The immature rabbit testis: presence of two distinct populations of leydig cells


  • A.M. El-Sherbiny Ain Shams University
  • S.O. Amin Ain Shams University
  • C. Hernández Université de Caen
  • S. Carreau Université de Caen



In the immature rabbit testis (78 days), after a collagenase treatment (0.05 %), 20 min at 32ºC in Ham F12/DME medium and centrifugation of the crude testicular cell preparation obtained on a discontinuous Percoll gradient, we demonstrated the presence of two enriched Leydig cell populations (CLI: 47 % and CLII: 76 %) which viability is higher than 95 %. In basal conditions (Ham F12/DME medium, 5h at 32ºC), Leydig cells of CLI synthesize 3 fold more testosterone than Leydig cells of CLII (32 ± 4 and 9.5 ± 0.1 ng/1 os Leydig cells); in addition the cells of CLI are twice as much sensitive to hCG as these of CLII. After a preincubation of 20h followed by an additional incubation of 5h, a 3 fold increase of the testosterone outputs were recorded in both Leydig cell fractions. Taking into account the % of 3{3-HSD positive cells in each population, it is obvious that the Leydig cells of CLI are very potent steroidogenic secreting cells.


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