Sex difference in target seeking behavior of developing cremaster muscles and the resulting first visible sign of somatic sexual differentiation in marsupial mammals.
Cremaster muscles are present in both male and female developing and adult marsupial mammals. They are complex structures and composed of several distinct bundles of striated muscle fibers provided with: (1) a distinct and extensive innervation; (2) a distinct blood vascular supply; (3) a distinct tendineous origin on the anterosuperior iliac spine; and (4) distinct target structures. The muscles thus seem to be separate anatomical entities and not a part of one or more of the layers of the ventral abdominal wall musculature. Cremaster muscles in males are elongated, are larger than in females, and for the most part are a component of the funiculus spermaticus. They insert on the distal part of the tunica vaginalis. The distal parts of the muscles in females are flattened ("fan shaped") and insert over a broad area on the dorsal borders of the mammary glands. Muscles in males have no relation whatsoever to the male mammary glandular rudiments. Muscles in females are attached at the base of the uterine round ligament. The remarkable sex difference in target structures of marsupial cremaster muscles becomes noticeable during perinatal life when outgrowing muscles take a different path in males and females. The initial appearance of this sexually dimorphic trait precedes the sexual differentiation of the genital ducts and external genitalia. In fetal males, the cremaster muscles grow in the direction of the site where scrotal bulges initially appear in the subcutaneous layers and later on the inguinal skin surface. They also take the gubernacular core of the ventral abdominal wall and the attached peritoneal epithelium with them during this outgrowth process. Consequently, this results in the development of a slitlike evagination of the abdominal lumen as the primary step to development of the processus vaginalis, while the testis and adjacent mesonephros and its duct are still attached to the posterior abdominal wall. In fetal females, the outgrowing cremaster muscles pass along the gubernacular core and, subsequently, this structure develops further as the tip (attached to the tubo-uterine junction) of the intra-abdominally protruding and further developing uterine round ligament. The female cremaster muscles grow further into caudal direction to shape a dorsal border of the developing mammary glands. The early onset of this sexually dimorphic outgrowth of cremaster muscles indicates that the "classical hormones" of sexual differentiation (anti-Mullerian hormone [AMH] and steroidal androgens) are not involved in this process. It could thus depend on primary genetic control with male development associated with the male-limited activity of genes on the Y-chromosomes and female development as the default process. Alternatively, the process in males could be under the control of an as yet unidentified third fetal testicular hormone involved in sexual differentiation processes which must then show an unexpectely early (i.e., perinatal) onset of its secretion. (+info)
Phaeochromocytoma of the spermatic cord.
Phaeochromocytoma of the spermatic cord is very rare. It can arise anywhere in the distribution of cells of neural crest origin, but 80-90% arise in the adrenal medulla and only 3% are extra-abdominal. A small tumour may be asymptomatic because insufficient catecholamines are secreted to cause haemodynamic disturbance. (+info)
Morphological features of the spermatic cord in the musk shrew (Suncus murinus) with special reference to extratesticular Leydig cells.
Morphological features of the testicular artery and vein in the spermatic cord of the musk shrew (Suncus murinus) were evaluated by light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, corrosion cast technique combined with scanning electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry. The vascular architecture in the spermatic cord of the musk shrew was simple. The testicular artery in the musk shrew was straight and accompanied by 1 to 3 branches of testicular vein. The testicular vein was also straight and anastomosed with each other in some points along its length, but it did not form a delicate pampiniform plexus. In the middle and distal portions of the spermatic cord, the tunica adventitia of the artery and vein was joined together to form a single connective tissue septum. Clusters of cells were found in this connective tissue septum in the middle portion of the cord. These cells were located close to the arterial wall and nerve endings, but they did not appear inside of neurium. They showed several typical characteristics similar to Leydig cells, and they were positive for 3beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD) antibody. Ultrastructural and immunohistochemical studies also indicated that the cells in cluster found in the vascular wall of the musk shrew spermatic cord may be equivalent to Leydig cells in testes. These extratesticular Leydig cells had characteristics of the active steroid-producing cell and seemed to be another source of testosterone. (+info)
Spermatic cord metastases from gastric cancer with elevation of serum hCG-beta: a case report.
Spermatic cord metastases from gastric cancer are rare. We here document a case involving a gastric cancer that mimicked primary testicular tumor because of elevation of the serum human chorionic gonadotropin-beta (hCG-beta). The possibility of metastasis or recurrence of prior malignancies should therefore be considered when the clinical features described here are encountered, although elevation of hCG-beta is rare with tumors other than those in testis. (+info)
Impetus to transferring non-motile sperm in the seminiferous tubules into the epididymis.
