Male Reproductive Physiology

Posted by e-Medical PPT Tuesday, July 19, 2011
The human male reproductive system includes the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadals axis, the epididymis, vas deferens, seminal vesicles, prostate and the urethra. The testis is composed primarily of seminiferous tubules packed closely together (95% of testicular volume), and interstitial cells.The cells within the seminiferous tubules are germ cells that mature into spermatozoa, and Sertoli cells that serve as supporting cells for developing germ cells.

Male fertility requires the production by the testes of large numbers of normal spermatozoa through a complex process of spermatogenesis. This process is divided into three major parts: 1. Mitosis- the multiplication of spermatogonia 2. Meiosis-reduction of chromosome number from diploid to haploid. Type B spermatogonia is converted into primary spermatocyte which divides to secondary spermatocyte and divide again to form round spermatids.3. Spermiogenesis-transformation of round spermatid into the spermatozoon.

The mature spermatozoon is released into the tubule lumen. Sperm form the seminiferous tubule enter the 6-8 efferent ducts connecting the testis to the caput epididymis. The epididymis is a single convoluted duct 3-4 meters in length, and is divided anatomically into caput (head), corpus (body), and cauda (tail). Epididymis serves as sperm conduit and sperm reservoir where sperm acquire motility and fertilizing capacity.

The vas deferens is approximately 35 cm tubular structure with distinct muscular layer. It is divided into convoluted, straight and ampullary portions. According to anatomical location the vas deferens is divided into scrotal, inguinal and reproperitoneal portions. Vas deferens is an androgen-dependent organ and transports sperm into the pelvis, where it joins the seminal vesicles to form the ejaculatory ducts, the largely collagenous tubes, which enter the prostatic urethra.

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