Supporting cells projecting inward from the basement membrane of SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES. They surround and nourish the developing male germ cells and secrete ANDROGEN-BINDING PROTEIN and hormones such as ANTI-MULLERIAN HORMONE. The tight junctions of Sertoli cells with the SPERMATOGONIA and SPERMATOCYTES provide a BLOOD-TESTIS BARRIER.
The epithelium lining the seminiferous tubules composed of primary male germ cells (SPERMATOGONIA) and supporting SERTOLI CELLS. As SPERMATOGENESIS proceeds, the developing germ cells migrate toward the lumen. The adluminal compartment, the inner two thirds of the tubules, contains SPERMATOCYTES and the more advanced germ cells.
Mature male germ cells derived from SPERMATIDS. As spermatids move toward the lumen of the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES, they undergo extensive structural changes including the loss of cytoplasm, condensation of CHROMATIN into the SPERM HEAD, formation of the ACROSOME cap, the SPERM MIDPIECE and the SPERM TAIL that provides motility.
A developmental defect in which a TESTIS or both TESTES failed to descend from high in the ABDOMEN to the bottom of the SCROTUM. Testicular descent is essential to normal SPERMATOGENESIS which requires temperature lower than the BODY TEMPERATURE. Cryptorchidism can be subclassified by the location of the maldescended testis.
Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit
A protein-tyrosine kinase receptor that is specific for STEM CELL FACTOR. This interaction is crucial for the development of hematopoietic, gonadal, and pigment stem cells. Genetic mutations that disrupt the expression of PROTO-ONCOGENE PROTEINS C-KIT are associated with PIEBALDISM, while overexpression or constitutive activation of the c-kit protein-tyrosine kinase is associated with tumorigenesis.
A type of CELL NUCLEUS division, occurring during maturation of the GERM CELLS. Two successive cell nucleus divisions following a single chromosome duplication (S PHASE) result in daughter cells with half the number of CHROMOSOMES as the parent cells.
Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Receptors
A family of GLYCOSYLPHOSPHATIDYLINOSITOL-anchored cell surface receptors that are specific for GLIAL CELL LINE-DERIVED NEUROTROPHIC FACTORS. They form a multi-component receptor complex with PROTO-ONCOGENE PROTEIN C-RET and regulate a variety of intracellular SIGNAL TRANSDUCTION PATHWAYS in conjunction with c-ret protein.
A potent androgenic steroid and major product secreted by the LEYDIG CELLS of the TESTIS. Its production is stimulated by LUTEINIZING HORMONE from the PITUITARY GLAND. In turn, testosterone exerts feedback control of the pituitary LH and FSH secretion. Depending on the tissues, testosterone can be further converted to DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE or ESTRADIOL.
Vitamin A Deficiency
A nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of VITAMIN A in the diet, characterized by NIGHT BLINDNESS and other ocular manifestations such as dryness of the conjunctiva and later of the cornea (XEROPHTHALMIA). Vitamin A deficiency is a very common problem worldwide, particularly in developing countries as a consequence of famine or shortages of vitamin A-rich foods. In the United States it is found among the urban poor, the elderly, alcoholics, and patients with malabsorption. (From Cecil Textbook of Medicine, 19th ed, p1179)
Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
The founding member of the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor family. It was originally characterized as a NERVE GROWTH FACTOR promoting the survival of MIDBRAIN dopaminergic NEURONS, and it has been studied as a potential treatment for PARKINSON DISEASE.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone
A major gonadotropin secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Follicle-stimulating hormone stimulates GAMETOGENESIS and the supporting cells such as the ovarian GRANULOSA CELLS, the testicular SERTOLI CELLS, and LEYDIG CELLS. FSH consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is common in the three pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH, and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity.
Hormones that stimulate gonadal functions such as GAMETOGENESIS and sex steroid hormone production in the OVARY and the TESTIS. Major gonadotropins are glycoproteins produced primarily by the adenohypophysis (GONADOTROPINS, PITUITARY) and the placenta (CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN). In some species, pituitary PROLACTIN and PLACENTAL LACTOGEN exert some luteotropic activities.
The convoluted cordlike structure attached to the posterior of the TESTIS. Epididymis consists of the head (caput), the body (corpus), and the tail (cauda). A network of ducts leaving the testis joins into a common epididymal tubule proper which provides the transport, storage, and maturation of SPERMATOZOA.
In Situ Hybridization
Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
A radiosensitive, malignant neoplasm of the testis, thought to be derived from primordial germ cells of the sexually undifferentiated embryonic gonad. There are three variants: classical (typical), the most common type; anaplastic; and spermatocytic. The classical seminoma is composed of fairly well differentiated sheets or cords of uniform polygonal or round cells (seminoma cells), each cell having abundant clear cytoplasm, distinct cell membranes, a centrally placed round nucleus, and one or more nucleoli. In the female, a grossly and histologically identical neoplasm, known as dysgerminoma, occurs. (Dorland, 27th ed)
A method of providing future reproductive opportunities before a medical treatment with known risk of loss of fertility. Typically reproductive organs or tissues (e.g., sperm, egg, embryos and ovarian or testicular tissues) are cryopreserved for future use before the medical treatment (e.g., chemotherapy, radiation) begins.
Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
Stem Cell Factor
Lectin purified from peanuts (ARACHIS HYPOGAEA). It binds to poorly differentiated cells and terminally differentiated cells and is used in cell separation techniques.
One of the mechanisms by which CELL DEATH occurs (compare with NECROSIS and AUTOPHAGOCYTOSIS). Apoptosis is the mechanism responsible for the physiological deletion of cells and appears to be intrinsically programmed. It is characterized by distinctive morphologic changes in the nucleus and cytoplasm, chromatin cleavage at regularly spaced sites, and the endonucleolytic cleavage of genomic DNA; (DNA FRAGMENTATION); at internucleosomal sites. This mode of cell death serves as a balance to mitosis in regulating the size of animal tissues and in mediating pathologic processes associated with tumor growth.