Scientific article
Open access

Tumor Suppressor PTEN Regulates Negatively Sertoli Cell Proliferation, Testis Size, and Sperm Production In Vivo

Published inEndocrinology, vol. 160, no. 2, p. 387-398
Publication date2019

The IGFs are the major intratesticular factors regulating immature Sertoli cell proliferation and are, therefore, critical to establish the magnitude of sperm production. However, the intratesticular source of IGF production and the downstream signaling pathway mediating IGF-dependent Sertoli cell proliferation remain unclear. Single-cell RNA sequencing on mouse embryonic testis revealed a robust expression of Igf1 and Igf2 in interstitial steroidogenic progenitors, suggesting that IGFs exert paracrine actions on immature Sertoli cells. To elucidate the intracellular signaling mechanism that underlies the proliferative effects of IGFs on immature Sertoli cells, we have generated mice with Sertoli cell-specific deletion of the Pten gene, a negative regulator of the phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway, alone or together with the insulin receptor (Insr) and the IGF1 receptor (Igf1r). Although ablation of Pten appears dispensable for Sertoli cell proliferation and spermatogenesis, inactivation of Pten in the absence of Insr and Igf1r rescued the Sertoli cell proliferation rate during late fetal development, testis size, and sperm production. Overall, these findings suggest that IGFs secreted by interstitial progenitor cells act in a paracrine fashion to promote the proliferation of immature Sertoli cells through the IGF/PTEN/PI3K pathway.

Citation (ISO format)
NEIRIJNCK, Yasmine et al. Tumor Suppressor PTEN Regulates Negatively Sertoli Cell Proliferation, Testis Size, and Sperm Production In Vivo. In: Endocrinology, 2019, vol. 160, n° 2, p. 387–398. doi: 10.1210/en.2018-00892
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ISSN of the journal0013-7227

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