Sertoli cell

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Location of the Sertoli cells (7) in the germinal tissue of the testicular tubules

The Sertoli cells are special cells of the testicular tissue that are incapable of dividing and that shield the tubules from the blood vessels . They owe their name to their discoverer, the Italian physiologist Enrico Sertoli (1842–1910).


Sertoli cells are large cells with a lobed nucleus that contains a clearly identifiable nucleolus . The cytoplasm is rich in rough endoplasmic reticulum , fat droplets, elongated mitochondria and Charcot-Böttcher crystals . Numerous lysosomes are signs of the uptake and breakdown of cytoplasmic components that arise when the spermatids mature.


Sertoli cells serve as supporting cells for the testicular tubules and form the so-called blood-testicular barrier , which protects the developing sperm from the body's own immune system and from toxins . In addition, the Sertoli cells also produce two proteins that are essential for the hormonal milieu of the sperm that forms . These are androgen- binding globulin (ABG), which enables testosterone to pass through to the germ cells, as well as inhibin , which reduces the production of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in the pituitary gland and thus has a negative feedback. FSH has a stimulating effect on spermatogenesis . It is believed that the Sertoli cells mediate this stimulating effect. The inhibin concentration in the blood is used to determine the activity of the Sertoli cells.

During embryonic development, the anti- Müllerian hormone (AMH) is formed in the Sertoli precursor cells, which is responsible for the regression of the Müllerian ducts.


The Sertoli-Leydig Cell Tumor is a very rare tumor in the testicle or ovary, in which not only Sertoli cells and Leydig cells occur in other cells and tissues.


  • Bernhard Kleine, Winfried Rossmanith: Hormones and the endocrine system . Springer, 2009, ISBN 978-3-540-37702-3 , p. 145.
  • Ulrich Welsch: Textbook histology: cytology, histology, microscopic anatomy. 2nd Edition. Elsevier, Urban & Fischer-Verlag, 2006, ISBN 3-437-44430-1 , p. 478.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Renate Lüllmann-Rauch, Friedrich Paulsen: Pocket textbook histology . 4th edition. Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart, ISBN 978-3-13-129244-5 , p. 492 .