Reference > Anatomy of the Human Body > Page 1243
Henry Gray (1825–1861).  Anatomy of the Human Body.  1918.
the spermatic vessels enter the gland. It is applied to the tunica vasculosa over the glandular substance of the testis, and, at its posterior border, is reflected into the interior of the gland, forming an incomplete vertical septum, called the mediastinum testis (corpus Highmori).
  The mediastinum testis extends from the upper to near the lower extremity of the gland, and is wider above than below. From its front and sides numerous imperfect septa (trabeculæ) are given off, which radiate toward the surface of the organ, and are attached to the tunica albuginea. They divide the interior of the organ into a number of incomplete spaces which are somewhat cone-shaped, being broad at their bases at the surface of the gland, and becoming narrower as they converge to the mediastinum. The mediastinum supports the vessels and duct of the testis in their passage to and from the substance of the gland.
  The Tunica Vasculosa is the vascular layer of the testis, consisting of a plexus of bloodvessels, held together by delicate areolar tissue. It clothes the inner surface of the tunica albuginea and the different septa in the interior of the gland, and therefore forms an internal investment to all the spaces of which the gland is composed.

FIG. 1149– Vertical section of the testis, to show the arrangement of the ducts. (See enlarged image)

Structure.—The glandular structure of the testis consists of numerous lobules. Their number, in a single testis, is estimated by Berres at 250, and by Krause at 400. They differ in size according to their position, those in the middle of the gland being larger and longer. The lobules (Fig. 1149) are conical in shape, the base being directed toward the circumference of the organ, the apex toward the mediastinum. Each lobule is contained in one of the intervals between the fibrous septa which extend between the mediastinum testis and the tunica albuginea, and consists of from one to three, or more, minute convoluted tubes, the tubuli seminiferi. The tubules may be separately unravelled, by careful dissection under water, and may be seen to commence either by free cecal ends or by anastomotic loops. They are supported by loose connective tissue which contains here and there groups of “interstitial cells” containing yellow pigment granules. The total number of tubules is estimated by Lauth at 840, and the average length of each is 70 to 80 cm. Their diameter varies from 0.12 to 0.3 mm. The tubules are pale in color in early life, but in old age they acquire a deep yellow tinge from containing much fatty matter. Each tubule consists of a basement layer formed of laminated connective tissue containing numerous elastic fibers with flattened cells between the layers and covered externally by a layer of flattened epithelioid cells. Within the basement membrane are epithelial cells arranged in several irregular layers, which are not always clearly separated, but which may be arranged in three different groups (Fig. 1150). Among these cells may be seen the spermatozoa in different stages of development. (1) Lining the basement membrane and forming the outer zone is a layer of cubical cells, with small nuclei; some of these enlarge to become spermatogonia. The nuclei of some of the spermatogonia may be seen to be in process of indirect division (karyokineses, page 37), and in consequence of this daughter cells are formed, which constitute the second zone. (2) Within this first layer is to be seen a number of larger polyhedral cells, with clear nuclei, arranged in two or three layers; these are the intermediate cells or spermatocytes. Most of these cells are in a condition of karyokinetic division, and the cells which result from this division form those of the next layer, the spermatoblasts or spermatids. (3) The third layer of cells consists of the spermatoblasts or spermatids, and each of these, without further subdivision, becomes a spermatozoön. The spermatids are small polyhedral cells, the nucleus of each of which contains half the usual number of chromosomes. In addition to these three layers of cells others are seen, which are termed the supporting cells (cells of Sertoli). They are elongated and columnar, and project inward from the basement membrane toward the lumen of the tube. As development of the spermatozoa proceeds the latter group themselves around the inner extremities of the supporting cells. The nuclear portion of the spermatid, which is partly


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