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Hum Pathol. 1982 Jan;13(1):3-12.

Hyperplasia and the immature appearance of Sertoli cells in primary testicular disorders.


Testicular biopsy specimens from adult patients affected with cryptorchidism, Klinefelter's syndrome, and Del Castillo's syndrome were examined by light and electron microscopy. The study revealed a high proportion of testes showing seminiferous tubules with hyperplasia of Sertoli cells (from 25 to 45 cells per transverse tubular section). These cells had an immature appearance and showed a pseudostratified distribution. The nucleus was round to ovoid and regular in outline, with a smaller nucleolus than that of mature Sertoli cells. The cytoplasm showed less development of the endoplasmic reticulum as well as of the secondary lysosomes and lipid droplets than that in mature Sertoli cells. Characteristic features of these immature Sertoli cells were abundant cytoplasmic microfilaments, elaborate interdigitations between adjacent cells, and extensive tight junctions, from basement membrane to lumen. In the cryptorchid testes, a more immature Sertoli cell was found to constitute the majority of the cells in hypoplastic zones. In Klinefelter's and Del Castillo's syndromes as well as in cryptorchid testes to a lesser degree, a transitional type of cell-from immature to mature-was also observed. These observations suggest that Sertoli cells in these primary testicular disorders reflect a congenital deficiency producing abnormal development.

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