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Encyclopedia > Sertoli cells

The Sertoli cell is the 'nurse' cell of the testes. Its main function is concerned with nurturing the developing sperm cells during the process of spermatogenesis.

Sertoli cells secrete anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) during the early stages of fetal life. After puberty, they secrete the hormone inhibin.

The junctions of Sertoli cells form the blood-testis barrier, a structure that partitions the interstitial blood compartment of the testis from the adluminal compartment of the seminiferous tubules. Sertoli cells control the entry and exit of nutrients, hormones and other chemicals into the tubules of the testis.

Once fully differentiated the Sertoli cell is unable to proliferate and therefore once spermatogenesis has begun no more Sertoli cells are created. Recently however, some scientists have found a way to grow these cells outside of the body. This gives rise to the possibility of repairing some defects that cause male infertility.

  Results from FactBites:
Sertoli-Sertoli and Sertoli-Germ Cell Interactions and Their Significance in Germ Cell Movement in the Seminiferous ... (9403 words)
of germ cell migration in the seminiferous epithelium.
Sertoli cells are indispensable to the release of mature spermatids
(163) and that germ cells and testicular macrophages
Endotext.com - Endocrinology Of Male Reproduction, Endocrinology of the Male Reproductive System (7209 words)
Further examples of the involvement of Sertoli cells arise from their ability to produce locally, a range of proteins which are essential for spermatogenesis but cannot gain access to the seminiferous epithelium because of the blood-testis barrier.
The close association between germ cells and Sertoli cells is reflected by the capacity for germ cells to influence the metabolic activity of the Sertoli cells.
The data indicate that the metabolic activity of the Sertoli cell is influenced by the populations of germ cells that are found at a particular stage of the seminiferous cycle (69-71).
  More results at FactBites »



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