Sertoli cell maturation in men with azoospermia of different etiologies

Batia Bar Shira Maymon*, Leah Yogev, Gedalia Paz, Sandra E. Kleiman, Letizia Schreiber, Amnon Botchan, Ron Hauser, Haim Yavetz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the involvement of Sertoli cell in different spermatogenic disorders. Design: Retrospective case-control study. Setting: Teaching hospital. Patient(s): Azoospermic men who underwent testicular biopsy for sperm recovery in preparation for intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Intervention(s): Testicular biopsy evaluation by quantitative immunohistochemistry for the immature Sertoli cell markers anti-Müllerian hormone and cytokeratin 18 (CK-18). Main Outcome Measure(s): Relative area of immature Sertoli cells in testes with focal spermatogenesis, spermatocyte maturation arrest, or normal spermatogenesis. Result(s): The relative area occupied by immature Sertoli cells, as revealed by anti-Müllerian hormone and CK-18 expression, was highest in the 11 men with focal spermatogenesis. In the group representing normal spermatogenesis (obstructive azoospermia, 6 men) and in the group characterized by spermatocyte maturation arrest (6 men), the areas occupied by anti-Müllerian hormone- and CK-18-positive cells were minimal. Conclusion(s): Different etiologies underlie the spermatogenic disorders reported in this study. In focal spermatogenesis with high anti-Müllerian hormone and CK-18 expression, the spermatogenic impairment is associated with the presence of immature Sertoli cells. The detection of normal mature Sertoli cells in the spermatocyte maturation arrest group indicates that the spermatogenic defect that is accompanied by an impairment of meiosis is intrinsic to the germ line without affecting Sertoli cell differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)904-909
Number of pages6
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
Leo Mintz Fund of Tel Aviv University


    • Anti-Müllerian hormone
    • Cytokeratin-18
    • Nonobstructive azoospermia
    • Pairing impairment
    • Sertoli cells


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