Microscopy Primer
Light and Color
Microscope Basics
Special Techniques
Digital Imaging
Confocal Microscopy
Live-Cell Imaging
Microscopy Museum
Virtual Microscopy
Web Resources
License Info
Image Use
Custom Photos
Site Info
Contact Us

The Galleries:

Photo Gallery
Silicon Zoo
Chip Shots
DNA Gallery
Amino Acids
Religion Collection
Cocktail Collection
Screen Savers
Win Wallpaper
Mac Wallpaper
Movie Gallery

Brightfield Microscopy Digital Image Gallery

Mammalian Testes

The testes are important male reproductive glands that are generally located within the body of vertebrates. Sexually mature mammals typically possess a special sac called the scrotum which houses the testes, and a few varieties of the animals are capable of retracting the glands at will.

The human testes are oval-shaped organs that weigh about 25 grams each. Though only about two inches long and one inch in diameter, each of these reproductive glands is comprised of approximately 800 seminiferous tubules. In younger individuals, the tubules typically exhibit a simple shape, but after sexual maturity is reached, the structures become branched and coiled. The fully developed tubules are capable of generating sperm through the stimulation of the spermatogonia, or sperm-producing cells. The epididymis is the sexual structure where all of the tubules located in each testis meet. This tube-shaped organ extends into the ductus deferens, which is the primary target for most medical male sterilization procedures.

In addition to spermatogonia, a number of other cells are associated with the testes. Sertoli cells, for instance, are found in both the testes of young boys and adult males. These specialized cells are responsible for supporting and protecting the spermatogonia. Also Leydig cells, which comprise the interstitial tissue between the seminiferous tubules, are believed to secrete androgens that are important for the maturation of the male reproductive apparatus as well as the development of secondary sex characteristics. The number and physical characteristics of Leydig cells vary to a significant extent in different species, but are always influenced by the action of the pituitary gland.


Questions or comments? Send us an email.
© 1998-2022 by Michael W. Davidson and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last modification: Friday, Nov 13, 2015 at 02:19 PM
Access Count Since November 25, 2003: 40670
All of the images in this gallery were captured with a QImaging Retiga camera system.
For more information on these cameras, use the button below to access
the QImaging website:
Visit the QImaging website.
For more information on microscope manufacturers,
use the buttons below to navigate to their websites: