Our overall goal is to create a three-dimensional human cell-based testicular model for toxicological and spermatogenesis studies. Methods to purify the major somatic testicular cells, namely Leydig cells (LCs), peritubular myoid cells (PCs) and Sertoli cells (SCs), from rats, mice and guinea pigs have been reported. In humans, the isolation of populations enriched for primary LCs, PCs or SCs also have described. One objective of this study was to determine if populations of cells enriched for all three of these cell types can be isolated from testes of single human donors, and we were successful in doing so from testes of three donors. Testes tissues were enzymatically digested, gravity sedimented and Percoll filtered to isolate populations enriched for LCs, PCs and SCs. LCs and PCs were identified by colorimetric detection of the expression of prototypical enzymes. Division of PCs and SCs in culture has been reported. We observed that primary human LCs could divide in culture by incorporation of 5-ethynyl-2′-deoxyuridine. SCs were identified and their functionality was demonstrated by the formation of tight junctions as shown by the expression of tight junction proteins, increased transepithelial electrical resistance, polarized secretion of biomolecules and inhibition of lucifer yellow penetration. Furthermore, we found that human SC feeder layers could facilitate germ cell progression of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) by microarray analysis of gene expression.
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- Author: Constance M John x
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