Sertoli cell number defines and predicts germ and Leydig cell population sizes in the adult mouse testis

Diane Rebourcet, Annalucia Darbey, Ana Monteiro, Ugo Soffientini, Yi Ting Tsai, Ian Handel, Jean-Luc Pitetti, Serge Nef, Lee Smith, Peter J O'Shaughnessy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The Sertoli cells regulate differentiation and development of the testis and are essential for maintaining adult testis function. To model the effects of dysregulating Sertoli cell number during development or ageing we have used acute diphtheria toxin-mediated cell ablation to reduce Sertoli cell population size. Results show that the size of the Sertoli cell population that forms during development determines the number of germ cells and Leydig cells that will be present in the adult testis. Similarly, the number of germ cells and Leydig cells that can be maintained in the adult depends directly on the size of the adult Sertoli cell population. Finally, we have used linear modelling to generate predictive models of testis cell composition during development and in the adult based on the size of the Sertoli cell population. This study shows that at all ages the size of the Sertoli cell population is predictive of resulting testicular cell composition. A reduction in Sertoli cell number/proliferation at any age will lead, therefore, to a proportional decrease in germ cell and Leydig cell number with likely consequential effects on fertility and health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2955–2969
JournalEndocrinology
Volume158
Issue number9
Early online date5 Jul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Sertoli
  • Leydig
  • germ
  • testis
  • testosterone
  • spermatogenesis

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