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You are watching: The _______________ cells support, nourish, and protect developing sperm cells.

Gilbert SF. Developmental Biology. 6th edition. Sunderland (MA): Sinauer Associates; 2000.

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While the reductive divisions of meiosis room conserved in every eukaryotic bio kingdom that life, the regulation that meiosis in mammals differs dramatically in between males and also females. The differences in between oogenesis, the production of eggs, and spermatogenesis, the production of sperm, space outlined in Table 19.1.


Spermatogenesis is the manufacturing of sperm native the primordial germ cells. Once the vertebrate PGCs come at the genital ridge of a masculine embryo, they come to be incorporated right into the sex cords. They remain there until maturity, in ~ which time the sex cords hollow out to kind the seminiferous tubules, and the epithelium the the tubules differentiates right into the Sertoli cells. The initiation that spermatogenesis throughout puberty is probably regulated by the synthesis of BMP8B by the spermatogenic germ cells, the spermatogonia. When BMP8B reaches a an essential concentration, the germ cells begin to differentiate. The separating cells produce high levels of BMP8B, which deserve to then more stimulate their differentiation. Mice lacking BMP8B do not begin spermatogenesis in ~ puberty (Zhao et al. 1996).

The spermatogenic germ cells space bound to the Sertoli cell by N-cadherin molecule on both cell surfaces and by galactosyltransferase molecules on the spermatogenic cells that tie a carbohydrate receptor ~ above the Sertoli cells (Newton et al. 1993; Pratt et al. 1993). The Sertoli cell nourish and protect the developing sperm cells, and also spermatogenesis—the developmental pathway native germ cell to mature sperm—occurs in the recesses of the Sertoli cells (Figure 19.17). The processes whereby the PGCs generate sperm have been studied in detail in numerous organisms, yet we will emphasis here top top spermatogenesis in mammals.


Figure 19.17

Drawing the a ar of the seminiferous tubule, reflecting the relationship between Sertoli cells and the occurring sperm. As cells mature, they progress toward the lumen of the seminiferous tubule. (After Dym 1977.)

After getting to the gonad, the PGCs divide to form type A1 spermatogonia. These cells are smaller than the PGCs and are identified by one ovoid cell core that contains chromatin associated with the atom membrane. The A1 spermatogonia room found surrounding to the outer basement membrane of the sex cords. They room stem cells, and also at maturity, they room thought to division so regarding make another kind A1 spermatogonium and a second, paler kind of cell, the kind A2 spermatogonium. Thus, each kind A1 spermatogonium is a stem cell qualified of regenerating itself as well as producing a brand-new cell type. The A2 spermatogonia divide to create the A3 spermatogonia, which climate beget the form A4 spermatogonia. That is feasible that each of the type A spermatogonia space stem cells, capable of self-renewal. The A4 spermatogonium has three options: it can kind another A4 spermatogonium (self-renewal); it deserve to undergo cell death (apoptosis); or that can distinguish into the very first committed stem cell type, the intermediate spermatogonium. Intermediary spermatogonia room committed to becoming spermatozoa, and also they divide mitotically as soon as to kind the form B spermatogonia. These cells room the precursors of the spermatocytes and are the critical cells that the line that undergo mitosis. They divide once to create the primary spermatocytes—the cells that get in meiosis. The is not well-known what reasons the spermatogonia to take it the route toward differentiation fairly than self-renewal; nor is it known what stimulates the cell to get in meiotic fairly than mitotic department (Dym 1994).

Looking at numbers 19.17 and 19.18, we uncover that during the spermatogonial divisions, cytokinesis is no complete. Rather, the cells type a syncytium by which each cabinet communicates through the rather via cytoplasmic bridges around 1 μm in diameter (Dym and also Fawcett 1971). The succeeding divisions develop clones that interconnected cells, and because ions and molecules easily pass through these intercellular bridges, every cohort matures synchronously. During this time, the spermatocyte nucleus frequently transcribes genes whose products will be used later to form the axoneme and also acrosome.


