Enrico Sertoli

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Enrico Sertoli

Enrico Sertoli (June 6, 1842 – January 28, 1910) was an Italian physiologist and histologist who was a native of Sondrio.

He studied medicine at the University of Pavia, where one of his instructors was physiologist Eusebio Oehl (1827-1903). He continued his studies of physiology in Vienna under Ernst Wilhelm von Brücke (1819-1892), and in Tübingen with Felix Hoppe-Seyler (1825-1895). From 1870 until 1907, Sertoli was a professor of anatomy and physiology at the Royal School of veterinary medicine in Milan, and after 1907, he worked as a professor of physiology. In Milan he founded the laboratory of experimental physiology.

Sertoli is remembered for his 1865 discovery of the eponymous Sertoli cell. These cells line the tubuli seminiferi contorti of the testis, and provide nourishment and support for developing sperm.


  • Dell’esistenza di particolari cellule ramificate nei canalicoli seminiferi del testicolo umano. Morgagni, (1865), 7: 31-40.
  • Osservazioni sulla struttura dei canalicoli seiminiferi del testicolo. Gazzetta medica lombarda, Milano, (1871), 4 d.s. 6: 413-415.
  • Sulla struttura dei canalicoli seiminiferi del testicolo studiata in rapporto allo sviluppo dei nemaspermi. Gazzetta medica lombarda, Milano, (1875), 2 d.s.: 401-403.