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MALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM

TESTES

Also known as the male gonads. It is plum-sized (4 cm or 1 inches long and 2.5 cm or
1 inch wide). A fibrous connective tissue capsule surrounds each testis called tunica
albuginea.
Exocrine function- sperm-producing
Endocrine function-testosterone-producing
PARTS OF TESTES

Lobules- wedged-shaped divided extensions of tunica albunigea.

Seminiferous tubules-are the site of the germination, maturation, and


transportation of the sperm cells within the male testes. Seminiferous tubules are
made up of columnar Sertoli cells surrounded by spermatogenic cells on the
epithelial interior and stem cells exteriorly.

Interstitial cells- lay in the soft connective tissue surrounding the seminiferous tubules.
Functionally distinct cells that produce androgens-the most important of which is the
testosterone.

Rete testis-is an anastomosing network of delicate tubules located in the hilum


of the testicle (mediastinum testis) that carries sperm from the seminiferous
tubules to the efferent ducts.

Efferent ducts- connect the rete testis with the initial section of the epididymis.

DUCT SYSTEM

Epididymis- a cup-shaped highly coiled tube about 6 m (20 ft long) that cups the
superior part of the testis and then runs down its posteolateral side. It is the first
part of the male duct system and provides a temporary storage site for the
immature sperm that enter it from the testis. While the sperm make their way
along the tortuous course of the epididymis (takes about 20 days), they mature,
gaining the ability to swim, when a man is sexually stimulated and ejaculates, the
walls of epididymis contracts to expel the sperm going to ductus deferens.
Ductus deferens/vas deferens- (carrying away) commonly called the seminal
duct. It is approximately 18 inches long and ascends the posterior border of the
testis, penetrates the inguinal canal and enters the pelvic cavity where it loops
over the side and down the posterior surface of the urinary bladder.
The main function of ductus deferens is to propel live sperm from their storage
sites, the epididymis and distal part of the ductus deferens, into the urethra.
At ejaculation, the thick layers of smooth muscles in its wall create peristaltic
waves that rapidly squeeze the sperm forward.
Spermatic cord- a connective tissue sheath along with nerves and blood that
encloses the ductus deferens.
Ampulla- dilated terminal portion which is the end of ductus deferens.

Vasectomy- is a surgical procedure for male sterilization and/or permanent


contraception. During the procedure, the male vasa deferentia are severed and then
tied/sealed in a manner so as to prevent sperm from entering into the seminal stream
(ejaculate) and thereby prevent fertilization.

Ejaculatory duct- Each duct is 1 inch long. The ducts eject spermatozoa into the
urethra.
Urethra- it is the terminal duct of the system which serves as the common
passageway for both spermatozoa coming from the testes and urine coming from
the bladder.
Passes through the prostate gland, the urogenital diaphraghm and the penis.It is
about 8 inches long and is divided into three parts: Prostatic urethra,
membranous urethra, and spongy or cavernous urethra.

ACCESSORY GLANDS

Seminal vesicles- located at the base of the bladder, produce about 60 percent
of seminal fluid, the fluid volume of semen. Their thick, yellowish secretion is rich
in sugar (fructose), vitamin C, prostaglandins, and other substances, which
nourish and activate the sperm passing through the tract. The duct of each
seminal vesicle joins that of the ductus deferens on the same side to form the
ejaculatory duct. Thus, sperm and seminal fluid enter the urethra together during
ejaculation.
Prostate- is a single doughnut-shaped gland about the size of a peach pit. It
encircles the upper (prostatic) part of the urethra just below the urinary bladder.
Prostate gland secretion is a milky fluid that plays a role in activating sperm.
Bulbourethral glands/Cowpers glands- are tiny, pea-sized glands inferior to
the prostate gland. They produce thick, clear mucus that drains into the penile
urethra. This secretion is the first to pass down the urethra when a man
becomes sexually excited. It cleanses the urethra of traces of acidic urine prior
to ejaculation, and it serves as a lubricant during sexual intercourse.