Effect of intratesticular pressure was examined on non-motile sperms in the testis whether they move toward the epididymis when it is raised. The head portion of the epididymis of the dog was cut apart at the proximal portion to the testis fully exposing the lumen of the epididymis. The electric stimulation of perivascular nerves of the spermatic cord caused spermatozoa to flow out onto the incision site at 5 min. The number of them increased progressively, almost innumerable at 15 min. These results support the view that the elevated intratesticular pressure by electric stimulation surely works to transfer non-motile sperm in the seminiferous tubules into the epididymis. (+info)
Malignant fibrous histiocytoma of the spermatic cord: report of two cases and review of the literature.
Malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH) of the spermatic cord is rare, and most published cases are single case reports that emphasize clinical presentation and management. We describe in detail the histopathologic features of 2 cases of high-grade storiform-pleomorphic MFH arising in the spermatic cord. Both tumors occurred in elderly men, 65 years and 70 years, and were 4 cm (Case 1) and 5 cm (Case 2) in greatest dimension. The tumor mass in Case 1 was associated with satellite tumor nodules. At last follow-up, in Case 1 the patient died of metastasis, and in Case 2, the patient is alive and well 46 months after diagnosis. Review of the literature reveals 33 additional cases published in English (17 cases) or Japanese (16 cases) that include histologic description. Including the 2 cases in this report, most of the tumors occurred in older (than 50 years) patients (28 of 35 cases, 80%) and occurred as solitary masses that ranged in diameter from less than 1 cm to more than 20 cm. Nine patients presented with satellite tumor nodules. Twenty-nine (83%) tumors were of the storiform-pleomorphic type, with 3 giant cell type, 2 inflammatory type, and 1 myxoid type. These features do not differ significantly from MFH in other anatomic sites. Clinical follow-up is available in 33 cases (3-174 months; mean, 31.5 months). Twelve patients developed recurrence and metastasis; at least 4 patients died of the disease. Tumor size does not predict the clinical progression; however, patients with progressive tumors were commonly associated with satellite nodules at time of presentation, an indication of early local metastasis. (+info)
Lipomas of the cord and round ligament.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the incidence, significance, and anatomy of spermatic cord and round ligament lipomas. METHODS: This was a retrospective review of 280 hernia repairs on 217 patients performed by a single surgeon (M.E.A.) from January 1996 to January 2000. The incidence of cord lipoma and relationship to inguinal hernia were evaluated. Further, when identified at the time of laparoscopic preperitoneal hernia repair, the anatomy of the lipomas was studied both at the time of surgery and again on review of videotapes. RESULTS: One hundred ninety-nine laparoscopic and 81 open inguinal hernia repairs were performed on 192 male patients and 25 female patients. Sixty-three lipomas of the cord were identified for an incidence of 22.5%. Overall, 18 cord lipomas were found in groins without hernias, and these were identified before surgery in 10 (2 by physical examination, 7 by groin ultrasound, and 1 by magnetic resonance imaging). The remaining nine were misidentified as a hernia before surgery. Fourteen of these patients presented with groin pain and four were asymptomatic. Forty-five lipomas were associated with hernias and were characterized as a hernia by examination in 43 instances. There were 32 (51%) cord lipomas associated with indirect hernias, 11 (17%) with direct hernias, and 1 each with pantaloon and femoral hernias. Nine lipomas were found in women, seven presenting with groin pain and six found without an associated peritoneal defect. Two patients presented with symptomatic cord lipomas after laparoscopic hernia repair. A lipoma of the cord is herniated fat that appears to originate from the retroperitoneal fat outside and posterior to the internal spermatic fascia and protrudes through the internal ring lateral to the cord. They are generally not visible by transperitoneal inspection unless manually reduced. CONCLUSIONS: Lipomas of the cord and round ligament occur with a significant incidence. They can cause hernia-type symptoms in the absence of a true hernia (associated with a peritoneal defect). They should be considered in the patient with groin pain and normal examination results. They can be easily overlooked at the time of laparoscopic hernia repair, and this can lead to an unsatisfactory result. (+info)
The repair of difficult inguinal hernias. Resection of the sspermatic cord.
A method of removing the cord structures from the inguinal canal and preserving the testis and the portion of the spermatic cord distal to the external ring was used in repair of large or recurrent hernias in 14 patients. Only one patient had pronounced testicular atrophy. In one case there was recurrence through the femoral canal. The procedure is simpler and shorter than removal of the testicle as well as the cord. (+info)