Giovanni Luca*, Tiziano Baroni, Iva Arato, Barbara C. Hansen, D. F. Cameron and Riccardo Calafiore Pages 440 - 445 ( 6 )
Background: Sertoli cell, over the past 30 years, have been elevated from simple mechanical elements to the rank of a "sentinel" in spermatogenesis. By delivering potent immunomodulatory and trophic proteins, Sertoli cells are unique cell type with a pivotal role in maintaining testis immune privilege and the immune-protection of the antigenic germ cells.
Conclusions: The findings from SC transplantation studies utilizing experimental animal models of disease, demonstrate the presence of the same immuno-modulation properties and mechanisms at tissue and organ sites far from testis. The complex pathways that generate and maintain the immune tolerance involve the production of several immunomodulatory or immune-related proteins such as cytokines, chemokines, growth factors, mediators of the inflammation, complement inhibitors or adhesion molecules.
A better definition and understanding of these Sertoli cell proteins and the mechanisms of immunoprotection should help to elucidate their role in the spermatogenic process. The demonstration of their capabilities in transplantation experiments suggests that Sertoli cells may be good candidates in cell therapy for a number of cell-mediated chronic diseases.
Sertoli cell, testis, blood-testis barrier, cytokine, immune privilege, immunotherapy.
Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Perugia, Perugia, Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Perugia, Perugia, Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Perugia, Perugia, Department of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, Department of Medicine, University of Perugia, Perugia