The Transforming Growth Factor β Superfamily in Sertoli Cell Biology

Kate L. Loveland, David M. Robertson

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This chapter discusses the role of transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) in Sertoli cell biology. The TGFβ superfamily of cytokines/growth factors consists of more than 40 members, many of which are important in gonadal development and function. The members of this superfamily include: TGFβ, inhibins/activins, bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP), Müllerian inhibitory substance (MIS), growth and differentiation factor 9 (GDF9), and glial-derived neurotropic factor (GDNF). TGFβ, activins, and GDNF are much more highly expressed in the fetus and/or neonate than in the maturing and adult testis. Incubation with TGFβ1 results in reduced cord formation in fetal testes (between 13.5 and 14.5 dpc) and inhibition of the epidermal growth factor, and fetal calf serum-stimulated growth of the neonatal rat testis. While the presence of inhibin in stage-dissected tubule segments reduced in vitro DNA synthesis in intermediate spermatogonia and in preleptotene spermatocytes, the addition of activin increased DNA synthesis in these cells. GDNF also has profound effects on events in the early postnatal testis, with effects on both Sertoli and germ cells. © 2005

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSertoli Cell Biology
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780126477511
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005

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