Spermatogenesis in adult mammals is highly organized, with the goal being continual sperm production. Vertebrate testes are arranged into recurring cellular associations that vary with time and distance along the tubule. These changes over time and distance are designated the cycle of the seminiferous epithelium and the spermatogenic wave, respectively. In this Review, we briefly outline the roles that follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and testosterone play in regulating spermatogenesis and describe our current understanding of how vitamin A regulates germ cell differentiation and how it may lead to the generation of both the cycle of the seminiferous epithelium and the spermatogenic wave.
Cathryn A. Hogarth, Michael D. Griswold
Depiction of the spermatogenic wave.