Stem Leydig cells: From fetal to aged animals

Haolin Chen, Erin Stanley, Shiying Jin, Barry R. Zirkin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Leydig cells are the testosterone-producing cells of the testis. The adult Leydig cell (ALC) population ultimately develops from undifferentiated mesenchymal-like stem cells present in the interstitial compartment of the neonatal testis. Distinct stages of ALC development have been identified and characterized. These include stem Leydig cells (SLCs), progenitor Leydig cells, immature Leydig cells, and ALCs. This review describes our current understanding of the SLCs in the fetal, prenatal, peripubertal, adult, and aged rat testis, as well as recent studies of the differentiation of steroidogenic cells from the stem cells of other organs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-283
Number of pages12
JournalBirth Defects Research Part C - Embryo Today: Reviews
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Aging
  • Leydig cell
  • Stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Embryology
  • Developmental Biology


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