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STRUCTURAL AND FUNCTIONAL SUMMARY OF MALE GENITAL DUCTS & GLANDS

Location major function(s) most common possible apical notable characteristics other comments
epithelial type* specializations of
epithelium
seminiferous tubule (ST) spermatogenesis (all 3 phases take ≈10 Sertoli cells-the true ≈1000 STs/testis; each ST ≈ 80cm an intratesticular duct: Leydig cells make T for
weeks); androgen production for rest of duct epithelium long; location of male gametes' Sertoli cells and are found among adjacent STs;
system and male body stem cells; location of blood-testis embryologically derived from the gonadal cords in
barrier the medulla of the indifferent gonad

straight tubules terminal segment of STs; convey spermatozoa lined by Sertoli Cells an intratesticular duct
and testicular fluid to rete testis
rete testis convey spermatozoa & testicular fluid to simple cuboidal or low some have single an intratesticular duct; a complex network of
efferent ductules columnar apical cilium anastomosing channels embedded among
and/or a few short extensive vasculature in the mediastinum of testis
microvilli
efferent ductules absorb excess testicular fluid; convey alternating columnar Many stellate lumina due to an excurrent duct surrounded by thin ring of
spermatozoa & testicular fluid to epididymis ciliated and cuboidal differences in epithelial cell height smooth muscle and loose CT with numerous blood
non-ciliated vessels and the blind origins of lymphatic vessels;
epididymis few basal cells
"sperm nursery"; additional reabsorption of "principle cells" are long microvilli that a single coiled tube; circular/oval an excurrent duct: basal cell found around
testicular fluid; secretes factors that inhibit pseudostratified promote cell-cell lumina always contains numerous perimeter (beads on a string); surrounded by ring
sperm motility and modify glycoproteins of columnar interaction b/t spermatozoa often congregating of smooth muscle; head+body+tail; increased
sperm; major location of sperm storage prior to sperm and toward center sympathetic nervous system drive causes
ejaculation; takes about 2 weeks for sperm to epithelium contraction of smooth m.; embryologically derived
travel through epididymis from the mesonephros
ductus (vas) deferens continuation of tail of epididymis; propels sperm pseudostratified some with long single stellate lumen at center of an excurrent duct: gram-for-gram most muscular
from scrotum through inguinal canal into true columnar microvilli extensive thick smooth muscle; part of a male's body; 3 well defined smooth m.
pelvic cavity to base of bladder- conjoins with stellate appearance mostly due to layers; increased sympathetic nervous system
seminal vesicles variations in underlying lamina drive causes peristaltic contraction of smooth m.;
propria and NOT differences in derived from the mesonephric duct
epithelial height
seminal vesicles produces about 70% of seminal plasma volume pseudostratified R or L seminal vesicle is just a very sparse stroma compared to ductus deferens
which includes fructose, amino acids, ascorbic columnar in SINGLE single, HIGHLY convoluted gland or prostate; well organized smooth m.; increased
acid, prostaglandins highly convoluted sympathetic nervous system drive causes
tubular gland; non- contraction of smooth m. and promotes emission of
ciliated seminal plasma; conjoins with ductus deferens to
form ejaculatory duct; derived from bilateral
epithelial outgrowths of the distal mesonephric
duct
ejaculatory duct simultaneously receives spermatozoa from courses through substance of prostate and empties
ductus deferens and seminal plasma from into prostatic urethtra
prostate seminal
producesvesciles;
about 30% of ejaculate volume; 30-50 separate some lumina may have prostatic as age increases transitional zone and periurethral
secretions raise pH and induce sperm motility pseudostratified concretions (increased freq. with zone enlarges causes BPH; stroma dense
columnar or simple age); largest accessory gland of admixture of smooth m. and fibroelastic CT; 3
columnar (some patches males histological gland regions (mucosal, submucosal,
of cuboidal and main) and 4 clinical-pathological gland zones
squamous) in (peripheral, periurethral, transitional, central) are
convoluted defined; embryologicall derived from epithelial
tubuloalveolar gland outgrowth of prostatic urethra
prostatic urethra collects prostatic secretions and add sthem to transitional epithelium-
ejaculatory duct secretions; convey urine from like urinary bladder
bladder and semen to membranous urethra
membranous urethra conveys urine and semen urogenital diaphragm stratified columnar or mucus lubricating secretions from bulbourethral
pseudostratified glands are added into ejaculate at this point
columnar
penile urethra conveys urine and semen through corpus pseudostratified
spongiosum of penis columnar

*N.B. Abrupt transitions of epithelium like in the rectum or at the gastroesophageal junction are minimal or nonexistent in the male genital ducts. Thus when the epithelium "changes" from one duct to another, there is
a variable length transition region in which both epithelium co-mingle to a certain extent.