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Leydig cells

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Leydig cells
Histological section through testicular parenchyma of a boar. 1 Lumen of convoluted part of the seminiferous tubules, 2 spermatids, 3 spermatocytes, 4 spermatogonia, 5 Sertoli cell, 6 myofibroblasts, 7 Leydig cells, 8 capillaries
Latin '
Gray's subject #258 1243
System
MeSH [1]
Cross-section of seminiferous tubules. Arrows indicate location of Leydig cells.

Leydig cells, also known as interstitial cells of Leydig, are found adjacent to the seminiferous tubules in the testicle. They can secrete testosterone and are often closely related to nerves. Leydig cells have round vesicular nuclei and a granular eosinophilic cytoplasm.

Nomenclature

Leydig cells are named after the German anatomist Franz Leydig, who discovered them in 1850.[1]

Functions

Leydig cells release a class of hormones called androgens (19-carbon steroids). They secrete testosterone, androstenedione and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), when stimulated by the pituitary hormone luteinizing hormone (LH). LH increases cholesterol desmolase activity (an enzyme associated with the conversion of cholesterol to pregnenolone), leading to testosterone synthesis secretion by Leydig cells.

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) increases the response of Leydig cells to LH by increasing the number of LH receptors expressed on Leydig cells.

Ultrastructure

Leydig cells are polygonal, eosinophilic cells with a round vesicular nucleus and contain lipid droplets. They contain abundant smooth endoplasmic reticulum, which accounts for their eosinophilia. Frequently, lipofuscin pigment and rod-shaped crystal-like structures (Reinke's crystals) are found.[2][3]

Development

Leydig cells form during the 16th and 20th week of gestation and are quiescent until puberty.

Additional images

References

  1. Who Named It synd/625
  2. Al-Agha O, Axiotis C (2007). An in-depth look at Leydig cell tumor of the testis. Arch Pathol Lab Med 131 (2): 311-7.
  3. Ramnani, Dharam M. Leydig Cell Tumor : Reinke's Crystalloids. URL accessed on 2007-03-28.

See also

External links


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