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Dev Biol. 2009 Feb 1;326(1):112-20. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2008.10.040. Epub 2008 Nov 7.

Endothelial cell migration directs testis cord formation.

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Division of Molecular Genetics and Development, Institute for Molecular Biosciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia.


While the molecular cues initiating testis determination have been identified in mammals, the cellular interactions involved in generating a functional testis with cord and interstitial compartments remain poorly understood. Previous studies have shown that testis cord formation relies on cell migration from the adjacent mesonephros, and have implicated immigrant peritubular myoid cells in this process. Here, we used recombinant organ culture experiments to show that immigrant cells are endothelial, not peritubular myoid or other interstitial cells. Inhibition of endothelial cell migration and vascular organisation using a blocking antibody to VE-cadherin, also disrupted the development of testis cords. Our data reveal that migration of endothelial cells is required for testis cord formation, consistent with increasing evidence of a broader role for endothelial cells in establishing tissue architecture during organogenesis.

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