SEMEN- is a mixture of sperm cells and the secretions of the seminal vesicles, the
prostate and the bulbourethral glands. The fluid is milky in color and sticky, due to the
fructose sugar that provides the energy for the beating flagellum of each sperm cell.
The semen is alkaline (7.2-7.6 pH) that neutralizes the acidity of female vagina and the
male urethra and helps protect the sperm cell. The semen provides a transport medium
for the swimming sperm cells. The average volume of semen per ejaculation is 2.5 to 6
mL, and the average range of spermatozoa ejaculated is 50 to 100 million/mL. If the
number of spermatozoa falls below 20 million/mL the man is considered to be sterile.

Semen contains enzymes that activate the sperm after ejaculation. The semen also
contains an antibiotic called seminalplasmin, which has the capability of destroying
certain bacteria. Because the female reproductive tract and the semen contain
bacteria, the seminalplasmin helps keep these bacteria under control and thus helps
protect the sperm and ensure fertilization.
EXTERNAL GENITALIA
Scrotum- is a divided sac of skin with sparse hairs that hangs outside the abdominal
cavity, between the legs and at the root of the penis. Under normal conditions, the
scrotum hangs loosely from its attachments, providing the testes with a temperature
that is below body temperature. This is a rather exposed location for a mans testes,
which contain his entire genetic heritage, but apparently viable sperm cannot be
produced at normal body temperature. The scrotum, which provides a temperature
about 3 degree Celsius lower, is necessary for the production of healthy sperm. When
the external temperature is very cold, the scrotum becomes heavily wrinkled as it pulls
the testes closer to the warmth of the body wall. Thus, changes in scrotal surface area
can maintain a temperature that favors viable sperm production.
Penis- is designed to deliver sperm into the female reproductive tract. The skincovered penis consists of a shaft, which ends in an enlarged tip, the glans penis. The
skin covering the penis is loose, and it folds downward to form a cuff of skin, the
prepuce of foreskin, around the proximal end of the glans. Frequently, the foreskin is
surgically removed shortly after birth by a procedure called circumcision.
Internally, the spongy urethra is surrounded by three elongated areas of erectile tissue,
a spongy tissue that fills with blood during sexual excitement. This causes the penis to
enlarge and become rigid. This event called erection helps the penis serve as a
penetrating organ to deliver the semen into the females reproductive tract.
FUNCTIONS OF MALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM

Spermatogenesis
Produce testosterone
Deliver sperm to female reproductive tract

SPERMATOGENESIS

Spermatogenesis takes place in the seminiferous tubules of the testes, which are
relatively quiescent and not fully differentiated prior to puberty. Testes develop from
primordial germ cells in the epiblast, which migrate to the hind-gut and colonise the
genital ridge. Upon activation by the SRY gene, primordial germ cells cause the
development of male characteristic gonads. Fully differentiated testes contain 12-20
seminiferous tubules with both ends flowing into the rete testis.
The unique architecture of the seminiferous tubules provides a self-contained
environment supplying all necessary nutrients needed by developing sperm and
isolating the lumen from the body's immune system. Spermatogenesis requires an
immune privaleged site due to the highly antigenic coats of developing sperm.
Antibodies in the blood can hinder sperm function durring maturation, transit through the
testis and fertilisation.
Spermatogenesis - production of haploid gemetes
Spermatogenesis begins with spermatogonia, the primordial germ cells of sperm
production. Spermatogonia are mitotically inactive until the peri pubertal period where
an increase in gonadotrophin hormones from leydig cells of the testes induces massive
mitotic proliferation. Spermatogonia then enter meiosis by differentiating into primary

spermatocytes. Primary spermatocytes can either self-renew or divide into two


secondary spermatocytes completing meiosis one.
Spermatidogenesis - production of spermatids
Secondary spermatocytes then divide into four spermatids in order to complete meiosis
two. Spermatids then have many steps of sperm accessory structure biogenesis to form
fully differentiated sperm. This process is called spermiogenesis. Throughout the
processes of spermatogenesis, spermatidogenesis and spermiogenesis all
spermatogenic cells remain associated with sertoli cells in the seminiferous tubules via
cytoplasmic bridges. Sertoli cells provide nutrients and signals such as testosterone and
FSH required stimulating and developing each stage of sperm production.
Spermiogenesis involves:

Elongation to produce tail and all its components e.g. axenome and
mitochondrial sheath.

