Seminiferous Tubules: The convoluted tubules in the TESTIS where sperm are produced (SPERMATOGENESIS) and conveyed to the RETE TESTIS. Spermatogenic tubules are composed of developing germ cells and the supporting SERTOLI CELLS.Testis: The male gonad containing two functional parts: the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES for the production and transport of male germ cells (SPERMATOGENESIS) and the interstitial compartment containing LEYDIG CELLS that produce ANDROGENS.Sertoli Cells: Supporting cells projecting inward from the basement membrane of SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES. They surround and nourish the developing male germ cells and secrete ANDROGEN-BINDING PROTEIN and hormones such as ANTI-MULLERIAN HORMONE. The tight junctions of Sertoli cells with the SPERMATOGONIA and SPERMATOCYTES provide a BLOOD-TESTIS BARRIER.Spermatogenesis: The process of germ cell development in the male from the primordial germ cells, through SPERMATOGONIA; SPERMATOCYTES; SPERMATIDS; to the mature haploid SPERMATOZOA.Seminiferous Epithelium: The epithelium lining the seminiferous tubules composed of primary male germ cells (SPERMATOGONIA) and supporting SERTOLI CELLS. As SPERMATOGENESIS proceeds, the developing germ cells migrate toward the lumen. The adluminal compartment, the inner two thirds of the tubules, contains SPERMATOCYTES and the more advanced germ cells.Spermatogonia: Euploid male germ cells of an early stage of SPERMATOGENESIS, derived from prespermatogonia. With the onset of puberty, spermatogonia at the basement membrane of the seminiferous tubule proliferate by mitotic then meiotic divisions and give rise to the haploid SPERMATOCYTES.Spermatids: Male germ cells derived from the haploid secondary SPERMATOCYTES. Without further division, spermatids undergo structural changes and give rise to SPERMATOZOA.Kidney Tubules, Proximal: The renal tubule portion that extends from the BOWMAN CAPSULE in the KIDNEY CORTEX into the KIDNEY MEDULLA. The proximal tubule consists of a convoluted proximal segment in the cortex, and a distal straight segment descending into the medulla where it forms the U-shaped LOOP OF HENLE.Spermatozoa: Mature male germ cells derived from SPERMATIDS. As spermatids move toward the lumen of the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES, they undergo extensive structural changes including the loss of cytoplasm, condensation of CHROMATIN into the SPERM HEAD, formation of the ACROSOME cap, the SPERM MIDPIECE and the SPERM TAIL that provides motility.Leydig Cells: Steroid-producing cells in the interstitial tissue of the TESTIS. They are under the regulation of PITUITARY HORMONES; LUTEINIZING HORMONE; or interstitial cell-stimulating hormone. TESTOSTERONE is the major androgen (ANDROGENS) produced.Kidney Tubules: Long convoluted tubules in the nephrons. They collect filtrate from blood passing through the KIDNEY GLOMERULUS and process this filtrate into URINE. Each renal tubule consists of a BOWMAN CAPSULE; PROXIMAL KIDNEY TUBULE; LOOP OF HENLE; DISTAL KIDNEY TUBULE; and KIDNEY COLLECTING DUCT leading to the central cavity of the kidney (KIDNEY PELVIS) that connects to the URETER.Rete Testis: The network of channels formed at the termination of the straight SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES in the mediastinum testis. Rete testis channels drain into the efferent ductules that pass into the caput EPIDIDYMIS.Blood-Testis Barrier: A specialized barrier, in the TESTIS, between the interstitial BLOOD compartment and the adluminal compartment of the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES. The barrier is formed by layers of cells from the VASCULAR ENDOTHELIUM of the capillary BLOOD VESSELS, to the SEMINIFEROUS EPITHELIUM of the seminiferous tubules. TIGHT JUNCTIONS form between adjacent SERTOLI CELLS, as well as between the ENDOTHELIAL CELLS.Epididymis: The convoluted cordlike structure attached to the posterior of the TESTIS. Epididymis consists of the head (caput), the body (corpus), and the tail (cauda). A network of ducts leaving the testis joins into a common epididymal tubule proper which provides the transport, storage, and maturation of SPERMATOZOA.Cryptorchidism: A developmental defect in which a TESTIS or both TESTES failed to descend from high in the ABDOMEN to the bottom of the SCROTUM. Testicular descent is essential to normal SPERMATOGENESIS which requires temperature lower than the BODY TEMPERATURE. Cryptorchidism can be subclassified by the location of the maldescended testis.Sperm Count: A count of SPERM in the ejaculum, expressed as number per milliliter.Orchitis: Inflammation of a TESTIS. It has many features of EPIDIDYMITIS, such as swollen