Cytoskeletal dynamics and spermatogenesis

Document Type

Article (peer-reviewed)

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Different cellular events occur during spermatogenesis, and these include (i) mitosis for self-renewa of spermatogonia, (ii) differentiation of type A spermatogonia into type B and commitment of type B spermatogonia to develop into preleptotene primary spermatocytes, (iii) transit of preleptotene, leptotene spermatocytes across the blood-testis barrier in coordination with germ cell cycle progression and meiosis, (iv) spermiogenesis and spermiation. These events also associate with extensive changes in cell shape and size, and germ cell movement. The cytoskeleton, which comprises actin, microtubules and intermediate filaments, is believed to function in these cellular events. However, few studies have been conducted by investigators in the past decades to unfold the role of the cytoskeleton during spermatogenesis. This review summarizes recent advances in the field relating to cytoskeletal dynamics in the testis, and highlights areas of research that require additional emphasis so that new approaches for male contraception, as well as therapeutic approaches to alleviate environmental toxicant-induced reproductive dysfunction in men, can possibly be developed.