Infertility pp 177-184 | Cite as

Male Reproductive Physiology

  • Ronald S. Swerdloff
  • Shalender Bhasin
Part of the Clinical Perspectives in Obstetrics and Gynecology book series (CPOG)


The human testis is an organ consisting of 2 related functional compartments: (1) the endocrine cells (Leydig or interstitial cells, and Sertoli cells), and (2) the germ cells (spermatozoa and sperm precursors). The Leydig, Sertoli, and germ cells are an anatomically and functionally integrated unit that affects normal reproductive function.


LUTEINIZING Hormone Sertoli Cell Leydig Cell Seminiferous Tubule Seminiferous Epithelium 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Barraclough CA, Wise PM. The role of catecholamines in the regulation of pituitary luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone secretion. Endocr Rev 1982; 3: 91–120.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Carmel PW, Arakis S, Ferin M. Pituitary stalk portal blood collection in rhesus monkeys: evidence for pulsatile release of gonadotropin leasing hormone (GnRH). Endocrinology 1976; 99: 243–248.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Belchetz PE, Plant TM, Nakai Y, Keogh EJ, Knobil E. Hypophysial response to continuous and intermittent delivery of hypothalamic gonadotropin-releasing hormone. Science 1978; 202: 631–633.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    LaBorde NP, Wolfsen AR, Odell WD. Short loop feedback system for the control of folliclestimulating hormone in the rabbit. Endocrinology 1981; 108: 72–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Catt KJ, Tsuruhara T, Mendelson C, Ketelslegers MJ, Dufau ML. Gonadotropin binding and activation of the interstitial cells of the testis. In: Dufau ML, Means AR, eds. Hormone binding and target cell activation in the testes. New York: Plenum Press, 1974: 1–30.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Tsuruhara T, Dufau ML, Cigurraga S, Catt KJ. Hormonal regulation of testicular LH receptors. Effects on cyclic AMP and testosterone responses in isolated Leydig cells. J Biol Chem 1977; 252: 9002–9009.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dufau ML, Tsuruhara T, Horner KA, Podesta EJ, Catt KJ. Intermediate role of cyclic AMP and protein kinase during gonadotropin induced steroidogenesis in testicular interstitial cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1977; 74: 3419–3423.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hall PF, Irby DC, deKretser DM. Conversion of cholesterol to androgens by rat testis. Comparison of interstitial cells and seminiferous tubules. Endocrinology 1967; 84: 488–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hafiez A, Bartke A, Lloyd CW. The role of prolactin in the regulation of testis function: the synergistic effects or prolactin and LH on the incorporation of 14C-acetate into testosterone and cholesterol by testis from hypophysectomized rats in vitro. J Endocrinol 1972; 53: 223–230.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Means AR, Fakunding JL, Huckins C, Tindall DJ, Vitale R. Follicle-stimulating hormone, the Sertoli cell, and spermatogenesis. Recent Prog Horm Res 1976; 32: 477–527.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Means AR, Dedman JR, Tindall DJ, Welsh MJ. Hormonal regulation of Sertoli cells. Int J Androl (Suppl 2) 1978; 2: 403–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lacroix M, Smith FE, Fritz IB. Secretion of plasminogen activator by Sertoli cell enriched cultures. Mol Cell Endocrinol 1977; 9: 227–236.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Krueger PM, Hodgen GD, Sherins RJ. New evidence or the role of Sertoli cell and spermatogonia in the feedback control of FSH secretion in male rats. Endocrinology 1974; 95: 955–962.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hansson VM, Ritzen EM, French FS, Nayfeh SN. Androgen transport and receptor mechanisms in the testis and epididymis. In: Greep RO, Astwood EB, Hamilton DW, eds. Handbook of Physiology. American Physiologic Society, Washington, D.C. 1975; 7: 173–201.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Van Damme MP, Robertson DM, Marana R, Ritzen EM, Diczfalusy E. A sensitive and specific in vitro bioassay method for the measurement of follicle-stimulating hormone activity.Acta Endocrinol 1979; 91: 224–237.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    LeBlond CP, Clermont Y. Definition of the stages of the cycle of the seminiferous epithelium in the rat. Ann NY Acad Sci 1952; 55: 548–573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Clermont Y. The cycle of the seminiferous epithelium in man. Am J Anat 1963; 112: 35 - 51.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gordeladze JO, Parvinen VM, Clausen OP, Hansson V. Stage dependent variation in Mn2+-sensitive adenylyl cyclase (AC) activity in spermatids and FSH sensitive AC in Sertoli cells. Arch Androl 1982; 8: 43–51.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ritzen EM, Boitani C, Parvinen M, French FC, Feldman M. Stage-dependent secretion of ABP by rat seminiferous tubules. Mol Cell Endocrinol 1982; 25: 25–33.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Lacroix M, Parvinen M, Fritz IB. Localization of testicular plasminogen activator in discrete portions (stages VII and VIII) of the seminiferous tubule. Biol Reprod 1982; 25: 143–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Steinberger E, Root A, Ficher M, Smith KD. The role of androgens in the initiation of spermatogenesis in man. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1973; 37: 746–751.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Steinberger E. Hormonal control of mammalian spermatogenesis. Physiol Rev 1972;51:1– 22.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Macleod J. The effects of urinary gonadotropin following hypophysectomy and in hypogonadotropic eunuchoidism. In: Rosemberg E, Paulsen CA, eds. The human testis. New York: Plenum Press, 1970: 577–590.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Sherins RJ, Winters SJ, Wachslicht H. Studies of the role of hCG and low dose FSH in initiating spermatogenesis in hypogandotropic men. Endocrine Society 1977:(Abs. P312 ): 212.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Parvinen M. Regulation of the seminiferous epithelium. Endocr Rev 1982; 3: 404 - 417.