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Seminiferous tubules
Seminiferous tubule in cross-section (large tubular structure - center of image) with sperm (black, tiny, ovoid bodies furthest from the outer edge of the tubular structure). H&E stain.
Latin tubuli seminiferi
Gray's subject #258 1243
MeSH A05.360.444.849.700
1: Testicular septa
2: Convoluted seminiferous tubules
3: Testicular lobules
4: Straight seminiferous tubules
5: Efferent ductules
6: Rete testis

Seminiferous tubules are located in the testes, and are the specific location of meiosis, and the subsequent creation of gametes, namely spermatozoa.

The epithelium of the tubule consists of sustentacular or Sertoli cells, which are tall, columnar type cells that line the tubule.

In between the Sertoli cells are spermatogenic cells, which differentiate through meiosis to sperm cells.

There are two types: convoluted and straight, convoluted toward the lateral side, and straight as the tubule comes medially to form ducts that will exit the testis.

The seminiferous tubules are formed from primitive sex cords. It is the medullary cords which develop into the seminiferous tubules and the cortical cords regress. The cords were formed from the gonadal ridge.

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File:Seminiferous tubule.JPG

microscopic shot of seminiferous tubule (cross section)


photomicrograph of rat testis

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