Sertoli Cells

ben bunting BA(Hons) PgCert Sport & Exercise Nutriton  Written by Ben Bunting: BA(Hons), PGCert.


What are Sertoli Cells?

If you're wondering what are steroli cells, keep reading. These somatic cells help to direct the development of sperm in the testes. The follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) controls their division and activity. Their role in spermatogenesis is essential for male reproductive development. Like other reproductive cells, Sertoli cells proliferate and are required for a healthy sexual life.

Sertoli cells are located in the seminiferous tubules of the male gonad. Enrico Sertoli first observed them in 1865. They have characteristic oval nuclei and dark nucleoli, as well as cytoplasmic contents. These cells are visible under an electron microscope and are often misdiagnosed as spermatogenic cells. They are, however, important cells that have a central role in male reproductive development.

Sertoli cells produce various hormones and enzymes. They include plasminogen activator, insulin-like growth factor a, and transforming growth factors a and b. They also produce anti-Mullerian hormone and inhibin B. These cells also play a role in sperm development. And, they are a fundamental part of the sperm. The human body produces approximately ten trillion of these cells per day.

Sertoli cells form the niche of the testis where spermatogonians reside. Unfortunately, their replacement is problematic because they do not engraft and compete with resident cells. In recent years, however, several experimental treatments have been developed that use sertoli cell transplantation. These treatments have shown promise in enhancing the quality of life for sperm donors, but these treatments are not yet clinically viable.

Where Are the Sertoli Cells Located?

This cell is found in the seminiferous tubules of the testes, and it supplies nutrients to the germ cells. The sertoli cells also have specialized occluding junctions that connect adjacent sertoli cells. These junctions prevent interstitial macrophages from accessing the spermatids.

As mentioned, sertoli cells were first described by Italian scientist Enrico Sertoli in 1865. Later, their names were adopted by Victor von Ebner and became widely accepted. Since then, they cover the seminiferous tubules and are involved in the production of spermatozoa. 

Sertoli cells produce the testicular fluid, which is important for spermatogenesis. Testosterone binds to this protein, which helps the spermatozoa develop. The Sertoli cells also help the differentiating cells translocate to the lumen. Finally, the Sertoli cells phagocytose degenerating germ cells and excess cytoplasm that accumulates during spermiogenesis.

As the name suggests, Sertoli cells are a unique cell that help the testis work properly. As the sole source of germ cells, they also play a crucial role in regulating testicular immunity and promoting spermatogenesis. They also regulate the innate immune system and form the blood-testis-barrier (BTB) which is the main barrier between the blood and the testes. This makes the Sertoli cells irreplaceable for the maintenance of the testis' fertility.

Histology of Sertoli Cells

Histological studies of Sertoli cells have focused on identifying the structure and function of the cell nucleus. These cells have large tripartite nuclei, which tend to stain more intensely than other cells. They also contain a large number of organelles that are membrane-bound, including abundant mitochondria. Sertoli cells also show numerous morphological characteristics when viewed under high magnification, such as an oval shape, a dark nucleus, and pink cytoplasm.

Sertoli cells contribute to the reproductive system and control the first stage of embryonic testis development. They also prevent the development of internal female genitalia. As individuals approach puberty, Sertoli cells proliferate only in the first year after birth. They are found within the testes, where they extend into efferent ducts. These ducts convey seminal fluid to the epididymis.

The Sertoli cells separate the blood and testis through a symbiotic relationship. They secrete sperm-like fluid, and act as a protective barrier, making the blood-testis area immune-privileged. Sertoli cells also define the niche for spermatogonial stem cells and maintain their differentiation and renewal. They bind to the spermatocytes via their N-cadherins and carbohydrate residues.

Sertoli cells, also known as sustentacular cells, are located in the germinal epithelium and play a supportive role in the development of sperm. These cells have abundant cytoplasm and extend from the basement membrane into the testis lumen. They contain thirty or fifty spermatogenic cells, which migrate from the base to the lumen of the tubules. The complex shape of Sertoli cells is characteristic of these cells.

What Are Sertoli Cells Stimulated By?

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) stimulates the sertoli cells to secrete androgen binding proteins. Testosterone also activates a series of kinases in sertoli cells which helps to regulate spermotogenesis.

The Sertoli cells express a wide range of factors critical for sperm cell maturation and production. These cells are also involved in immunological protection of developing germ cells. Although the immune protection of the entire testis is not well understood, several studies suggest it occurs.

The Sertoli cell is a cell that orchestrates the dynamic mobilization of spermatids using parallel microtubule tracts and motor proteins attached to the endoplasmic reticulum. They are ectoplasmic, which means that they play a major role in the reproductive system. They are therefore involved in the process of fertilization. Moreover, they are involved in the process of emptying the bedpan.

Researchers have been studying the Sertoli cell for over 150 years. They have used new biochemistry methods and the electron microscope to study these cells. Then, they used immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence to record higher resolution images of the cell membranes and organelles. This phase of research continued until the early 2000s, when they were replaced by the current methods of imaging and studying Sertoli cells.

In the testis, the sertoli cells produce the fluid that contains the protein that binds to testosterone. This hormone is critical for spermatozoa development. The Sertoli cells also help translocate differentiating cells to the lumen, and phagocytose surplus cytoplasm. They also serve as a blood-testis barrier, isolating spermatocytes from their surroundings and helping to control the release of hormones and chemicals.

What Do Sertoli Cells Secrete?

Various factors, including hormones and enzymes, are secreted by these cells. Activin, inhibin, and testicular ceruloplasmin are among these. These hormones act as endocrine agents and affect distant tissues and organs. Inhibin B is another secreted hormone by sertoli cells.

Sertoli cells are essential for germ cell development and management. These cells also secrete chemicals that prevent germ cells from interacting with blood. These substances prevent germ cells from initiating an immune response or damaging other cells. They also help maintain fertility in males by promoting the production of sperm. In addition to secreting chemicals, Sertoli cells help regulate sperm production and spawn. In addition to secreting anti-Mullerian hormone, Sertoli cells also play a crucial role in reproduction.


Sertoli cells are specialized ectoplasmic cells. They orchestrate the dynamic mobilization of sperm through parallel microtubule tracts and motor proteins attached to the endoplasmic reticulum. These cells are a key part of ectoplasmic specialization. 

Scientists have a good understanding of Sertoli cells by studying the morphology of individual testis tissues. Histologists have long been fascinated by these cells. Fawcett and Burgos' 1956 discovery of individual Sertoli cells changed the field. Sertoli cells have an oval shape with a dark nucleus and pinkish cytoplasm. And the cell has multiple membranes, each with a unique chemical composition. 

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