Spermatids Golgi apparatus is modified in order to form the perinuclear theca.

Morphogenesis of the sperm head to a spatulate shape.

Nuclear hypercondensation in which histones are replaced with protamines,


therby condensing the genetic material and making the genome transcriptionally
inactive.

Removal and degradation of unneeded organelles and proteins in order to


achieve motility. Ubiquitin marks proteins for degradation and recycling via the
proteasome.

Maturation of the sperm induced by the input of testosterone from sertoli cells.
Maturation involves the removal of remaining unneeded cytoplasm and organelles,
which are then phagocytosed by neighbouring sertoli cells.

As spermatids develop, they migrate away from the basement membrane of the
seminiferous tubules moving towards the lumen. When fully differentiated and mature,
sperm cells are released from sertoli cell cytoplasmic bridges and bud off into the lumen
of the seminiferous tubules. Mature sperm cells are unable to swim so are transported
into the epididymus for storage by peristaltic contractions of the seminiferous tubules.
The large mass and number of sperm entering the lumen coupled with active fluid

secretion by sertoli cells also produces a pressure that pushes the sperm along the
seminiferous tubules. In the epididymus, maturation of the sperm continues and the
sperm gain the ability to swim prior to ejaculation.

ANATOMY OF SPERM CELL

HEAD- developed from the nucleus of a spermatid cell, contains the genetic material
and an acrosome. The acrosome contains enzymes that aid the sperm cell in
penetrating the covering of the female egg cell or ovum. The rest of the sperm cell
develops from the cytoplasm of the spermatid cell.
MIDDLE- it contains numerous mitochondria, which produce the high-energy-molecule
adenosine triphosphate (ATP) that provides the energy for locomotion.
TAIL- it is a typical flagellum. The flagellum beats, from the energy of the ATP molecule,
and propels the sperm as it swims its way up the reproductive tract in search of an
ovum.
TESTOSTERONE PRODUCTION
During puberty, as the seminiferous tubules are being produced by FSH to produce
sperm, the interstitial cells are being activated by luteinizing hormone (LH), which is also
released by the anterior pituitary gland. From this time on, testosterone is produced
continuously for the rest of a mans life. The rising blood level of testosterone in the

young man stimulates the adolescent growth spurt, prompts his reproductive orans to
develop to their adult size, underlies the sex drive, and causes the secondary male sex
characteristic.

Deepening of the voice as the larynx enlarges


Increased hair growth all over the body and particularly in the axillary and the
pubic regions and on the face (the beard and the mustache).
Enlargement of skeletal muscles to produce the heavier muscle mass typical of
the male physique
Increased heaviness of the skeleton due to bone growth and increase in density

How do penis erect?


The penis has two chambers inside it called the corpora cavernosa. These chambers
extend from the head of your penis deep into the pelvis. The insides of these chambers
are made of spongy tissue and have the ability to gain blood volume and grow in size.
During your daily activities, the arteries that supply blood to the penis are only partially
open, to allow enough blood flow to keep your tissue healthy.
When you experience sexual stimulation, the brain sends signals to trigger a hormonal
response that allows those same arteries to open completely.
Those open arteries allow more blood to enter the corpora cavernosa faster than the
blood can leave through the veins. As the corpora cavernosa fill and grow in size, the
veins get compressed, trapping blood in the penis, causing it to get stiff. This chain
reaction continues until you achieve and maintain an erection.
When your brain stops sending signals, the hormones diminish and your arteries go
back to their normal state.

1) Sexual stimulation and excitement cause the brain, nerves, heart,


blood vessels and hormones to work together to produce a rapid increase in the amount of
blood flowing to the penis.

2) The blood becomes trapped and held in the two spongy chambers in
the shaft of the penis.

