Embryonic Sertoli Cell Differentiation

Andrea S. Cupp, Michael K. Skinner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

26 Scopus citations


This chapter examines embryonic testis development and the crucial role of the Sertoli cell in both sex determination and morphological events that result in the formation of a testis. Sex determination in the testis occurs when Sry in conjunction with other transcription factors is expressed within the pre-Sertoli cells to initiate a cascade of events resulting in the formation of a testis. Sry appears to be important in at least two critical stages of testis development. The first involves differentiation of the Sertoli cell lineage and the second induction of testicular morphogenesis, resulting in formation of testicular cords. Normal testis development is dependent on Sertoli cell differentiation and expression of genes that direct morphological development along the XY pathway. The Sertoli cell is the somatic cell type that initiates differentiation by expressing Sry, which has been described as the master gene in male development. Several other genes, however, such as Sox9, Dmrt1, and DAX-1 appear to need to be expressed appropriately in order for testis differentiation to occur in the indifferent gonad. Future research using technological advancements such as RNAi, laser capture microscopy, tissue-specific gene expression models, and mouse mutagenesis procedures should add to human's greater understanding of factors regulating embryonic Sertoli cell differentiation and testis development. © 2005

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSertoli Cell Biology
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages28
ISBN (Print)9780126477511
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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