Transplantation of alginate-encapsulated seminiferous tubules and interstitial tissue into adult rats: Leydig stem cell differentiation in vivo?

Haolin Chen, Shiying Jin, Shengsong Huang, Janet Folmer, June Liu, Renshan Ge, Barry R. Zirkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In vivo and in vitro studies were conducted to determine whether testosterone-producing Leydig cells are able to develop from cells associated with rat seminiferous tubules, interstitium, or both. Adult rat seminiferous tubules and interstitium were isolated, encapsulated separately in alginate, and implanted subcutaneously into castrated rats. With implanted tubules, serum testosterone increased through two months. Tubules removed from the implanted rats and incubated with LH produced testosterone, and cells on the tubule surfaces expressed steroidogenic enzymes. With implanted interstitial tissue, serum levels of testosterone remained undetectable. However, co-culture of interstitium plus tubules in vitro resulted in the formation of Leydig cells by both compartments. These results indicate that seminiferous tubules contain both cellular and paracrine factors necessary for the differentiation of Leydig cells, and that the interstitial compartment contains precursor cells capable of forming testosterone-producing Leydig cells but requires stimulation by paracrine factors from the seminiferous tubules to do so.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-258
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Volume436
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 15 2016

Keywords

  • Alginate
  • Leydig cells
  • Stem cells
  • Testosterone
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology

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