SCROTUM; PAIN; PYURIA; and FEVER. It is usually related to infections in the URINARY TRACT, which likely spread to the EPIDIDYMIS and then the TESTIS through either the VAS DEFERENS or the lymphatics of the SPERMATIC CORD.Spermatocytes: Male germ cells derived from SPERMATOGONIA. The euploid primary spermatocytes undergo MEIOSIS and give rise to the haploid secondary spermatocytes which in turn give rise to SPERMATIDS.Malpighian Tubules: Slender tubular or hairlike excretory structures found in insects. They emerge from the alimentary canal between the mesenteron (midgut) and the proctodeum (hindgut).Testosterone: A potent androgenic steroid and major product secreted by the LEYDIG CELLS of the TESTIS. Its production is stimulated by LUTEINIZING HORMONE from the PITUITARY GLAND. In turn, testosterone exerts feedback control of the pituitary LH and FSH secretion. Depending on the tissues, testosterone can be further converted to DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE or ESTRADIOL.Organ Size: The measurement of an organ in volume, mass, or heaviness.Infertility, Male: The inability of the male to effect FERTILIZATION of an OVUM after a specified period of unprotected intercourse. Male sterility is permanent infertility.Kidney Tubules, Distal: The portion of renal tubule that begins from the enlarged segment of the ascending limb of the LOOP OF HENLE. It reenters the KIDNEY CORTEX and forms the convoluted segments of the distal tubule.Sexual Maturation: Achievement of full sexual capacity in animals and in humans.Germ Cells: The reproductive cells in multicellular organisms at various stages during GAMETOGENESIS.Testicular Diseases: Pathological processes of the TESTIS.Antispermatogenic Agents: Agents, either mechanical or chemical, which destroy spermatozoa in the male genitalia and block spermatogenesis.Genitalia, Male: The male reproductive organs. They are divided into the external organs (PENIS; SCROTUM;and URETHRA) and the internal organs (TESTIS; EPIDIDYMIS; VAS DEFERENS; SEMINAL VESICLES; EJACULATORY DUCTS; PROSTATE; and BULBOURETHRAL GLANDS).Transillumination: Passage of light through body tissues or cavities for examination of internal structures.Follicle Stimulating Hormone: A major gonadotropin secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Follicle-stimulating hormone stimulates GAMETOGENESIS and the supporting cells such as the ovarian GRANULOSA CELLS, the testicular SERTOLI CELLS, and LEYDIG CELLS. FSH consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is common in the three pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH, and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity.Ornipressin: A synthetic analog of vasopressin with ORNITHINE substitution at residue 8 of the cyclic nonapeptide. It is used as a local vasoconstrictor and hemostatic.Kidney Tubules, Collecting: Straight tubes commencing in the radiate part of the kidney cortex where they receive the curved ends of the distal convoluted tubules. In the medulla the collecting tubules of each pyramid converge to join a central tube (duct of Bellini) which opens on the summit of the papilla.Androgen-Binding Protein: Carrier proteins produced in the Sertoli cells of the testis, secreted into the seminiferous tubules, and transported via the efferent ducts to the epididymis. They participate in the transport of androgens. Androgen-binding protein has the same amino acid sequence as SEX HORMONE-BINDING GLOBULIN. They differ by their sites of synthesis and post-translational oligosaccharide modifications.Seminal Vesicles: A saclike, glandular diverticulum on each ductus deferens in male vertebrates. It is united with the excretory duct and serves for temporary storage of semen. (From McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Fertility: The capacity to conceive or to induce conception. It may refer to either the male or female.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Vasectomy: Surgical removal of the ductus deferens, or a portion of it. It is done in association with prostatectomy, or to induce infertility. (Dorland, 28th ed)Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Histocytochemistry: Study of intracellular distribution of chemicals, reaction sites, enzymes, etc., by means of staining reactions, radioactive isotope uptake, selective metal distribution in electron microscopy, or other methods.Dibutyl Phthalate: A plasticizer used in most plastics and found in water, air, soil, plants and animals. It may have some adverse effects with long-term exposure.Microscopy, Electron: Microscopy using an electron beam, instead of light, to visualize the sample, thereby allowing much greater magnification. The interactions of ELECTRONS with