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Fate determination of fetal Leydig cells

Fate determination of fetal Leydig cells,10.1007/s11515-011-1100-3,Qing Wen,Yixun Liu,Fei Gao

Fate determination of fetal Leydig cells  
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Leydig cell (LC) is one of the most important somatic cell types in testis, which localized in the interstitium between seminiferous tubules. The major function of Leydig cells is to produce steroid hormone, androgens. LC differentiation exhibits a biphasic pattern in rodent testes, which are divided into two different temporal mature populations, fetal Leydig cells (FLCs) and adult Leydig cells (ALCs). FLCs are transiently present in fetal testes and undergo involution or degeneration after birth. FLCs are completely devoid and replaced by ALCs in adult testes. Comparing to ALCs, FLCs display unique morphology, ultrastructure and functions. The origin of FLCs has been debated for many years, but it is still a mystery. Many factors have been reported regulating the specification, proliferation and differentiation of FLCs. FLCs degenerate in a few weeks postnatally, however, the underlying mechanism is still unknown. In this review, we will focus on the fate determination of FLCs, and summarize the resent progress on the morphology, ultrastructure, function, origin and involution of FLCs.
Published in 2011.
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