Summary. To define a functional difference in Sertoli cells of animals exposed to different photoperiodic conditions, we isolated Sertoli cells from the testes of juvenile Siberian hamsters and cultured them in serum-free medium. In all age groups studied, Sertoli cells isolated from hamsters with delayed and normal puberty responded to follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) with an increase in lactate production. The increase in lactate production induced by 1000 ng FSH ml−1 was significantly greater in Sertoli cells isolated from hamsters with delayed puberty than in those with normal puberty. These results suggest that Sertoli cells of Siberian hamsters exposed to short photoperiod in vivo may respond to increases in plasma FSH concentrations associated with photostimulation or spontaneous sexual maturation by an increase in secretory activity that may be critical for the initiation of spermatogenesis.
Keywords: Sertoli cells; Siberian hamster; photoperiodism; follicle-stimulating hormone; lactate
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