Lab 16 Male Reproductive System: 1) Index 2) Introduction 3) Things to Identify 4) The Testes 5)Tubuli Recti and Rete Testes 6) Efferent ducts and Ductus Epididymis 7) Ductus Deferens 8)Seminal Vesicle 9) Prostate Gland 10) Penis 11) Practical




# 167 - Epididymis, human, 1.5 mm, h-e, sec.

# 231 - Testis, epididymis, mature, iron hematoxylin, l.s.


Like the seminiferous tubules, the epididymal ducts are convoluted structures. Each specimen contains many ducts in various planes of section. The epididymis is composed of two sections: the efferent ducts (ductuli efferentes) and the longer duct of the epididymis (ductus epididymis). As many as 12 efferent ducts conduct spermatozoa between the rete testis and the single duct of the epididymis.

The epithelium of the efferent ducts varies in height: alternating groups of columnar and cuboidal cells give a wavy outline to the lumina. The tall cells have true cilia which beat in the direction of the duct of the epididymis. These ducts are relatively short. The duct of the epididymis is composed of tall, pseudostratified epithelium (columnar cells and small basal cells). The columnar cells are quite uniform in height and appear pale and eosinophilic with H&E staining. The epithelium rests upon a thin basement membrane and long, non-motile stereocilia appear at the luminal surface. The duct is encircled by a thin layer of smooth muscle that become thicker toward the ductus deferens, becoming three layered at the tail portion of the epididymis. Although the pseudostratified epithelium is not well demonstrated, stereocilia are clearly seen at the apical surface of the cells.

REFERENCES : Gartner, pp. 370-373 Ross, pp. 657-658, 670 DiFiore, p. 282 Wheater, pp. 330 - 331


This is another part of the male excretory duct which is called the Efferent Ducts, which the blue arrows are pointing to the lumen of. They deliver the sperm from the Rete Testes to the Epididymus.

Blue arrows - Lumen of Efferent Ducts





Here is a close up of the Epithelium of the efferent ducts. The epithelium has a characteristic look that will help you identify the fact that you are in the efferent ducts. That is the characteristic Round Nuclei of the epithelium, that the red arrows are pointing to. If you see round nuclei in the lumen you know you are in the Efferent ducts.

Red arrow - Round Nuclei of Epithelium of Efferent ducts




This is the next passage in the Male excretory duct called the Epididymus. This delivers the sperm from the Efferent ducts to the Vas deferens. The blue arrows are pointing to the lumens of the Epididymus.


Blue arrows - Epididymus







This is a closer look of the epithelium of the Epididymus that also gives a the clues that let you know you are in the Epididymus. That is the presence of both Elongated Nuclei (blue arrows) and the presence of Round Nuclei of Basal Cells (red arrow). Also the Presence of Stereo cilia which can easily be seen in this image. So if you see elongated nuclei with circular nuclei, with stereo cilia, than you know you are in the Epididymus.

Blue arrows - Elongated Nuclei of Epididymus

Red arrows - Rounded Nuclei of Epididymus




Efferent Ducts

Efferent Duct Epithelium (round nuclei)


Epididymus Epithelium (long and round nuclei)