Endothelial cell migration directs testis cord formation

Alexander N Combes, Dagmar Wilhelm, Elisabetta Dejana, Vincent R Harley, Andrew H Sinclair, Peter A Koopman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

144 Citations (Scopus)


While the molecular cues initiating testis determination have been identified in mammals, the cellular interactions involved in generating a functional testis with cord and interstitial compartments remain poorly understood. Previous studies have shown that testis cord formation relies on cell migration from the adjacent mesonephros, and have implicated immigrant peritubular myoid cells in this process. Here, we used recombinant organ culture experiments to show that immigrant cells are endothelial, not peritubular myoid or other interstitial cells. Inhibition of endothelial cell migration and vascular organisation using a blocking antibody to VE-cadherin, also disrupted the development of testis cords. Our data reveal that migration of endothelial cells is required for testis cord formation, consistent with increasing evidence of a broader role for endothelial cells in establishing tissue architecture during organogenesis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112 - 120
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Cite this