Biology

Difference between Leydig cells and Sertoli cells

Main difference

Leydig cells and Sertoli cells are cells found in the testes of animals (humans). Although they are in the same part, even then they are totally different from each other and have a different structure and function. Leydig cells are also known as interstitial Leydig cells; These cells are found in the testicle just next to the seminiferous tubules. The main function of these cells is to produce testosterone in males in the presence of luteinizing hormone (LH), while Sertoli cells are a type of somatic cells that support the tubules in which spermatids mature. Sertoli also secrete androgen-binding proteins into the lumen of the tubules under the action of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).

Comparative chart

Leydig cells Sertoli cells
Location Leydig cells are found in the testis adjacent to the seminiferous tubules. Sertoli cells are located in seminiferous tubules.
Groups or Individual Leydig cells are found in small groups. Sertoli cells are found alone, not in groups.
Produces Leydig cells produce testosterone in the presence of luteinizing hormone (LH). Sertoli cells secrete androgen-binding proteins into the lumen of the tubules under the action of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
Shape Leydig cells are large cells with a prominent nucleus; they have a polyhedral shape. Sertoli cells are elongated cells.
Principal function The main role of Leydig cells is to produce testosterone. Sertoli cells have a primary supportive function.
What are Leydig cells?

Leydig cells are also known as interstitial Leydig cells. These cells are found in the seminiferous tubules of the testes. They form small groups of round shape. They are the key cells of the testes and produce testosterone in the presence of luteinizing hormone (LH). Leydig cells are large cells with a prominent nucleus, polyhedral in shape, and numerous lipid-filled vesicles. They also contain a large amount of smooth endoplasmic reticulum. Leydig cells have the main contribution to hormone secretion; secretes a class of hormones called androgens. All of these hormones are 19-carbon steroids. It should be noted here that these hormones are only secreted when Leydig cells are stimulated by luteinizing hormone (LH).

What are Sertoli cells?

Sertoli cells are also known as testicular “nurse” cells. Sertoli cells are a type of somatic cell that support the tubules in which spermatids mature. They are found alone, not in groups; these cells are located in seminiferous tubules. These cells are activated by follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). The cell membrane of Sertoli cells has a receptor for FSH, in which FSH binds and activates them. Sertoli cells form a blood-testicular barrier that plays a key role in protecting the tubules in the testicle. They also provide a gateway for the transport of nutrients and hormones between the blood and the tubules. Sertoli cells help in the process of spermatogenesis (sperm production).

Leydig cells vs. Sertoli cells
  • Leydig cells are found in the testis just next to the seminiferous tubules, while Sertoli cells are located in the seminiferous ones.
  • Leydig cells are found in small groups, while Sertoli cells are found alone, not in groups.
  • Leydig cells produce testosterone in the presence of luteinizing hormone (LH), on the other hand, Sertoli cells secrete androgen-binding proteins into the lumen of the tubules under the action of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
  • Leydig cells are large cells with a prominent nucleus; They are polyhedral in shape, while Sertoli cells are elongated cells.
  • The main role of Leydig cells is to produce testosterone, while Sertoli cells have a main supporting function.

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