Morphological changes in the rat sertoli cell induced by the microtubule poison carbendazim

Masaaki Nakai, Rex A. Hess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Early morphological changes in the rat Sertoli cell induced by the fungicide carbendazim (methyl-2-benzimidazole carbamate; MBC), a metabolite of benomyl, were examined. Adult rats were treated with single doses of MBC (400mg/kg) or vehicle and examined by light and electron microscopy at 3 hr post-treatment. Sloughing of elongating spermatid clusters was observed in all stages of spermatogenesis, except for Stages III-V. Cleavage occurred near the apical region of the seminiferous epithelium where cytoplasmic processes of the Sertoli cell surround the heads of elongating spermatids. The cleaved cytoplasm remained attached to the sloughed spermatids and ectoplasmic specializations remained undamaged. Intact microtubules were observed in the apical Sertoli cell cytoplasm (including sloughed tissues) but were decreased in the body region, where aggregates of mitochondria were found. Cytoplasm near the cleavage site exhibited rarefaction, which was associated with swollen cisternae of endoplasmic reticulum. It appears that the mechanism of germ cell sloughing induced by MBC treatment involves the disruption of microtubules in the body region of the Sertoli cell, the retraction of cytoplasmic organelles and the swelling of endoplasmic reticulum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)917-927
Number of pages11
JournalTissue and Cell
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1994


  • Fungicide
  • carbendazim
  • germ cell sloughing
  • microtubule poison
  • sertoli cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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