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The Sertoli cell is implicated centrally in spermatogenesis, organogenesis, male phenotypic development, and the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. The cytoskeletal architecture of the Sertoli cell, as in many other cells, consists of actin filaments, intermediate filaments, and microtubules. The interaction of adjoining Sertoli cells with each other and with the basement membrane is crucially important to the function of the Sertoli cell: tight junctions and adherens junctions between Sertoli cells allow for the creation of an immunologically privileged space within the seminiferous tubule. This barrier, created by Sertoli cells and the basement membrane, is known as the blood-testis barrier. This chapter provides a brief discussion spermiogenesis and spermiation. Sertoli cells in adult mammals exist as a terminally differentiated, postmitotic population. Regulation of the Sertoli cell in its function as "nurse cell" for developing spermatogenic cells is obviously multifaceted and complex.
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