Basic Aspects of Testicular Cells: Physiology and Function
Pp. 38-79 (42)
João P. Monteiro
Within the testes there is a considerable histological diversity, reflected in a
significant variety of different circumscribed environments and cells. As is always the
case regarding structures slowly forged by evolution, this translates into meaningful
differences in the physiology and function for each cell type. Leydig cells are
essentially known for their steroidogenic potential; Sertoli cells are known for their
local support to germ cells, and peritubular myoid cells are rapidly transcending a
simple structural role. They are all known to actively determine and contribute to
spermatogenesis in some way. Moreover, the physiological interplay between these
types of cells is known to functionally impact male fertility. However, the specific
physiological mechanisms by which each cell type governs spermatozoa production are
not fully accounted for, and pathways underlying the cooperative action of these cells
in the process are far from being clarified. Increased knowledge regarding the function
and interaction of these cells could potentially lead to important breakthroughs within
the contexts of testes disease, infertility and contraception.
Blood-testis barrier, Cell differentiation, Energetic metabolism,
Hormonal regulation, Leydig cells, Paracrine regulation, Peritubular myoid cells,
Sertoli cells, Spermatogenesis, Steroidogenesis.
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