R. Paniagua, M. C. Rodríguez, M. Nistal
May 1, 1987
Journal of reproduction and fertility
The area occupied by Sertoli cell lipid inclusions--electron-lucent lipid vacuoles (LLV) and electron-dense lipid droplets (DLD)--at each stage of the cycle of the seminiferous epithelium was measured on electron micrographs in young adults and elderly men, and expressed as the ratio "area occupied by lipid inclusions/area occupied by the Sertoli cell cytoplasm". For LLV this ratio increased from stage I to stage III, and decreased from stage IV to stage VI in young adults. These results suggest that the development of LLV is synchronized with the spermatogenic process: the residual bodies released in stages I and II are phagocytized by Sertoli cells and transformed into LLV; the amounts of LLV decrease in the subsequent stages of the cycle and increase again when new residual bodies appear. In elderly men the ratio LLV/Sertoli cell cytoplasm was 1.9-2.9 times higher than in young adults at each stage of the cycle. This increase may be related to the increased germ-cell degeneration observed in ageing testes, DLD were less abundant than LLV and the DLD/Sertoli cell cytoplasm ratio did not undergo cyclic changes in young adults or elderly men.