Testis, ductus deferens, and seminal vesicle histology

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Testis, ductus deferens, and seminal vesicle histology

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USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

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A group of investigators are studying the cells of the seminiferous tubules of the testes. Which of the following best describes the function of the cell labeled 7 in the histological image below.  


Testes, or testis when singular, is responsible for the production of sperm, which is called spermatogenesis.

The testes also produce sex hormones, mainly testosterone.

The male genital ducts carry spermatozoa and liquid from the seminiferous tubules in the testes all the way to the penis.

The genital ducts can be split into two groups, the excretory genital ducts and intratesticular ducts.

The intratesticular ducts include the straight tubules (or tubuli recti), rete testis, and efferent ductules.

And the excretory gential ducts include the epididymis, ductus (or vas) deferens, and urethra.

This very low power image is a sagittal section of a testis, which also includes the head of the epididymis located posterior and partially superior to the testis.

The epididymis is a single, long convoluted duct where spermatozoa accumulate and continue to mature even further, including the development of motility.

Accessory glands, such as the seminal vesicles and prostate gland, secrete seminal fluid that provides lubrication and nutrients for the spermatozoa.

The seminal fluid is also slightly alkaline, or basic.

This alkalinity helps protect sperm and prolong their life after they’ve been deposited in the acidic environment of the vagina.

Surrounding each testis is a thick capsule of connective tissue, called the tunica albuginea.


Testis, the ductus deferens, and the seminal vesicles are parts of male reproductive organs. Testes, or testis when singular, is an organ in the male reproductive system that produces sperm and male hormones. The ductus deferens is a long, muscular tube that carries sperm from the testes to the urethra. The seminal vesicle is a small organ near the base of the bladder that produces a fluid that helps to nourish and transport sperm.

Testis is composed of small, tightly packed tubes called seminiferous tubules, which produce sperm. The seminiferous tubules are lined with germ cells and Sertoli cells, which nourish and protect the germ cells. The ductus deferens is composed of smooth muscle cells and lined with a single layer of epithelial cells. The seminal vesicle is lined with a single layer of epithelial cells and is filled with secretory cells.


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