Microtubules and spermatogenesis

Liza O'Donnell, Moira Kathleen O'Bryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

147 Citations (Scopus)


Microtubules are dynamic polymers of tubulin subunits that underpin many essential cellular processes, such as cell division and migration. Spermatogenesis is the process by which spermatogenic stem cells undergo mitotic and meiotic division and differentiation to produce streamlined spermatozoa capable of motility and fertilization. This review summarizes the current knowledge of microtubule-based processes in spermatogenesis. We describe the involvement of microtubule dynamics in Sertoli cell shape and function, as well as in the mitotic and meiotic division of germ cells. The roles of microtubules in sperm head shaping, via the development and function of the manchette, and in sperm flagella development are also discussed. The review brings together data from microscopy studies and genetically modified mouse models, and reveals that the regulation of microtubule dynamics is essential for male fertility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45 - 54
Number of pages10
JournalSeminars in Cell & Developmental Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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