Sertoli cells are regulated by follicular stimulating hormone (FSH) and testosterone secreted by the pituitary gland and Leydig cells, respectively. However, the expression of the FSH receptor and androgen receptor were undetectable in both primary cultured Sertoli cells and Sertoli cell lines immortalized by SV40 large T antigen. Two Sertoli cell lines, B6Sc-2 and B6Sc-3, were established from the testis of 19-day-old C57BL/6 mice testis by immortalization with human telomere reverse transcriptase. These Sertoli cell lines expressed FSH receptors and the total phosphoprotein patterns were converted after FSH treatment. Additionally, immunological methods demonstrated that these cell lines expressed characteristic Sertoli cell proteins, such as tyrosine-tubulin, vimentin and stem cell factor (SCF). Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) also indicates that they express Sertoli specific mRNAs, such as Amh, claudin11 and ZO-1. The expression of the androgen receptor in both B6Sc-2 and B6Sc-3 cells could be induced by TNF-α treatment. The present results indicate that these Sertoli cell lines are more native than others and may thus provide useful tools for in vitro studies.

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