Creatine synthesis in the seminiferous epithelium
The testis synthesizes creatine from both arginine and glycine precursors, but when rat testicular tissue is separated into seminiferous tubules and interstitial cells, creatine synthesis occurs only in the tubular fraction. The purpose of the work presented here was to define the locus of creatine synthesis within the seminiferous tubules, by using cell separation and culture techniques to examine synthesis in the Sertoli cells and germ cells. The total creatine content, in the cellular compartment and incubation medium, of Sertoli-germ cell co-cultures and of Sertoli cell-enriched cultures, largely free of germ cells, increased by similar amounts over a 24 h incubation period. Sertoli cell-enriched cultures incorporated radioactivity from L-[guanidino-14C]arginine and [1-14C]glycine into both creatine and its biosynthetic precursor, guanidinoacetic acid. Isolated germ cells did not incorporate radioactivity from L-[guanidino-14C]arginine into either creatine or guanidinoacetic acid when incubated at a similar density and protein concentration under similar conditions. It is concluded that the synthesis of creatine observed in isolated rat seminiferous tubules occurs within the Sertoli cells and not the germ cells.
Moore NP, Gray TJ, Timbrell JA. Creatine metabolism in the seminiferous epithelium of rats. I. Creatine synthesis by isolated and cultured cells. J Reprod Fertil. 1998;112(2):325-330. doi:10.1530/jrf.0.1120325