Question Video: Identifying the Testosterone Secreting Cell in the Seminiferous Tubules of the Testes | Nagwa Question Video: Identifying the Testosterone Secreting Cell in the Seminiferous Tubules of the Testes | Nagwa

Question Video: Identifying the Testosterone Secreting Cell in the Seminiferous Tubules of the Testes Biology

The figure shows a drawing of a cross section of the seminiferous tubules in the testes. Identify the cell that secretes testosterone.

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Video Transcript

The figure shows a drawing of a cross section of the seminiferous tubules in the testes. Identify the cell that secretes testosterone.

The seminiferous tubules, one of which is represented as the large circular structure in the center of this diagram, make up the bulk of the testes in human biological males and are the location of sperm production. We can also see the edges of two other seminiferous tubules on the left of the diagram here.

Sperm production is often called spermatogenesis. Spermatogenesis functions to convert diploid primary germ cells into haploid mature sperm cells. It involves a special type of cell division called meiosis that halves the number of chromosomes in a cell. You may recall that a diploid cell has two sets of chromosomes like most other body cells and is often represented as 2n. Haploid cells that are produced through meiosis, on the other hand, have half this number of chromosomes, only a single set, often represented as n.

The mature sperm cells that are the final product of spermatogenesis are haploid gametes. If they fuse together with another haploid gamete, the egg cell in fertilization, this will form a diploid zygote with a full set of chromosomes ready to develop into a fully formed human.

Let’s have a go at labelling some of the cells that we can see within and surrounding the seminiferous tubule in the center of the diagram. In the middle of each seminiferous tubule is a space called the lumen. The seminiferous tubules of a biological male who has begun puberty tell us a story of sperm production, as we can see sperm cells at most different stages of development that follow the initial primary germ cell stage.

The cells that are eventually produced from these primary germ cells in the first stage of spermatogenesis just after the birth of the biological male are found furthest from the lumen and are called spermatogonia, or a singular spermatogonium. These cells are still diploid, as they are produced through mitosis and have not yet entered meiosis. The spermatogonia do eventually go through meiosis, the final product of which are haploid spermatids, located closer to the lumen of the seminiferous tubule. The spermatids then differentiate into haploid mature sperm cells that can be released into the lumen. This completes the process of spermatogenesis.

The seminiferous tubules also contain Sertoli cells. One of the functions of Sertoli cells is to secrete fluids to nourish and support the developing sperm cells. Interstitial cells can be located in various regions of the body between the functional cells of any particular tissue. For example, some interstitial cells are interspersed between the seminiferous tubules and the testes. A specific example of interstitial cells that are found in the testes are called Leydig cells. Leydig cells are responsible for producing and secreting the hormone testosterone. Testosterone plays an important role in the completion of meiosis in spermatogenesis and various other processes that aid it, such as the fluid secretion from the Sertoli cells.

Therefore, the cell that secretes testosterone is an interstitial cell, which is labeled (E).

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