JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Stem Leydig cells: from fetal to aged animals

Haolin Chen, Erin Stanley, Shiying Jin, Barry R Zirkin
Birth Defects Research. Part C, Embryo Today: Reviews 2010, 90 (4): 272-83
21181888
Leydig cells are the testosterone-producing cells of the testis. The adult Leydig cell (ALC) population ultimately develops from undifferentiated mesenchymal-like stem cells present in the interstitial compartment of the neonatal testis. Distinct stages of ALC development have been identified and characterized. These include stem Leydig cells (SLCs), progenitor Leydig cells, immature Leydig cells, and ALCs. This review describes our current understanding of the SLCs in the fetal, prenatal, peripubertal, adult, and aged rat testis, as well as recent studies of the differentiation of steroidogenic cells from the stem cells of other organs.

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