Sertoli cells are the somatic cells of the testis that are essential for testis formation and spermatogenesis. Sertoli cells facilitate the progression of germ cells to spermatozoa via direct contact and by controlling the environment milieu within the seminiferous tubules. The regulation of spermatogenesis by FSH and testosterone occurs by the action of these hormones on the Sertoli cells. While the action of testosterone is necessary for spermatogenesis, the action of FSH minimally serves to promote spermatogenic output by increasing the number of Sertoli cells.
Copyright 1998 Academic Press.