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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Specific Staining of Sertoli Cell Nuclei and Evaluation of Sertoli Cell Number and Proliferative Activity in Meishan and White Composite Boars During the Neonatal Period

Authors
item McCoard, Susan
item Lunstra, Donald
item Wise, Thomas
item Ford, Johny

Submitted to: Biology of Reproduction
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 3, 2000
Publication Date: February 1, 2001
Citation: Mccoard, S.A., Lunstra, D.D., Wise, T.H., Ford, J.J. 2001. Specific staining of sertoli cell nuclei and evaluation of sertoli cell number and proliferative activity in Meishan and white composite boars during the neonatal period. Biology of Reproduction. 64(2):689-695.

Interpretive Summary: The number of Sertoli cells determines subsequent testicular size and capacity to produce sperm emphasizing the importance of determining factors involved in the regulation of Sertoli cell population. The objective of this study was to characterize a marker for Sertoli cells and to determine the importance of the early neonatal period for the establishment of adult testicular size. The transcription factor GATA-4 was expressed in Sertoli cell nuclei, but not germ cells, throughout all stages of development and thus is a useful marker of Sertoli cells. Testicular size and Sertoli cell number did not differ between breeds at birth. However, by 14 days of age White Composite (WC) boars had significantly larger testes and more Sertoli cells compared to Meishan (MS) boars, thus emphasizing the importance of this early postnatal period for the establishment of the Sertoli cell population. Due to the increase in sperm production with increased testicular size, coupled with the rapid expansion of artificial insemination by the US swine producers, it is of considerable economic relevance to understand the mechanisms that establish testicular size and sperm production in boars.

Technical Abstract: The positive relationship between Sertoli cell number and testicular size emphasizes the importance of determining factors involved in the regulation of the Sertoli cell population. The objective of this study was to characterize a marker for Sertoli cells and to determine the importance of the early neonatal period for the establishment of adult testicular size. The transcription factor GATA-4 was specifically expressed in Sertoli cell nuclei, but not germ cells, throughout fetal, prepubertal and adult stages of development and thus is a useful marker for the identification and enumeration of Sertoli cells. Testicular size and Sertoli cell number did not differ between breeds on day 1 postpartum (dpp), but by 14 dpp White Composite (WC) boars had significantly larger testes and more Sertoli cells compared to Meishan (MS) boars. However, the proportion of proliferating Sertoli cells was almost 50% less in WC than MS boars at 14 dpp, indicating that rapid rates of Sertoli cell proliferation probably occurred prior to 14 dpp in the WC boars. Collectively, these results illustrate that the relationship between testicular size and Sertoli cell number is manifested very early in the neonatal period for these two breeds, emphasizing the importance of this stage of development for the establishment of the Sertoli cell population and subsequent testicular size.

Last Modified: 9/22/2014
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