consist of:

the testes with the adjoining epididymis, the vas deferens and the accessory sex glands:

− − −

the seminal vesicles, the prostrate and the bulbourethral glands


have two functions:

produce the male gametes or spermatozoa, produce male sexual hormone: testosterone

a normal testis and adjacent structures


tunica albuginea: a thick capsule surrounding the testis mediastinum testis: a conical mass of conective tissue from t. albuginea which projects into the testis. Serosa: covers the tunica albuginea externally

fibrous septa:

delicate connective tissue radiating from the mediastinum and towards the t. albuginea divide the parenchyma of the testis into about 300 lobuli testis, which communicate peripherally Each lobule contains 1-4 convoluted seminiferous tubules (about 150-300 µm in diameter, 30-80 cm long)


tunica vasculosa testis:
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found beneath the tunica albuginea a layer of loose vascular connective tissue continuous with Interstitial tissue between the convoluted tubules


tubulus rectus
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a straight tubule continuation of seminiferous tubule

rete testis,
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a labyrinthine system of cavities in the mediastinum continuation of tubulus rectus

The Convoluted Seminiferous Tubules

are enclosed by a thick basal lamina and surrounded by 3-4 layers of smooth muscle cells (or myoid cells). The insides are lined with seminiferous epithelium, which consists of two general types of cells:

spermatogenic cells and Sertoli cells

Spermatogenic cells:

Spermatogonia: are the first cells of spermatogenesis
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Type A spermatogonia Type B spermatogonia

Primary spermatocytes Secondary spermatocytes Spermatids Spermatozoa

Primary spermatocytes

appear larger than spermatogonia immediately enter the prophase of the first meiotic division, which is extremely prolonged (about 22 days!).

Secondary spermatocytes,

smaller than primary spermatocytes. seldom seen in histological preparations


are small (about 10 µm in diameter) with an initially very light (often eccentric) nucleus


mature human spermatozoon is about 60 µm long and actively motile takes about 48 days from the time cells enter meiosis until morphologically mature spermatozoa are formed. it takes approximately 64 days to complete spermatogenesis.

far less numerous than the spermatogenic cells and are evenly distributed between them shape is highly irregular extend from the basement membrane to the luminal surface of the seminiferous epithelium Processes extend in between the spermatogenic cells nucleus is ovoid or angular, large and lightly stained and often contains a large nucleolus nucleus is oriented perpendicular to wall of the tubule forms the blood-testis barrier secrete two hormones - inhibin and activin - which provide positive and negative feedback on FSH secretion from the pituitary.

Sertoli cells

Interstitial tissue

Leydig cells (15-20 µm), located in the interstitial tissue between the convoluted seminiferous tubules constitute the endocrine component of the testis. synthesize and secrete testosterone. occur in clusters, which are variable in size and richly supplied by capillaries. The cytoplasm is strongly acidophilic and finely granular. The nucleus is large, round and often located eccentric in the cell.

Ducts of the Testis

tubuli recti

low columnar epithelium

rete testis

flattened or cuboidal epithelium

ductuli efferentes

lined by a columnar epithelium, which consists of both absorptive and ciliated cells. The height of the two cells types which form the epithelium of the ductuli efferentes is variable which gives the lumen a characteristic wavy outline

ductus epididymidis
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about 6 m long!). It is lined by a very tall pseudostratified columnar epithelium. Most cells of the epithelium, also called principal cells, have long stereocilia. also have basal cells which regenerate the epithelium.

middle segment of the duct: site of final functional maturation of the spermatozoa The terminal segment of the ductus epididymidis is the site of storage of the mature spermatozoa

The Vas deferens (or ductus deferens)

mucosa forms low longitudinal folds. lined by a pseudostratified columnar epithelium with long stereocilia. lamina propria is unusually rich in elastic fibres. muscularis is well developed (up to 1.5 mm thick) and consists of a thick circular layer of smooth muscle between thinner inner and outer longitudinal layers.

makes the vas deferens palpable in the spermatic cord. The vas deferens is surrounded by an adventitia, which is slightly denser than usual.

Male Accessory Reproductive Glands

consist of the seminal vesicles, the prostrate and the bulbourethral glands.

Prostate gland


largest accessory sex gland in men (about 2 × 3 × 4 cm). 30 - 50 tubuloalveolar glands, which empty into 15 - 25 independent excretory ducts. ducts open into the urethra and glands are embedded into a fibromuscular stroma secretion of the prostate contains citric acid, the enzyme fibrinolysin (liquefies the semen), acid phosphatase, a number of other enzymes and lipids. The secretion of the prostate is the first fraction of the ejaculate.

Seminal vesicle

Seminal Vesicles

develop from the vas deferens Each consists of one coiling tube secretion constitutes 60-70 % of the ejaculate. The secretory product of the is strongly acidophilic; contains large amounts of fructose as well as prostaglandins, flavins The secretion of the seminal vesicles is the third fraction of the ejaculate

Female Reproductive System

internal female reproductive organs: the ovaries, oviducts, uterus and vagina external female genitalia: labia minora and majora, clitoris and vestibule

The Ovaries

two functions - "production" and ovulation of oocytes and the production and secretion of hormones mesovarium: ligament of the ovary germinal epithelium: surface covering tunica albuginea: fibrous capsule; immediately below epithelium divided into an outer cortex and an inner medulla.

cortex: consists of a very cellular connective tissue stroma in which the ovarian follicles are embedded. medulla: composed of loose connective tissue, which contains blood vessels and nerves.

The Corpus luteum

formed by both granulosa cells and thecal cells after ovulation

The Oviduct

The Oviduct

functions as a conduit for the oocyte, from the ovaries to the uterus. Histologically, consists of a mucosa and a muscularis. The peritoneal surface lined by a serosa and subjacent connective tissue

The Uterus

divided into body (upper two-thirds) and cervix. The walls of the uterus are composed of a

mucosal layer, the endometrium: simple columnar epithelium with thick connective tissue; and a fibromuscular layer, the myometrium. The peritoneal surface of the uterus is covered by a serosa.

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The Endometrium

can be divided into two zones based on their involvement in the changes during the menstrual cycle: the basalis and the functionalis

The basalis is not sloughed off during menstruation but functions as a regenerative zone for the functionalis after its rejection. The functionalis is the luminal part of the endometrium. It is sloughed off during every menstruation and it is the site of cyclic changes in the endometrium. These cyclic changes are divided into a number of phases: proliferative (or follicular), secretory (or luteal), and menstrual


The vagina is a fibromuscular tube with a wall consisting of three layers: the mucosa, muscularis and adventitia


Mucosa: stratified squamous epithelium Muscularis:

Inner circular and outer longitudinal layers of smooth muscle are present. Inferiorly, the striated, voluntary bulbospongiosus muscle forms a sphincter around the vagina.


Mammary Glands

modified glands of the skin development resembles that of sweat glands They are compound branched alveolar glands, which consist of 15-25 lobes separated by dense interlobar connective tissue and fat. Each lobe contains an individual gland. The excretory duct of each lobe, also called lactiferous duct, has its own opening on the nipple.

lactiferous duct

two layered epithelium - basal cells are cuboidal whereas the superficial cells are columnar lactiferous sinus , which functions as a reservoir for the milk Secretion of milk proteins proceeds by exocytosis (merocrine secretion) stimulated by prolactin Prolactin secretion in turn is stimulated by sensory stimulation of the nipple, which also initiates the so-called milk ejection reflex via the secretion of oxytocin from the neurohypophysis

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