Seminiferous tubule

Seminiferous tubule

Seminiferous tubule
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
MeSH A05.360.444.849.700
Anatomical terminology

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

The epithelium of the tubule consists of a type of sustentacular cells known as 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. Sertoli cells function to nourish the developing sperm cells. They secrete testis-determining factor, a binding protein which increases the concentration of testosterone inside the seminiferous tubules. Embryologically, they also secrete the anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) necessary for the female Müllerian ducts to regress.

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 the testis cords that develop from the primitive gonadal cords, formed from the gonadal ridge.

Additional images

See also

External links

  • Histology image: 17802loa – Histology Learning System at Boston University
  • Image
  • Diagram