Epididymis and Epididymal Semen
On emerging from the efferent ducts the spermatozoa enter the epididymis, an organ consisting of a highly convoluted duct system reputed to cover a total length of about 20 metres in man, 40 in the bull and 60 in the boar; it is strictly dependent upon testicular androgen for the maintenance of its structure as well as secretory, resorptive, biosynthetic and metabolic activity. The major component parts of the epididymis are customarily referred to as head (caput), body (corpus) and tail (cauda), but in fact, each of these three regions possesses subsegments which exhibit their own distinct cell types and functional peculiarities. The structure and function of the epididymis, the histochemical differences between the various regions and subsegments, and the influence of the different zones upon the passage and function of epididymal spermatozoa have all been extensively discussed (Alsum and Hunter 1978; Bedford 1966, 1974, 1975, 1978a, 1979; Brooks 1979b; Fouquet and Guha 1969; Glover and Nicander 1971; Hamilton 1972, 1975; Martan 1969; Moniem and Glover 1972a; Nicander and Glover 1973; Nicander and Hellstrom 1967; OrgebinCrist 1969; Orgebin-Crist et al. 1975; Voglmayr 1975b; White 1973). The newer techniques evolved for the study of structure-function relationships in the epididymis (and the prostate) include certain stereological methods of quantitating three-dimensional structures from measurements of two-dimensional cross sections (Bartsch et al. 1978).
KeywordsEnzymatic Degradation Oestradiol Choline Triglyceride Theophylline
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