Crosstalk between Sertoli and germ cells in male fertility
Spermatogenesis is supported by intricate crosstalk between Sertoli cells and germ cells including spermatogonia, spermatocytes, haploid spermatids, and spermatozoa, which takes place in the epithelium of seminiferous tubules. Sertoli cells, also known as ‘mother’ or ‘nurse’ cells, provide nutrients, paracrine factors, cytokines, and other biomolecules to support germ cell development. Sertoli cells facilitate the generation of several biologically active peptides, which include F5-, noncollagenous 1 (NC1)-, and laminin globular (LG)3/4/5-peptide, to modulate cellular events across the epithelium. Here, we critically evaluate the involvement of these peptides in facilitating crosstalk between Sertoli and germ cells to support spermatogenesis and thus fertility. Modulating or mimicking the activity of F5-, NC1-, and LG3/4/5-peptide could be used to enhance the transport across the blood–testis barrier (BTB) of contraceptive drugs or to treat male infertility.
Wu, Siwen, Ming Yan, Renshan Ge, and C. Yan Cheng. 2020. "Crosstalk between Sertoli and germ cells in male fertility," Trends in Molecular Medicine 26(2): 215–231.