Figure 19.18

The formation of syncytial clones of person male germ cells. (After Bloom and Fawcett 1975.)

Each major spermatocyte undergoes the an initial meiotic department to productivity a pair that secondary spermatocytes, which finish the second department of meiosis. The haploid cells thus developed are referred to as spermatids, and also they space still connected to one an additional through your cytoplasmic bridges. The spermatids the are linked in this manner have haploid nuclei, but are functionally diploid, because a gene product do in one cell have the right to readily diffuse right into the cytoplasm the its neighbors (Braun et al. 1989). During the departments from form A1 spermatogonium to spermatid, the cells move farther and farther away from the basement membrane that the seminiferous tubule and also closer come its lumen (see figure 19.17). Thus, each kind of cell have the right to be found in a certain layer of the tubule. The spermatids are situated at the border that the lumen, and also here they shed their cytoplasmic connections and differentiate into sperm cells. In humans, the progression from spermatogonial stem cell to mature sperm take away 65 work (Dym 1994).


19.6 Gonial syncytia: Bridges to the future. The commodities of meiotic departments are linked by cytoplasmic connections. The attributes of this connections might differ in between those cells developing sperm and also those creating eggs. Http://


The mammalian haploid spermatid is a round, unflagellated cell the looks nothing like the tires vertebrate sperm. The following step in sperm maturation, then, is spermiogenesis (or spermateliosis), the differentiation the the sperm cell. Because that fertilization to occur, the sperm has to meet and bind with the egg, and also spermiogenesis prepares the sperm because that these features of motility and also interaction. The procedures of mammalian sperm differentiation is presented in figure 7.2. The very first steps involve the construction of the acrosomal vesicle from the Golgi apparatus. The acrosome creates a cap the covers the sperm nucleus. Together the acrosomal lid is formed, the nucleus rotates so the the cap will be facing the basal membrane that the seminiferous tubule. This rotation is necessary since the flagellum is start to type from the centriole ~ above the various other side that the nucleus, and this flagellum will extend into the lumen. Throughout the last phase of spermiogenesis, the cell core flattens and condenses, the staying cytoplasm (the “cytoplasmic droplet”) is jettisoned, and the mitochondria form a ring about the basic of the flagellum.

One that the significant changes in the cell nucleus is the replacement of the histones by protamines. Warrior of the gene because that protamine is viewed in the early on haploid cell (spermatids), although translation is delayed for numerous days (Peschon et al. 1987). Protamines are relatively small protein that space over 60% arginine. Throughout spermiogenesis, the nucleosomes dissociate, and the histones the the haploid cell nucleus are eventually replaced through protamines. This causes the complete shutdown of warrior in the nucleus and also facilitates its assuming an practically crystalline structure. The result sperm then enter the lumen that the tubule.

In the mouse, the whole development procedure from stem cabinet to spermatozoon takes 34.5 days. The spermatogonial stages last 8 days, meiosis large 13 days, and spermiogenesis takes up an additional 13.5 days. In humans, spermatic development takes practically twice as lengthy to complete. Since the kind A1 spermatogonia space stem cells, spermatogenesis can happen continuously. Each day, some 100 million sperm space made in each person testicle, and also each ejaculation publication 200 million sperm. Unused sperm room either resorbed or passed the end of the body in urine. During his lifetime, a human being male can create 1012 to 1013 sperm (Reijo et al. 1995).


Spermatogenesis in mammals. The development of sperm is visualized through color-coded histological sections v a mammalian testis. Each stage is shown, indigenous spermatogonium come flagellated spermatid.

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19.7 Gene expression throughout spermatogenesis. Transcription occurs both indigenous the diploid spermatocyte nucleus and also from the haploid spermatid nuclei. Posttranscriptional regulate is likewise important in regulation sperm gene expression. Http://


19.8 The Nebenkern. Sperm mitochondria are frequently highly modified to fit the systematized cell. The mitochondria of flies fuse with each other to form a structure dubbed the Nebenkern, and this fusion is controlled by the fuzzy onions gene. Http://

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