Abstract

In 1865, Enrico Sertoli, at the age of 23, published an article in his own name entitled: “About the existence of special branched cells in the seminiferous tubules of the human testis”. These were Sertoli’s ideal cells; in this paper he arrived at a perspicacious description of the morphology and function of these cells and in the subsequent articles he investigated the topic of spermatogenesis. Despite the importance of Sertoli’s discovery, the attention of the scientific literature remained very limited after Sertoli’s death for half a century and the partial eclipse finished only in the 1970s of the twentieth century.