The pair of testes produces spermatozoa and androgens. Several accessory glands produce the fluid constituents of semen. Long ducts store the sperm and transport them to the penis.
The male reproductive system consists of paired testes and genital ducts, accessory sex glands and the penis. The testes and ducts are shown in this diagram.
This low power photograph of the testis shows its basic organisation.
Can you identify - the thick collagenous capsule on the outside called the tunica albuginea. Can you also identify
the seminiferous tubules, which open into a network
of anastomosing channels called the rete (rete = net) testis at the mediastinum testes.
The spermatozoa are made in the semiferous tubules
of the testes. Find out more in the Spermatogenesis topic
Septa which emanate from this capsule to subdivide
the testis into about 250 incomplete lobules.
The septa converge towards the midline of the
posterior border, meeting along a thickening of the tunica albuginea
called the mediastinum testis.
Each lobule contains one to four seminiferous tubules
embedded in a connective tissue stroma. Each
of the seminiferous tubules are 30-70 cm long.
Formation of sperm is supported by Sertoli cells, and Leydig
cells. Click here to find out
about these cells.
This image shows a magnified image of the tunica albuginea,
the thick fibromuscular connective tissue capsule
of the testis - can you identify it?
What is it made of?
The inner vascular layer is the tunica vasculosa.
Now take a look at this section of a diseased testis - how does it appearance differ from that of the normal testis - how might this be explained?