Testicular peritubular and prostatic stromal cells produce extracellular matrix elements and paracrine factors that modulate the cytodifferentiation and function of the corresponding epithelial cells. The present paper describes the establishment and characterization of five rat testicular cell lines with peritubular characteristics and one prostatic stromal cell line. Four peritubular cell lines were isolated after transfection of a mixed peritubular-Sertoli cell culture with a v-myc-containing plasmid. The same immortalization procedure applied to prostatic stromal cells yielded one cell line. An additional testicular cell line arose by spontaneous immortalization during serial subculture. Except for one testicular cell line (RTC-8T1), the morphology of all of the immortalized cell lines strongly resembled that of primary cultures of peritubular and stromal cells. Flow cytometric analysis demonstrated that all cell lines scored positive for alpha-smooth muscle isoactin and negative for cytokeratins, confirming their myofibroblast-like nature. None of the cell lines, however, stained positive for alkaline phosphatase, and androgen receptor expression was also lost. Typical Leydig cell characteristics, such as steroidogenesis, and Sertoli cell markers, such as transferrin secretion, were absent. Coculture of the cell lines with Sertoli cells resulted in the formation of tubular structures. A cell attachment assay and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for fibronectin confirmed the production of extracellular matrix elements by all of the established cell lines. Media conditioned by the cell lines stimulated Sertoli cell transferrin production. The active principle was partially purified and resembled the P-MOD-S-like factors produced by primary cultures of peritubular and stromal cells. It is concluded that the immortalized cell lines have retained several of the characteristics of primary cultures of peritubular and stromal cells and may be useful for further studies on mesenchymal-epithelial interactions in testis and prostate.