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《Acta Biologiae Experimentalis Sinica》 1988-01
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THE AUTOPHAGIC ACTIVITY OF LEYDIG CELLS IN THE NORMAL RAT TESTES

Tang Xue-ming (Shanghai Second Medical University)  
The present work presents observations on the lysosomes of Leydig cells in the normal rats.These data revealed that Leydig cells have a well-developed Golgi apparatus and GERL system,which produce a considerable amounts of lysosomes.These lysosomes are involved in the autophagic activity in the Leydig cells. The autophagosomes and autophagic va-cuoles are prominent in many Leydig cells.The autophagosomes are CMPase negative,whereas the autophagic vacuoles show positive reaction for CMPase.They appear as membrane bor-dered vacuoles containing smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER) and/or mitochondria.The membranes surrounding forming autophagoso- mes are probably derived from SER and Golgi saccules.A series of structural changes of en-closed elements can be seen in different auto-phagic vacuoles.The CMPase activity in these vacuoles indicated that the lysosomes are in-volved in this process.These organelles enclosed in autophagic vacuoles are digested by lysosomal enzymes and in this way transform into resi-dual bodies. Considering the fact that most of the organelles enclosed in the autophagic vacuoles are SER and mitochondria which play an important role in the production of androgens,it appears that the autophagic activity might relate to the regulation of hormone-secreting in Leydig cells.
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