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Flashcards in Male reproductive Deck (63):

Describe the relationship of the testes and scrotum

- testes are within the scrotum which allows them to reside outside of the body and be kept at a lower temperature which is required for sperm production


describe the descending of the testes

- occurs prior to birth
- they originate near the kidneys and move down through the abdominal cavity into the scrotum
- by 4 months of pregnancy, they have moved to the inguinal rings and are pulled downward by contraction of the gubernaculum.
- by 8 months they have almost completed their descent


inguinal rings

openings in the body wall that provide access to scrotal sac



fibrous gland whose contraction pulls the testes down


tunica albuginea

-fibrous capsule covering the testes composed of mainly collagen with large blood vessels
-contains both fibroblasts and myofibroblasts
- septa extend from it inward and divide the testes into ~250 lobules



contractile and subjects the seminiferous tubules to rhythmic contractions


seminiferous tubules

- produce sperm which is collected by a network of ducts and carried out of the testes by efferent ductules
- they are coiled within the interior of the testes within each lobule
- there are 1-4 in each lobule



- efferent ductules connect to this
- proximal, highly coiled region of the sperm duct


ductus deferens

the sperm duct


vas deferens

the sperm duct



- production of sperm from undifferentiated cells called spermatogonia
- occurs within the tubule wall of the seminiferous tubules


describe spermatogenesis

Spermatogonia are located at the periphery of the seminiferous tubules and undergo repeated mitotic division to assure continuous supply of sperm. They will eventually enter meisos and begin moving toward the tubule lumen. When finished they are haploid and called spermatids. They are located within the inner surface of the tubule wall and project into the lumen. They must still undergo morphological changes to become sperm or spermatozoa.


where are spermatogonia at the beginning of spematogeneis?

near the tubule periphery


where are spermatognia at the end of spermatogenesis?

near the tubule lumen



haploid cells formed by meiosis during spermatogenesis. Must still undergo morphological changes prior to becoming sperm



the end product of spermatogenesis


Sertoli cells

- support and nourish the developing sperm
a. Partially enclose developing sperm and move them toward the tubule lumen
b. They mediate the exchange of nutrients
c. Secrete factors that mediate spermatogenesis
d. Secrete fluid into the tubule lumen
c. Phagocytosis of discarded sperm cytoplasm


Describe the factors secreted by Sertoli cells that impact spermatogenesis

-androgen binding protein
-traps testosterone within the epithelium
-it is required to initiate and maintain spermatogenesis



formation of mature sperm


process of spermiogenesis

1. Chromatin within the nucleus becomes very compact and the nucleus decreases in size
2. The nucleus then assumes a thin pointed shape which streamlines the sperm to facilitate swimming
3. Most organelles degenerate
4. Mitochondria remain and become localized within the middle piece of mature sperm – provide ATP needed for swimming
5. Flagellum begins to grow from the centriole located behind the nucleus forming a long tail in the mature sperm
6. Most of the cell cytoplasm is shed
7. The streamlined sperm is released into the lumen of the seminiferous tubule


Leydig cells

i. Secrete testosterone
ii. Lie within the connective tissue between seminiferous tubules


rete testes

1. Network of ducts which collects sperm produced by the seminiferous tubules
2. It is within the testes connected to the many seminiferous tubules within the testicular lobules
3. All seminiferous tubule converge in the rete testis region


histology of rete testes

4. Consists of thin channels lined by simple, cuboidal epithelium with a single cilia on each epithelial cell


efferent ductules

1. Connected to the epididymis
2. Drain the rete testis and transport sperm out of the testes into the epididymis
3. Sperm not yet mobile, will acquire the ability to swim once through the epididymis


histology of the efferent ductules

1. Epithelium is columnar with cilia on the tall cells and microvilli on the shorter cells
2. Surrounded by smooth muscle which contract to aid in moving the sperm through


Describe the path of sperm from the seminiferous tubules to the urethra

i. Sperm are produced in the seminiferous tubules
ii. The rete testis collects the sperm from the seminiferous tubules
iii. The efferent ductules drain the rete testes and transport the sperm to the epididymis
iv. Sperm undergo final maturation in the epididymis to obtain mobility
v. the epididymis contracts to move sperm towards the sperm duct
vi. the sperm duct emerges from the epididymis and passes through the inguinal ring to enter the body cavity
vii. the distal end of the duct expands before its junction with a duct from the seminal vesicle
viii. the sperm duct ends in an ejaculatory duct
ix. the ejaculatory duct passes through the prostate gland to enter the urethra


where are sperm produced?

the seminiferous tubules


what collects the sperm from the seminiferous tubules?