3) As the chambers rapidly fill with blood, they expand, and the penis
becomes firm and elongated. The result is an erection.
In the presence of mechanical stimulation, erection is initiated by the parasympathetic division
of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) with minimal input from the central nervous system.
Parasympathetic branches extend from the sacral plexus into the arteries supplying the erectile
tissue; upon stimulation, these nerve branches release acetylcholine, which, in turn causes
release of nitric oxide from endothelial cells in the trabecular arteries. Nitric oxide diffuses to the
smooth muscle of the arteries (called trabecular smooth muscle), acting as a vasodilating agent.
The arteries dilate, filling the corpora spongiosum and cavernosa with blood. The
ischiocavernosus and bulbospongiosus muscles also compress the veins of the corpora
cavernosa, limiting the venous drainage of blood. Erection subsides when parasympathetic
stimulation is discontinued; baseline stimulation from the sympathetic division of the ANS
causes constriction of the penile arteries, forcing blood out of the erectile tissue.
The cerebral cortex can initiate erection in the absence of direct mechanical stimulation (in
response to visual, auditory, olfactory, imagined, or tactile stimuli) acting through erectile centers
in the lumbar and sacral regions of the spinal cord. The cortex may suppress erection, even in
the presence of mechanical stimulation, as other psychological, emotional, and environmental
factors.
The penis may erect during sleep or be erect on waking up. Such an erection is medically
known as nocturnal penile tumescence.

DISEASES
Priapism is a persistent, often painful erection lasting more than 4 hours in duration.
The priapism erection is not associated with sexual activity and is not relieved by
orgasm. It occurs when blood flows into the penis but is not adequately drained.
Peyronie's disease is a condition in which a plaque, or hard lump, forms on the penis.
The plaque may develop on the upper (more common) or lower side of the penis, in the
layers that contain erectile tissue. The plaque often begins as a localized area of
irritation and swelling (inflammation), and can develop into a hardened scar. The
scarring reduces the elasticity of the penis in the area affected.
Balanitis is an inflammation of the head of the penis. A similar
condition,balanoposthitis, refers to inflammation of the head of the penis and the
foreskin. Symptoms of balanitis include redness or swelling, itching, rash, pain and a
foul-smelling discharge.
Phimosis is a condition in which the foreskin of the penis is so tight that it cannot be
pulled back (retracted) to reveal the head of the penis.
Paraphimosis may occur after an erection or sexual activity, or as the result of injury to
the head of the penis. With paraphimosis, the foreskin becomes stuck behind the ridge
of the head of the penis. If this condition is prolonged, it can cause pain and swelling,
and impair blood flow to the penis. In extreme cases, the lack of blood flow can result in
the death of tissue (gangrene), and amputation of the penis may be necessary.
Penile cancer is a rare form of cancerthat occurs when abnormal cells in the penis
divide and grow uncontrolled. Certain benign (non-cancerous) tumors may progress and
become cancer.
Hypospadias literally below the fleshy spike. A condition in which the external
urinary meatus (opening) opens anywhere below the tip of the penis rather than at the
tip.
Hydrocele a fluid filled sac partially surrounding the testis. Manifests itself as a
swelling on the side of the scrotum. May cause discomfort. Can be surgically corrected.
Varicocele dilated and twisted veins of the testis, sort of hemorrhoids of the
scrotum! Manifests itself as a swelling on the side of the scrotum which may look and
feel like a bag of worms. May be surgically corrected if causing discomfort. This
condition may also cause reduced sperm count and male sterility due to sluggish blood
flow elevating testicular temperature.
Cryptorchidism literally hidden testicle. A condition of lack of descent of one or both
testes into the scrotum. If not corrected, usually by surgery, before puberty, can lead to
sterility and increased risk of testicular cancer.
Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) swelling of the prostate gland which surrounds
the base of the male bladder and urethra causing difficulty urinating, dribbling, and
nocturia

MALE REPRODUCTIVE
SYSTEM

Cheng, Antonio Jr.


Mercado, Joan Nicole G.
BSED BioSci 2-1