specimens are used to provide information about the fine structure of that specimen. In TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY the reactions of the electrons that are transmitted through the specimen are imaged. In SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY an electron beam falls at a non-normal angle on the specimen and the image is derived from the reactions occurring above the plane of the specimen.Inhibins: Glycoproteins that inhibit pituitary FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE secretion. Inhibins are secreted by the Sertoli cells of the testes, the granulosa cells of the ovarian follicles, the placenta, and other tissues. Inhibins and ACTIVINS are modulators of FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE secretions; both groups belong to the TGF-beta superfamily, as the TRANSFORMING GROWTH FACTOR BETA. Inhibins consist of a disulfide-linked heterodimer with a unique alpha linked to either a beta A or a beta B subunit to form inhibin A or inhibin B, respectivelySperm Motility: Movement characteristics of SPERMATOZOA in a fresh specimen. It is measured as the percentage of sperms that are moving, and as the percentage of sperms with productive flagellar motion such as rapid, linear, and forward progression.Luteinizing Hormone: A major gonadotropin secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Luteinizing hormone regulates steroid production by the interstitial cells of the TESTIS and the OVARY. The preovulatory LUTEINIZING HORMONE surge in females induces OVULATION, and subsequent LUTEINIZATION of the follicle. LUTEINIZING HORMONE consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is common in the three pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity.Body Fluids: Liquid components of living organisms.Rats, Wistar: A strain of albino rat developed at the Wistar Institute that has spread widely at other institutions. This has markedly diluted the original strain.Rats, Inbred Strains: Genetically identical individuals developed from brother and sister matings which have been carried out for twenty or more generations or by parent x offspring matings carried out with certain restrictions. This also includes animals with a long history of closed colony breeding.Toxicity Tests: An array of tests used to determine the toxicity of a substance to living systems. These include tests on clinical drugs, foods, and environmental pollutants.Spermatic Cord Torsion: The twisting of the SPERMATIC CORD due to an anatomical abnormality that left the TESTIS mobile and dangling in the SCROTUM. The initial effect of testicular torsion is obstruction of venous return. Depending on the duration and degree of cord rotation, testicular symptoms range from EDEMA to interrupted arterial flow and testicular pain. If blood flow to testis is absent for 4 to 6 h, SPERMATOGENESIS may be permanently lost.3-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases: Catalyze the oxidation of 3-hydroxysteroids to 3-ketosteroids.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Spermatic Cord: Either of a pair of tubular structures formed by DUCTUS DEFERENS; ARTERIES; VEINS; LYMPHATIC VESSELS; and nerves. The spermatic cord extends from the deep inguinal ring through the INGUINAL CANAL to the TESTIS in the SCROTUM.Testosterone Propionate: An ester of TESTOSTERONE with a propionate substitution at the 17-beta position.In Situ Nick-End Labeling: An in situ method for detecting areas of DNA which are nicked during APOPTOSIS. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase is used to add labeled dUTP, in a template-independent manner, to the 3 prime OH ends of either single- or double-stranded DNA. The terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase nick end labeling, or TUNEL, assay labels apoptosis on a single-cell level, making it more sensitive than agarose gel electrophoresis for analysis of DNA FRAGMENTATION.Testicular Neoplasms: Tumors or cancer of the TESTIS. Germ cell tumors (GERMINOMA) of the testis constitute 95% of all testicular neoplasms.Cell Count: The number of CELLS of a specific kind, usually measured per unit volume or area of sample.Atrophy: Decrease in the size of a cell, tissue, organ, or multiple organs, associated with a variety of pathological conditions such as abnormal cellular changes, ischemia, malnutrition, or hormonal changes.Scrotum: A cutaneous pouch of skin containing the testicles and spermatic cords.Meiosis: A type of CELL NUCLEUS division, occurring during maturation of the GERM CELLS. Two successive cell nucleus divisions following a single chromosome duplication (S PHASE) result in daughter cells with half the number of CHROMOSOMES as the parent cells.Disorders