, akin to Leydig cells
, are of crucial importance in sperm production
and release. They act as bridge cells between blood vessel
s and sperm
, providing nourishment to sperm cells.
Physiologically, Sertoli cells are shaped so that they almost entirely encompass sperm cells, allowing nourishment along their lengths. Sertoli cells are also responsible for ingesting extraneous, damaged, and residual matter. In addition to performing lysosomal activities that are part of the normal turnover process of damaged organelles, Sertoli cells digest degenerate sperm cells.