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Leydig cell mitoses in human testes bearing early germ cell tumors

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Numerous mitoses were noted in testicular tissue from adult men with early germ cell tumors. More than 15 Leydig cells undergoing mitosis were found in the interstitial compartment. The presence of specific crystalline intracytoplasmatic inclusions demonstrated for the first time that differentiated Leydig cells are capable of proliferation. Occasionally cells are difficult to discriminate during mitosis. To establish reference criteria, the light- and electron-microscopic features of the following mitotic cells were examined: Leydig cells, fibroblasts, perivascular cells, peritubular cells, and lymphocytes. Supplementary mitoses in germ cell tumors and in a case of Leydig cell tumor were investigated. In the literature, only single reports of mitoses in Leydig cells are available. The frequent incidence of Leydig cell mitosis in early germ cell tumors may be due to the presence of growth-promoting factors in the testicular tissue.

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Correspondence to Dr. Heidrun Lauke.

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Lauke, H., Behrens, K. & Holstein, A. Leydig cell mitoses in human testes bearing early germ cell tumors. Cell Tissue Res. 255, 475–479 (1989).

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Key words

  • Leydig cells
  • Mitosis
  • Testis
  • Germ cell tumor
  • Man