Author(s): Zhang Z, Shao S, Shetty G, Meistrich ML
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Irradiation of rat testes leads to the failure to support differentiation of the surviving spermatogonia due to damage of the somatic environment. To determine the involvement of Sertoli cells in this somatic damage, we transplanted seminiferous tubule cells from normal immature GFP-transgenic rats into the testes of irradiated rats. The donor Sertoli cells colonized and developed in the host testes. In many seminiferous tubules, the donor Sertoli cells formed abnormal spherical structures in the lumen, but in some tubules they formed a normal-appearing epithelium, but with only isolated spermatogonia, on the basement membrane. When the donor cells were injected into the interstitial region of the testis, they formed tubule-like structures containing Sertoli cells and occasional isolated spermatogonia, both of donor origin. Surprisingly, in host tubules adjacent to these newly formed donor-cell tubules or adjacent to the endogenous tubules with abnormal donor Sertoli-cell structures, endogenous spermatogonia differentiated to the spermatocyte or even to spermatid stages. Around these newly donor cell-formed tubules and the host tubules with abnormal donor Sertoli-cell structures, many cells including macrophages, which perhaps represented chronic inflammation, accumulated in the interstitium. We conclude that the donor Sertoli cells that colonized the seminiferous tubules did not directly support recovery of spermatogenesis. Instead, the colonizing Sertoli cells acted indirectly on the interstitium to stimulate localized differentiation of endogenous spermatogonia.
This article was published in Reproduction
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy