Mutations in the human DAX-1 gene lead to X-linked adrenal hypoplasia congenita and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. DAX-1 has been proposed to play a role in steroidogenesis because it is highly expressed in adrenocortical and testicular Leydig cells and because loss-of-function mutations lead to low serum levels of steroid hormones. Recent reports of DAX-1 expression in hypothalamus and pituitary, however, suggest additional functions for this protein. Here we demonstrate that DAX-1 is expressed in Sertoli cells of rat testis. This expression is regulated during spermatogenesis and peaks during the androgen-sensitive phase of the spermatogenic cycle. In addition, we show that DAX-1 expression in Sertoli cells is regulated developmentally. Maximum levels are present in the rat between postnatal days 20 and 30, during the first spermatogenic wave. Moreover, we show that activation of the cAMP-signaling pathway by the pituitary hormone FSH leads to a potent down-regulation of DAX-1 expression in cultured Sertoli cells. This down-regulation requires transcription and de novo protein synthesis. Taken together, these data indicate that DAX-1 expression in Sertoli cells may influence the development of spermatogenic cells in response to steroid and pituitary hormones.