STEROID METABOLISM BY THE SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES IN VITRO AND SPERMATOGENESIS IN THE DEVELOPING RAT

in Reproduction

Androgens are capable of maintaining the progressive development of the germ cells in immature male rats which have either been hypophysectomized (Leathem, 1944; Ludwig, 1950; Lostroh, 1969) or treated with compounds which interfere with the release and/or secretion of gonadotrophins (Ludwig, 1950; Kalra & Prasad, 1967; Steinberger & Steinberger, 1969). Similar results have also been obtained in adult male rats (Boccabella, 1963; Clermont & Harvey, 1967; Lacy & his co-authors, 1969). Studies on steroid metabolism in vitro by isolated seminiferous tubules of rats denuded of their germ cells by heat-treatment has led to the view that not only Leydig cells but also Sertoli cells may be a major source of androgens (Collins, Bell & Vinson, 1968; Lacy et al., 1969). Similar conclusions have also been reached by Ellis & van Kampen (1971) from studies on

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