Morphological and functional development of human Leydig cells
Leydig cells are located in the testis and produce the male sex hormone testosterone. This hormone is of the utmost importance for the development of the testis, male genital tract as well as brain sex. Testicular development in the human male foetus is initiated at a very early stage of metal life, around week 6 of gestation, when most women are not yet aware of the fact that they are pregnant. In the human male 3 phases of Leydig cell development have been identified, a fetal phase, neonatal and pubertal phase. In contrast to development of the fetal and postnatal populations of Leydig cells in the rodent testis, not much is known about the genes that play a role in the initiation of Leydig cell development in human males. In this lecture I have provided an overview of what we do know about the genes involved in the initiation and maturation of the different Leydig cell populations in the human male.
Link to relevant review I wrote that provides more detail: http://humupd.oxfordjournals.org.ezproxy.library.wur.nl/content/21/3/310.full.pdf+html