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Toren D, Menon KM, Forchielli E, Dorfman RI. In vitro enzymatic cleavage of the cholesterol side chain in rat testis preparations. Steroids 1974; 3: 381–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Van der Vusse GJ, Kalkman ML, Van der Molen HJ. Endogenous production of steroids by subcellular fractions from total rat testis and from isolated interstitial tissue and seminiferous tubules. Biochem Biophys Acta 193; 297: 179–185.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Yanaihara T, Troen P. Studies of the human testis I. Biosynthetic pathways for androgen formation in human testicular tissue in vitro. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1972; 34: 783–792.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Samuels LT, Bussmann L, Matsumoto K, Huseby RA. Organization of androgen biosynthesis in the testis. J Steroid Biochem 1975; 6: 291–296.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Peterson RE, Imperato-McGinley J, Gautier T,Sturla E. Male pseudohermaphroditism due to steroid 5 alpha-reductase deficiency. Am J Med 1977; 62: 170–191.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Chopra IJ, Tulchinsky D, Greenway FL. Estrogen-androgen imbalance in hepatic cirrhosis. Ann Intern Med 1973; 79: 198–203.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Hsu A-F, Troen P. An androgen-binding protein in the testicular cytosol of human testis. J Clin Invest 1978; 61: 1611–1619.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Rommerts FFG, Grootegold J A, Van der Molen HJ. Physiological role for androgen binding protein steroid complex in testis? Steroids 1976; 28: 43–49.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Rommerts FFG, Kruger-Sewnarain BC, Van Woerkom-Blik A., Grootegold J A, Van der Molen HJ. Secretion of proteins by Sertoli cell enriched cultures: effects of follicle stimulating hormone, dibutyryl and testosterone and correlation with secretion of estradiol and androgen binding protein. Mol Cell Endocrinol 1978; 10: 39–55.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Liao S. Cellular receptors and mechanisms of action of steroid hormones. Int Rev Cytol 1975; 41: 87–172.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Wilson J. Metabolism of testicular androgens. In: Hamilton DW, Greep RO, eds. Handbook of Endocrinology. American Physiological Society, Washington, D.C., 1975; 5: 491–508.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Verhoeven G, Heyns W, DeMoor P. Testosterone receptors in the prostate and other tissues. Vitam Horm 1975; 33: 265–281.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Ohno S. Major regulatory genes for mammalian sexual development. Cell 1976;7:315v321.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Inano H, Tamaok6i B. Bioconversion of steroids in immature rat testes in vitro. Endocrinology 1966; 79: 579–590.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Brophy PJ, Gower DB. Studies on the inhibition by 5-alpha-pregnane 3,20-dione of the biosynthesis of 16-androstenes and dehydroepiandrosterone in boar testis preparations. Biochem Biophys Acta 1974; 360: 252–259.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Payne AH. Gonadal steroid sulfates and sulfatase V. Human testicular steroid sulfatase. Partial characterization and possible regulation by free steroid. Biochem Biophys Acta 1972; 258: 473–483.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Aoki A, Fawcett DW. Is there a local feedback from the seminiferous tubules affecting activity of the Leydig cell? Biol Reprod 1978; 19: 144–158.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Dufau ML, Hsueh AJ, Cigorraga S, Baukal AJ, Catt KL. Inhibition of Leydig cell function through hormonal regulatory mechanism. Int J Androl (Suppl 2) 1978; 2: 193–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Hsueh AJ, Dufau M, Catt KJ. Inhibitory effects of estrogen on Leydig cells function: studies of FSH treated hypophysectomized rat. Endocrinology 1978; 103: 1069–1102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Mulder E, Van Beurden-Lamers WMO, De-Boer W, Brinkman AO, Van der Molen HJ.Testicular estradiol receptors in the rat. In: Dufau ML, Means AR, eds. Hormone binding and target cell activation in the testis. New York: Plenum Press, 1974: 343–355.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Sharpe RM, Fraser HM, Cooper I, Rommerts FFG. Sertoli-Leydig cell communication via an LHRH-like factor. Nature 1982; 290: 785–787.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Bhasin S, Heber D, Peterson M, et al. Partial isolation and characterization of testicular GnRH-like factors. Endocrinology 1983; 112: 1144–1146.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Winters SJ, Janick JJ, Loriaux DL, Sherins RJ. Studies on the role of sex steroids in the feedback control of gonadotropin concentrations in men. II. Use of the estrogen antagonistclomiphene citrate. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1979; 48: 222–227.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Santen RJ. Is aromatization of testosterone to estradiol required for inhibition of LH secretion in men? J Clin Invest 1975; 56: 1555–1563.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Swerdloff RS, Walsh PC, Odell WD. Control of LH and FSH secretion in the male: evidence that aromatization of androgens to estradiol is not required for inhibition of gonadotropin secretion. Steroids 1972; 20: 13–18.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Martini L. The 5 alpha-reduction of testosterone in the neuroendocrine structures. Biochemical and physiological implications. Endocr Rev 1982; 3: 1–25.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    McCullagh DR. Dual endocrine activity of the testis. Science 1932; 76: 19–21.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Baker HWG, Bremner WJ, Burger HG, et al. Testicular control of follicle-stimulating hormone secretion. Recent Prog Horm Res 1976; 32: 429–476.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Franchimont P, Chari S, Hagelstein MT, Duraiswami S. Existence of a follicle-stimulating hormone inhibiting factor “inhibin” in bull seminal plasma. Nature 1975; 257: 402–404CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald S. Swerdloff
  • Shalender Bhasin

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations