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Experimental Sertoli cell tumors in the mouse and their progression into a mixed germ cell-sex cord proliferation.

  • V. Paquis-Flucklinger
  • M. Rassoulzadegan
  • J. F. Michiels
Publication Date
Mar 01, 1994
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Males of transgenic families where the large T protein of polyoma virus is expressed in the seminiferous epithelium of the testis (Sertoli and germ cells) develop bilateral testicular tumors when they become old (15 to 18 months). The histological features of these tumors revealed a neoplastic proliferation of Sertoli cell origin. Occasional isolated germ cells arrested at premeiotic stages were seen in the tumor. They did not participate in tumoral proliferation and their malignant character could not at first be established. Tumor cells injected in athymic (nu/nu) mice generated secondary tumors. In this case, a proliferative component of non-Sertoli origin was clearly evident. Its ultrastructural characteristics and the expression of genes that are transcribed in vivo in male germ cells (c-kit, LDH-X, and Hox a-4) suggest the progression of an initial, apparently pure Sertoli cell tumor into a mixed proliferation.


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