Nurse cell


noun, plural: nurse cells

An accessory cell to a developing germ cell.


Example of nurse cells are Sertoli cells whose functions in spermatogenesis are crucial. They nurture the developing spermatids by providing structural and metabolic support. They secrete important substances such as androgen-binding protein that concentrates testosterone in close proximity to the developing germ cells. They also help in maintaining an environment necessary for development and maturation with their tight junctions acting as blood-testis barrier. That is why they are being referred to as nurse cells.

See also: spermiation

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