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Learning objectives

After completing this study unit you will be able to:

  1. Understand the histological structure of the testis.
  2. Identify its parts under the microscope.

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The testes (sing. testis) are the male gonads. They reside within connective tissue layers known as the tunica albuginea and tunica vaginalis which are further enveloped by the layers of the spermatic cord.

Each testis is composed of pyramid shaped lobules (about 250) separated by septae of connective tissue that extend inward from the tunica albuginea. These lobules contain one to four convoluted seminiferous tubules, where sperm production (spermatogenesis) occurs. Supporting cells within the testes secrete hormones, primarily androgens such as testosterone.

Sustentacular (Sertoli) cells are large columnar somatic cells that span from the basement membrane to the lumen of the seminiferous tubules and have a supporting function and aid in the process of spermatogenesis.

The following video will go into more detail about the structure and histological appearance of the testis.

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