LM23, a gene expressed specifically in the testis in a stage-specific manner, has a diverse range of functions that are important in both the life and death of spermatogenic cells. The aim of this study was to further investigate the expression of LM23 in the developing rat testis and the biological function of LM23 in proliferation and antiapoptosis in vitro. Semiquantitative reverse transcription (RT)-PCR and real-time PCR were used to examine the expression of LM23 in testis at different developmental stages. The results suggested that LM23 mRNA levels in the testis increased progressively after birth. The role of LM23 in proliferation was analyzed with cell counting kit-8 (CCK8), colony-forming efficiency (CFE) and flow cytometry assays. The results indicated that ectopic expression of LM23 in 293T cells significantly promoted cell proliferation by increasing cell numbers in S phase. Several methods were used, including CCK8, annexin V and propidium iodide staining and western blotting, to determine the role of LM23 in apoptosis. The results showed that LM23 played a protective role in H2O2-induced apoptosis of 293T cells, mediated at least in part through the Akt/PI3K signal pathway. Taken together, these results provide new insights into the role of LM23 in the development of the testes and spermatogenesis.