A novel Sry-downstream cellular event which preserves the readily available energy source of glycogen in mouse sex differentiation.
Involvement of actin filaments in mouse fetal testicular differentiation was examined in vivo and in vitro. During testicular cord formation in vivo, actin filaments accumulated in the basal cytoplasm of Sertoli cells. Addition of cytochalasin D (CD) to organ cultures of undifferentiated gonadal primordia significantly inhibited testicular cord formation. In brief, treatment with 25 ng/ml CD induced the formation of slender testicular cords, and treatment with 50 ng/ml largely inhibited cord formation in the explants. However, development and growth of the testicular parenchyma and Leydig cell differentiation occurred in the presence of CD. By electron microscopic and immunohistochemical examinations, it became clear that CD also affected formation of the basal lamina and accumulation of vimentin filaments in Sertoli cells. On the other hand, treatment with colcemid at 12.5 or 15 ng/ml prevented growth of the testicular parenchyma and development of interstitial regions. Interestingly, testicular cords formed under this condition. These results indicate that the basal actin filaments of Sertoli cells may play an important role in testicular cord formation, especially Sertoli cell polarization. Cell mitosis and/or microtubules, on the other hand, may not be directly involved in this process.