CHARACTERIZATION OF THE MINOR POPULATION OF ACTIVELY PROLIFERATING IN VITRO SERTOLI CELLS FROM THE TRANSITIONAL ZONE OF ADULT MOUSE TESTIS

A.Yu. Kulibin(1), E.A. Malolina(1, 2)
1-Koltzov Institute of Developmental Biology, Vavilova str., 26, Moscow, 119334, Russian Federation;
2-Ivanovsky Institute of Virology, N.F. Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology
and Microbiology, Gamaleya str. 18, Moscow, 123098, Russian Federation
E-mail: Kulibin.A.BKRJ@gmail.com

Introduction. The minor population of Sertoli cells (SCs) from the transitional zone (TZ) of adult mouse testis called as TZ SCs is capable of active proliferation in culture and, at the same time, expresses all key SC markers. It could be an optimal source of cells for biomedical research in the field of the male reproductive system. However, many characteristics of TZ SCs are not examined yet. The aim of the study. Both to examine cytokeratin 8/18 expression in TZ SCs and also test the capacity of these cells to support germ cell development. Methods. In the study, 3D culture of mouse germ and somatic testicular cells, and the immunofluorescence in combination with confocal microscopy were used. Results. Some cells in colonies formed by TZ SCs in culture express cytokeratin 8/18, whereas in the testis of adult animals this marker is present only in rete testis. TZ SCs 3D-cocultured with neonatal testicular cells support germ cell viability and differentiation to the meiosis stage. Conclusion. According to cytokeratin 8/18 expression some cells from TZ SC colonies in culture arise from rete testis, other cells in colonies are SCs from the testicular TZ. These cells possess of functional characteristics typical for SCs.
Keywords: 
Sertoli cells, male germ cells, rete testis