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Intermediate filaments in Sertoli cells : distribution and possible function

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Title: Intermediate filaments in Sertoli cells : distribution and possible function
Author: Amlani, Shahira R.
Degree: Master of Science - MSc
Program: Anatomy
Copyright Date: 1987
Subject Keywords Sertoli cells
Issue Date: 2010-08-25
Publisher University of British Columbia
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]
Abstract: The distribution of vimentin intermediate filaments in Sertoli cells during spermatogenesis was observed with immunofluorescence, and was confirmed with electron microscopy. The distribution of vimentin filaments within Sertoli cells changes with changes in the germ cell population. At stages where elongate spermatids reside in crypts located deep within the seminiferous epithelium, groups of eight to twelve intermediate filaments were consistently found at the convex surface of the spermatid heads. Here the filaments are in close association with ectoplasmic specializations. At later stages of spermatogenesis, intermediate filaments are not found in crypt areas. Because of their association with particular stages of developing germ cells, intermediate filaments in Sertoli cells may be involved in the attachment and positioning of developing germ cells within the seminiferous epithelium. Intermedate filaments in general are thought to be involved in anchoring the nucleus and cytoplasmic organelles within a cell. In order to test this hypothesis, acrylamide, a specific perturbant of intermediate filaments in vitro, was perfused through rat and ground squirrel testes in order to perturbate the intermediate filament system within Sertoli cells. No effects of acrylamide on intermediate filaments were observed in vivo at either the light microscopic or ultrastructural level. However, toxic effects were observed upon treatment with high concentrations of acrylamide, indicating that Sertoli cells and associated germ cells were indeed exposed to the perturbant. Based on these studies, one can conclude that: (1) vimentin filaments in Sertoli cells change their distribution during spermatogenesis; (2) vimentin filaments are closely associated with specific stages of developing germ cells, and may be involved in the positioning and attachment of these cells to Sertoli cells within the seminiferous epithelium, and (3) acrylamide has no effect on vimentin filaments in Sertoli cells in vivo.
Affiliation: Medicine, Faculty of
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/27790
Scholarly Level: Graduate

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