cells were identified as Sertoli cells through positive Western blot results for SOX9 and Clusterin B proteins and transcript sequence verification of SOX9 as well as the presence of type IV collagen transcripts. Primary cultures of canine Sertoli cells will provide a useful tool for study of the function and regulation of collagen genes and will permit new research pertaining to canine health while also serving as a model for the study of human diseases.
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Vol. 43 • No. 10