229 - Histology of the Male Reproductive System Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in 229 - Histology of the Male Reproductive System Deck (23)
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Where are mitochondria found in sperm cells?

Middle piece of the tail


What is the embryonic origin of spermatogonia?



Spermatogonia = immature sperm cells; they undergo mitotic expansion until it's time to start making sperm


What is the function of prostatic gland secretions in semen?

Liquifies the semen


List the stages in sperm development and the relevant changes at each step

  • Spermatogonia - under go mitosis
  • Primary spermatocytes - Meiosis I
  • Secondary spermatocytes  - Meiosis II
  • Spermatids - Acquire acrosome, mitochondria, shed cytoplasm
  • Spermatosoa - Released into seminiferous tubule lumen
    • In epididimis: gains motility - sperm are mature, but do not yet have capacity to fertilize (this happens in female tract)
    • Stored in the tail of the epididymis until ejaculation



Which cells in the testes perform phagocytosis?

Sertoli cells


Help get rid of sperms that die or are very abnormal


Beginning with the testes, list the sequence of structures that sperm travel through to get to the outside world

  • In testes:
    • Seminiferous tubules
    • Rete testis
    • Efferent ductules of the testis
  • Epididymis
  • Ductus deferens
  • Ejaculatory duct (in prostate gland)
  • Prostatic urethra
  • Membranous urrethra
  • Penile urethra 




Describe the key histological features of the prostate

Prostatic concretions = Hyaloid material that may be calcified


Also look for:

  • Pseudostratified columnar epithelium in glands
  • Fibromuscular tissue septa between glands



What is spermiation?

Release of mature sperm inot the lumen of the efferent ductules of the testes


What are the functions of Leydig and Sertoli cells?

  • Leydig cells
    • Produce testosterone


  • Sertoli cells = epithelium proper
    • Blood-testes barrier
    • Secrete androgen binding protein, AMH
    • Phagocytosis



Where do sperm acquire motility?

When do they become capable of fertilization?

Motility acquired in the epididymis (as spermatozoa)

Capacitation (the ability to fertilize an ovum) occurs in the female reproductive tract


What is the embryonic origin of sertoli cells?

Leydig cells?

Sertolic cells arise from primary sex cords

Leydig cells arise from mesenchyme


How long does spermatogenesis take?

74 days from spermatogonia -> spermiation

+ 12 days to swim through the epididymis

=> up to 3 months to see if an infertility tx works


Describe the process of sperm capacitation

Capacitation make sperm able to fertilize an ovum

  • Sperm bind to the zona pellucida surrounding an egg
  • -> Acrosome reaction: proteases and hyaluronidase from the sperm degrade the zona pellucida
  • This allows fusion of sperm and egg cell membranes
  • -> Sperm can now fertilize the egg

Triggers a cortical reaction in the egg: Granules released to provide cross-linding of molecules in the zona pellucida, depolarizes membrane


List 2 mechanisms that prevent more than 1 sperm from fertilizing an egg

As soon as 1 sperm enters:

  • Fast block: Depolarization of the ovum cell membrane
  • Slow block: hardening of the zona pellucida



Where in the prostate do most benign tumors occur?

Transition zone

Ex: BPH, urinary symptoms



Which zone of the prostate is considered "cancer resistant"?

Central zone


Which gland lubricates the urethra to prepare for ejaculation?

Bulbourethral gland


Which sperm-cell precursors undergo meiosis I?

Meiosis II?

Meiosis I: Primary spermatocytes

Meiosis II: Secondary spermatocytes


What is the function of the Pampiniform plexus of the testes?

Heat regulation

Acts as a countercurrent heat exchanger


Where in the prostate do most malignant tumors occur?

Peripheral zone


Which penile muscle contracts during ejaculation?


Innervated by pudendal nerve


Note: emission is under sympathetic control; moves sperm from tail of the epididymis to urethra


What kind of epithelium makes up the efferent ductules and the duct of the epididymis?

Pseudostratified columnar epithelium


True for most of the male system


What is the function of the seminal vesicles?

Sperm nutrition