Morphometric evaluation of the rat testis, epididymis and vas deferens following chemical sympathectomy with guanethidine
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Selective chemical sympathectomy of the internal sex organs of adult male rats was undertaken by long term administration of low doses of guanethidine. The spermatogenic activity of the testis was unaffected by treatment. Examination of the vas deferens using morphometric methods revealed a marked increase in luminal area in contrast to a decrease in muscle layer area and in epithelial height. This is morphological evidence of sperm accumulation caused by a disorder in ductal contractile activity. No structural changes were observed in the epididymis. However, the concentration of spermatozoa in the sperm suspension stored in the cauda epididymidis was significantly increased in denervated rats. This result is discussed in terms of a sympathetic control of resorption mechanisms in the epididymis.