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Biol Cell. 1989;67(3):289-98.

Endocytosis in spermatids during spermiogenesis of the mouse.

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  • 1Laboratoire d'Histologie-Embryologie, CHU Paris Ouest, France.


In the course of spermiogenesis in the mouse, spermatid cytoplasm contains numerous membrane pits, vesicles and membranous tubules which are frequently anastomosed. Pale and dense multivesicular bodies (MVB) and secondary lysosome-like structures are also present in the cytoplasm. In order to study the pathway of non-specific adsorptive endocytosis in spermatids, cationic ferritin (CF) was directly microinjected into the lumen of seminiferous tubules, and added to germinal cell culture. Tissue and cultures were fixed at various time intervals after injection. Two-5 hr after microinjection of tracer, CF was found simultaneously in vesicles, tubules, MVB and in lysosome-like bodies present in spermatids at all steps of spermiogenesis. Various membranous components of the Golgi medulla, and the innermost transsaccule of the Golgi cortex were labelled simultaneously. In primary cultures of spermatids, the vesicles contained the marker 5 min after its deposition; 10 min after deposition, CF was evident in tubules; at 30 min, CF was present in pale MVB; at 1 hr, the dense MVB and lysosome-like bodies were labelled. Finally, at 2 hr 30 min, vesicles and tubules of the Golgi medulla contained CF grains. Apparently spermatids are very active cells in the process of adsorptive endocytosis throughout spermiogenesis. Endocytosis in spermatids is probably one of the mechanisms involved in the uptake of material used to build up spermatozoa components. The strong labelling of the Golgi region probably point to its role in recycling endocytosed membranes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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