Coordinating cellular events during spermatogenesis: A biochemical model
Throughout spermatogenesis, a select pool of germ cells, the leptotene spermatocytes, must traverse the blood-testis barrier (BTB) to enter the adluminal compartment of the seminiferous epithelium. This event requires extensive restructuring of cell junctions, and it must also coincide with germ cell cycle progression in preparation for primary spermatocyte meiosis. Recent findings show that cell-cycle-associated kinases and phosphatases, including mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), participate in the pathways that also direct germ cell adhesion and movement. Our new biochemical model explains, in part, how two distinct cellular events, BTB restructuring and spermiation, are coordinated to maintain spermatogenesis and fertility. In this way, MAPKs would synchronize cell cycle progression in primary spermatocytes with junction remodeling and cell migration across the BTB.
Lie, Pearl P.Y., C. Yan Cheng, and Dolores D. Mruk. 2009. "Coordinating cellular events during spermatogenesis: A biochemical model," Trends in Biochemical Sciences 34(7): 366–373.