Ana Paula Jacobus

Ana Paula Jacobus

University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

Title: FSH-mediated signaling pathways in proliferating and differentiating Sertoli cells.


Ana Paula Jacobus has completed her PhD in Biological Sciences (Physiology) at Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul/Brazil (2009) and postdoctoral studies in Endocrine Physiology/Reproduction and Molecular Genetics at Magee Womens’ Research Institute-University of Pittsburgh (USA) (2011-2013). She published several papers on the subject of Sertoli cell hormonal regulation and development in international journals. Has been serving as reviewer for the reproduction and hormonal signaling papers. At the present, she is Research Associate in Dr. Gross’ lab at ESALQ-USP (Brazil) where her research is about sex and meiosis experimental evolution and genomics.


Spermatogenesis and male fertility are dependent upon a complex interplay of hormonal inputs. In the testis, Sertoli cells are required to support germ cell development and survival after puberty. Because Sertoli cells can support only a finite population of germ cells, the extent of Sertoli cell proliferation and its number defines the upper limit of sperm output and fertility. Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is a known regulator of Sertoli cell proliferation that ends with the establishment of the blood testis barrier. After that, FSH assumes a role on Sertoli cells differentiation. For this reason, it is expect that FSH-receptor downstream signaling differ during the two development stages (pre and post pubertal). FSH stimulates some mechanisms only on the pre pubertal stage such as Ca2+ uptake, MAPK/Erk phosphorylation and PI3k/Akt activation. On the other hand, cAMP can acts either way on proliferation and differentiation by different pathways mediating FSH signal. This fine tune on the timing regulation by the same molecules, show us the diversity and complexity of this hormonal signaling. We want to discuss the importance of pathways for the Sertoli cell development, demonstrate the expression of key molecules that change related to the pre and post-pubertal phases and have a broad view at the FSH role on proliferation and differentiation of Sertoli cells. Altogether, these data may contribute for the understanding of the signaling dynamics, especially for the development of the favorable seminiferous milieu for sperm production and for identifying better control points providing strategies for male contraception.