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The Art in Science

Product Image Heart of the Matter

Heart of the Matter

The patterning or organization of cells within a tissue is fundamental to cellular and tissue function. A wonderful example of this can be seen in a mammalian testis. This image of a mouse testis shows germ cells at different stages of development, housed within a seminiferous tubule of a testis. A cross section through this particular tubule is heart-shaped and shows spermatogonial stem cells in red at the periphery of the tubule and more mature spermatids in orange/gold towards the lumen (center area). This movement of maturing sperm cells from the periphery of the tubule inward towards the lumen is highly conserved across species, including humans. Malfunctions in tubule formation or sperm cell maturation perturbs this organization and leads to infertility.

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