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Ultrastructural changes in sertoli cells in aging humans

Ultrastructural changes in sertoli cells in aging humans

International Journal of Andrology 8(4): 295-312

Ultrastructural study of seminiferous tubules in aging men revealed a varying degree of spermatogenetic arrest associated with changes in the Sertoli cells. Approximately half of the Sertoli cells showed a normal mature nuclear appearance although the cytoplasm was altered morphologically. These cells were classified as containing abundant lipid droplets (30%), containing large cytoplasmic vacuoles filled with an amorphous material similar to that in the tubule lumen and surrounded by junctional specializations (8%), multinucleated Sertoli cells (4%), or Sertoli cells were numerous mitochondria displaying tubular cristae (2%). The remaining 7% of Sertoli cells had an immature nuclear appearance and sparse development of the cytoplasmic organelles; these cells probably represent dedifferentiated Sertoli cells. Although individual differences were marked, a correlation between the increase in gonadotrophin levels and changes in both germ cell development and Sertoli cell structure was observed.

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Accession: 006857102

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PMID: 2416699

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