of Sex Development: In gonochoristic organisms, congenital conditions in which development of chromosomal, gonadal, or anatomical sex is atypical. Effects from exposure to abnormal levels of GONADAL HORMONES in the maternal environment, or disruption of the function of those hormones by ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS are included.Klinefelter Syndrome: A form of male HYPOGONADISM, characterized by the presence of an extra X CHROMOSOME, small TESTES, seminiferous tubule dysgenesis, elevated levels of GONADOTROPINS, low serum TESTOSTERONE, underdeveloped secondary sex characteristics, and male infertility (INFERTILITY, MALE). Patients tend to have long legs and a slim, tall stature. GYNECOMASTIA is present in many of the patients. The classic form has the karyotype 47,XXY. Several karyotype variants include 48,XXYY; 48,XXXY; 49,XXXXY, and mosaic patterns ( 46,XY/47,XXY; 47,XXY/48,XXXY, etc.).Tissue Distribution: Accumulation of a drug or chemical substance in various organs (including those not relevant to its pharmacologic or therapeutic action). This distribution depends on the blood flow or perfusion rate of the organ, the ability of the drug to penetrate organ membranes, tissue specificity, protein binding. The distribution is usually expressed as tissue to plasma ratios.Hexanones: 6-carbon straight-chain or branched ketones.Kidney: Body organ that filters blood for the secretion of URINE and that regulates ion concentrations.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Mice, Inbred C57BLVas Deferens: The excretory duct of the testes that carries SPERMATOZOA. It rises from the SCROTUM and joins the SEMINAL VESICLES to form the ejaculatory duct.In Situ Hybridization: A technique that localizes specific nucleic acid sequences within intact chromosomes, eukaryotic cells, or bacterial cells through the use of specific nucleic acid-labeled probes.Oligospermia: A condition of suboptimal concentration of SPERMATOZOA in the ejaculated SEMEN to ensure successful FERTILIZATION of an OVUM. In humans, oligospermia is defined as a sperm count below 20 million per milliliter semen.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Animals, Newborn: Refers to animals in the period of time just after birth.Mesylates: Organic salts or esters of methanesulfonic acid.Vasotocin: A nonapeptide that contains the ring of OXYTOCIN and the side chain of ARG-VASOPRESSIN with the latter determining the specific recognition of hormone receptors. Vasotocin is the non-mammalian vasopressin-like hormone or antidiuretic hormone regulating water and salt metabolism.Body Weight: The mass or quantity of heaviness of an individual. It is expressed by units of pounds or kilograms.Nephrons: The functional units of the kidney, consisting of the glomerulus and the attached tubule.Hypophysectomy: Surgical removal or destruction of the hypophysis, or pituitary gland. (Dorland, 28th ed)Reproduction: The total process by which organisms produce offspring. (Stedman, 25th ed)Basement Membrane: A darkly stained mat-like EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX (ECM) that separates cell layers, such as EPITHELIUM from ENDOTHELIUM or a layer of CONNECTIVE TISSUE. The ECM layer that supports an overlying EPITHELIUM or ENDOTHELIUM is called basal lamina. Basement membrane (BM) can be formed by the fusion of either two adjacent basal laminae or a basal lamina with an adjacent reticular lamina of connective tissue. BM, composed mainly of TYPE IV COLLAGEN; glycoprotein LAMININ; and PROTEOGLYCAN, provides barriers as well as channels between interacting cell layers.Sperm Retrieval: Procedures to obtain viable sperm from the male reproductive tract, including the TESTES, the EPIDIDYMIS, or the VAS DEFERENS.Sciuridae: A family of the order Rodentia which contains 49 genera. Some of the more common genera are MARMOTA, which includes the marmot and woodchuck; Sciurus, the gray squirrel, S. carolinensis, and the fox squirrel, S. niger; Tamias, the eastern and western chipmunk; and Tamiasciurus, the red squirrel. The flying squirrels, except the scaly-tailed Anomaluridae, also belong to this family.Fluorescent Antibody Technique: Test for tissue antigen using either a direct method, by conjugation of antibody with fluorescent dye (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, DIRECT) or an indirect method, by formation of antigen-antibody complex which is then labeled with fluorescein-conjugated anti-immunoglobulin antibody (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, INDIRECT). The tissue is then examined by fluorescence microscopy.Mice, Transgenic: Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.
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