Leydig’s Cells vs. Sertoli Cells: What's the Difference?

Key Difference

Leydig cells and Sertoli cells are cells found in the testicles of animals (human). Though they are found in same part, even then they are totally different from each other and have different structure and function. Leydig cells are also known as interstitial cells of Leydig; these cells are found in the testicle just adjacent to the seminiferous tubules. The major function of these cells is to produce testosterone in males in the presence of luteinizing hormone (LH), whereas Sertoli cells are a kind of somatic cells which provide support to the tubules in which spermatids get mature. Sertoli cells also secrete androgen-binding protein in the lumen of tubules under the action of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).

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Comparison Chart

Leydig’s Cells Sertoli Cells
Location Leydig cells are found in the testicle just adjacent to the seminiferous tubules. Sertoli cells are situated in seminiferous tubules.
Groups or Single Leydig cells are found in small groups. Sertoli cells are found single not in groups.
Produces Leydig cells produce testosterone in the presence of luteinizing hormone (LH). Sertoli cells secrete androgen-binding protein in the lumen of tubules under the action of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).
Shape Leydig cells are large cells with a prominent nucleus; they are polyhedral in shape. Sertoli cells are elongated cells.
Main Function The major role of Leydig’s cells is to produce testosterone. Sertoli cells have a major function in support.
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What are Leydig’s Cells?

Leydig’s cells are also known as interstitial cells of Leydig. These cells are found in the seminiferous tubules in testicles. They form small groups of round shape. They are the key cells of testicles, and it produces testosterone in the presence of luteinizing hormone (LH). Leydig cells are large cells with a prominent nucleus, they are polyhedral in shape and have numerous lipid-filled vesicles. They also contain a large amount of smooth endoplasmic reticulum. Leydig cells have the main contribution in the secretions of hormones; it secretes a class of hormone called androgens. These all hormones are 19 carbon steroids.  It should be kept noted here that these all hormones are only secreted when Leydig’s cells are stimulated by luteinizing hormone (LH).

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What are Sertoli Cells?

Sertoli cells are also known as “nurse” cell of the testicle. Sertoli cells are a kind of somatic cells which provide support to the tubules in which spermatids get mature. They are found single not in groups; these cells are situated in seminiferous tubules. These cells are activated by follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). The cell membrane of Sertoli cells has FSH receptor, on which FSH is attached and activates them. Sertoli cells form blood-testis barrier that plays a key role in the protection of tubules in the testicle. They also provide an entry gate for nutrients and hormone transport in between blood and tubules. Sertoli cells help in the process of spermatogenesis (production of sperm). Sertoli cells act like a phagocytic cell and consume all the excess cytoplasm in the process of spermatogenesis. They also secrete Androgen binding protein, Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) in fetal life, Aromatase Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and ERM transcription factor.

Leydig’s Cells vs. Sertoli Cells

  • Leydig cells are found in the testicle just adjacent to the seminiferous tubules, while Sertoli cells are situated in seminiferous
  • Leydig cells are found in small groups, whereas Sertoli cells are found single not in groups.
  • Leydig cells produce testosterone in the presence of luteinizing hormone (LH), on the other hand, Sertoli cells secrete androgen-binding protein in the lumen of tubules under the action of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).
  • Leydig cells are large cells with a prominent nucleus; they are polyhedral in shape whereas, Sertoli cells are elongated cells.
  • The major role of Leydig’s cells is to produce testosterone, whereas Sertoli cells have a major function in support.

Explanatory Video

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