rete testes


what drains the rete testes and transports sperm to the epididymis

efferent ductules


where do sperm undergo final maturation to obtain mobility



mucosa of the epididymis

i. Smooth muscle which is thin the proximal part and become thicker in the distal region
ii. Innervated by nerves of the autonomic nervous system
iii. Epithelium is tall, pseudostratified with long microvilli protruding into the lumen


how does the structure of the epididymis relate to its function

1. Microvilli absorb liquid that accompanied the sperm from the testes
2. Smooth muscle contracts to move the sperm towards the sperm duct. The thicker distal region creates stronger force to expel the sperm during ejaculation
3. The nerves control ejaculation


compare the sperm duct structure to that of the epididymis

1. Thick walled tube with 3 layers of smooth muscle
a. Inner and outer longitudinal
b. Center circumferial
c. Contract strongly to expel sperm
2. Relatively small lumen compared to diameter of the duct
3. Folded epithelium and lamina propria to allow expansion and contraction during ejaculation
a. Epithelium is pseudostratified and similar to epididymis
ii. The sperm duct has additional muscle layers


major differences between sperm duct and epididymis

- extra layers of muscle in duct
- relatively small lumen in duct


what are the regions of the male urethra?



where is the prostatic urethra

within the prostate


where is the penile urethra

within the penis


what are the male exocrine glands

- prostate
- paraurethral
- bulbourethral


prostate glands

- ducts enter the urethra
- secretions form 50% of seminal fluid volume


paraurethral glands

- secrete lubricating fluid
- enter into the lumen of the urethra


bulbourethral glands

- open into the urethra at the base of the penis
- secrete clear, viscous pre-ejaculate


describe the function of the secretions of bulbourethral glands

- lubricates the urethra
- flushes out any remaining urine
- neutralized the acidity of urine


lumen of seminal vesicles

- convoluted or honeycombed in cross section
- thin mucosal bridges appear to cross the lumen


mucosa of seminal vesicles

- highly folded interior with many out-pockets which greatly increase the surface area
- the folds bear additional small folds
- thin mucosal bridges cross the lumen
- the surface is secretory pseudostratified epithelium supported by small amount of connective tissue
- muscle surrounds and extends inward beneath the mucosa to allow contraction during ejaculation


secretion of seminal vesicles

yellowish, viscous liquid...
a. Contains fructose and vit C to nourish sperm
b. Is alkaline to neutralize acidity of the female vagina
c. At least 50% of semen volume is from the seminal vesicles


What makes up semen volume

- secretion from...
- seminal vesicles
- prostate glands


What are the zones of the prostate gland

- central
- transitional
- peripheral


central prostate gland

surrounds the ejaculatory ducts


transitional prostate gland

surrounds the urethra


peripheral prostate gland

the region of the gland not around the urethra or ejaculatory ducts


what are the tissue of the prostate

- glands
- stroma


glandular tissue of the prostate

1. Branched tubulo-acinar glands
2. Secrete thin, milky liquid


secretions of the prostate glands

a. Contains citric acid and enzymes that liquidfy the coagulated semen aften it has entered the vagina
b. Glycoproteins form masses within the glands that calcify into prostatic concentration which increases with age


stroma tissue of the prostate gland

1. Mix of collagen and smooth muscle fibers
2. Contract during ejaculation to expel fluid from the glands into the urethra


benign prostatic hyperplasia

1. Occurs when transitional zone enlarges
2. Causes an enlarged prostate which presses on the urethra and constricts it making urination difficult
3. Due to increased size and distension of secretory units


prostatic cancer

1. Occurs in the peripheral zone
2. Enlarges the prostate and can constrict the urethra
3. Malignant tumors of glandular tissue
4. Early stages are treatable – almost 2/3 are slow growing and non-aggressive
5. 1/3 are rapidly growing and shed cells which enter the lymph vessels and spread and are life threatening



1. central within the corpus spongium
2. terminates as a slit within the meatus


paraurethral glands

1. surround the urethra
2. secrete lubricating fluid into the lumen during ejaculation


corpus spongium

1. erectile tissue
2. surrounds the urethra and forms the glans region at the penis tip


corpus cavernosum

1. erectile tissue
2. two large masses above the corpus cavernosum


helicine arteries

1. within the erectile tissue
2. supply blood to the sinuses


blood sinuses

1. within the erectile tissue
2. become engorged with blood during an erection


histological changes which occur within the penis during an erection

i. Blood flows into the sinuses which expand and pinch adjacent veins preventing blood outflow
ii. Prior to
1. Sinus contain only small amount of blood
iii. During
1. Cavernosal and helicine arteries dilate and pump blood into the sinuses
2. Sinuses become greatly distended
3. Veins are pinches preventing drainage of blood
4. Erectile tissue becomes engorged and stiffens