The close morphological relationship between Sertoli cells and the developing germ cells offers the Sertoli cell a unique position within the testis; however, to understand the role of the Sertoli cell in spermatogenesis a clear understanding of Sertoli cell morphology is important. This chapter provides an overview of some of the aspects of the Sertoli cell: its structural and biochemical components and the hormonal regulation of the Sertoli cell by Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and testosterone. The Sertoli cell can mediate the biological actions of both FSH and testosterone and those cellular products synthesized in the Sertoli cell under the control of FSH and testosterone can act on germ cells to influence their development. A number of proteins, which are synthesized by the Sertoli cell have been identified; however, the roles these proteins play in spermatogenesis, if any, remains to be determined. Further studies should aid in dissecting out the many complicating factors involved in spermatogenesis and the role Sertoli cells play in this process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology