Macrophages Contribute to the Spermatogonial Niche in the Adult Testis.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The testis produces sperm throughout the male reproductive lifespan by balancing self-renewal and differentiation of spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs). Part of the SSC niche is thought to lie outside the seminiferous tubules of the testis; however, specific interstitial components of the niche that regulate spermatogonial divisions and differentiation remain undefined. We identified distinct populations of testicular macrophages, one of which lies on the surface of seminiferous tubules, in close apposition to areas of tubules enriched for undifferentiated spermatogonia. These macrophages express spermatogonial proliferation- and differentiation-inducing factors, such as colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF1) and enzymes involved in retinoic acid (RA) biosynthesis. We show that transient depletion of macrophages leads to a disruption in spermatogonial differentiation. These findings reveal an unexpected role for macrophages in the spermatogonial niche in the testis and raise the possibility that macrophages play previously unappreciated roles in stem/progenitor cell regulation in other tissues.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • DeFalco, T; Potter, SJ; Williams, AV; Waller, B; Kan, MJ; Capel, B

Published Date

  • August 18, 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 12 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 1107 - 1119

PubMed ID

  • 26257171

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4545310

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2211-1247

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.07.015


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States