Testis Embryology, Anatomy and Physiology

  • John HutsonEmail author


Testicular descent to the scrotum is one of the main hallmarks of male sexual differentiation. It is a complex, multi-staged process with the different stages controlled by separate hormones. The testis was not originally descended in vertebrates, but during the evolution of mammals the position of the male gonad has been relocated to the outside of the abdominal cavity. In most modern mammals the testis is now located in a perineal scrotum. By contrast, the scrotum in modern marsupials, such as the Kangaroo and Wallaby, is located in a pre-penile position directly over the external inguinal ring. Scrotal location of the testis is required to provide a specialised, low-temperature environment for optimal physiological function. This chapter will address the embryology, anatomy and physiology of the testis.


Testicular descent Perineal scrotum Inguinalscrotal phase Gubernaculum Scrotal testis 


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PaediatricsUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of UrologyRoyal Children’s HospitalMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Douglas Stephens Surgical Research Laboratory, Melbourne Royal Children’s HospitalMurdoch Children’s Research InstituteParkvilleAustralia

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