Morphological features of the spermatic cord in the musk shrew (Suncus murinus) with special reference to extratesticular Leydig cells.

Abstract

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.

Cite this paper

@article{Rerkamnuaychoke1999MorphologicalFO, title={Morphological features of the spermatic cord in the musk shrew (Suncus murinus) with special reference to extratesticular Leydig cells.}, author={Worawut Rerkamnuaychoke and Kenji Yokota and Masamichi Kurohmaru and Yuichiro Hayashi and Go Watanabe and Kazuyoshi Taya and Genzoh Isomura and Teruo Nishida}, journal={The Journal of veterinary medical science}, year={1999}, volume={61 11}, pages={1209-14} }