Morphological Changes of the Epididymis and Description of the Excurrent Ducts of Phrynops geoffroanus (Testudines: Chelidae) During the Reproductive Cycle
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The seminal ducts (efferent ductule, epididymis, and deferent duct) in adults of Phrynops geoffroanus were examined using light microscopy. A series of tubules (efferent ductules) connect the testes to the epididymides. The efferent ductules are formed by a rete of small tubules of varying diameters, with simple columnar epithelium formed by the ciliated cells, nonciliated cells, and few basal cells. The epididymis is a simple, long and highly convoluted tubule that receives the efferent ductules throughout its extension. It is covered by a pseudostratified columnar epithelium with three cellular types: the principal cells, which are the most abundant, basal cells, and a small narrow cell. The histological differences in the epididymis region (cranial, medial, and caudal), as well as the differences in the epithelium throughout the reproductive cycle, are discussed. The deferent ducts consist of a low pseudostratified epithelium with two cellular types: the principal and basal cells. During the months analyzed, spermatozoa were stored in the epididymis, and deferent ducts were found. Anat Rec, 294:145-155, 2011. (C) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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