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Reproduction. 2006 Sep;132(3):485-92.

Evaluation on the phagocytosis of apoptotic spermatogenic cells by Sertoli cells in vitro through detecting lipid droplet formation by Oil Red O staining.

Author information

1
Department of Cell Biology, School of Basic Medicine, Peking Union Medical College, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, 5 Dong Dan San Tiao, Beijing 100005, People's Republic of China.

Abstract

During spermatogenesis, more than half of the differentiating spermatogenic cells undergo apoptosis before they mature into spermatozoa. Ultrastructure studies showed that the formation of lipid droplets in Sertoli cells was associated with phagocytosis of residual bodies and apoptotic germ cells by Sertoli cells. Here, a relationship between the phagocytosis of apoptotic spermatogenic cells and lipid droplet formation in Sertoli cells was studied in vitro by Oil Red O (ORO) staining. The results confirmed that the formation of lipid droplets was a result of phagocytosis of apoptotic spermatogenic cells in Sertoli cells. By comparing phagocytosis of apoptotic spermatogenic cells and thymocytes by Sertoli cells to that by macrophages, we demonstrated that the lipid droplets accumulation in phagocytes depended on phagocytosed apoptotic cell type, but not phagocyte type. However, the size of lipid droplets was related to the type of phagocytes. By this approach, we found that Sertoli cells at different postnatal stages of development had a similar phagocytic ability. These results suggested that the detection of lipid droplets by ORO staining was a practical method to evaluate the phagocytic functions of Sertoli cells in vitro. This approach could also be considered as an in vitro model to study the lipid formation, metabolism, and function in Sertoli cells.

PMID:
16940289
DOI:
10.1530/rep.1.01213
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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