Sertoli cells secrete both testis-specific and serum proteins

W. W. Wright, N. A. Musto, J. P. Mather, C. W. Bardin

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66 Scopus citations


The secretions of the Sertoli cell were examined with two polyvalent antisera - one prepared against proteins in rat serum and the other against testis-specific proteins in rete testis fluid. These antisera detected 12 serum and 9 testis-specific proteins in rete testis fluid. To determine the origin of these proteins, primary cultures enriched in Sertoli cells were incubated with [35S]methionine, and the radiolabeled proteins in the medium were immunoprecipitated. Gel electrophoresis of the two immunoprecipitates resolved eight serum and nine testis-specific proteins. These two sets of proteins were specifically bound by their respective antiserum and were immunologically distinct. Medium from Sertoli cell cultures contained 10 times more of the testis-specific proteins than did cultures enriched for testicular myoid or interstitial cells. The concentration of the serum proteins in Sertoli cell medium was 5 and 10 times greater, respectively, than in myoid or interstitial cell preparations. The proteins from Sertoli cells were next characterized on two-dimensional gels. Seven of the proteins recognized by antiserum against serum proteins had identical molecular weights and isoelectric points as serum proteins. Three of these proteins were ceruloplasmin, transferrin, and glycoprotein 2. In addition to the proteins immunoprecipitated by the two antisera, more than 60 other proteins were detected on two-dimensional gels of the total secretory proteins. We conclude that the Sertoli cell secretes many proteins, some of which are specific to the testis and others of which are similar to serum proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7565-7569
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number12 II
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

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