Talk:BGDA Practical - Male Reproductive Tract Histology

From Embryology

Practical 10: Histology of the Male Reproductive Tract

Principal Teacher: Dr Patrick de Permentier


  1. Gain an overview of the microanatomy of the male reproductive system.
  2. Undertake a microscopical examination of the testis, epididymis, vas deferens, seminal vesicle, prostate 
gland, penis, and sperm. The functional significance of the various histological structures identified will be discussed.

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Virtual Slide Box

The virtual histology slides for this practical can be found at:

Testis and Rete testis

  • Identify the tunica albuginea. What type of tissue resides here?
  • Identify the mediastinum testis and the rete testis.
  • What is the function of the rete testis?
  • Identify a seminiferous tubule and locate within it; spermatogonia, spermatocytes, spermatids, and Sertoli cells. Name a function of a Sertoli cell?
  • Locate blood vessels in the connective tissue septa.
  • Identify the interstitial cells of Leydig and give their function.

Efferent ductules and Epididymis

  • Identify the efferent ductules and epididymis.
  • What type of epithelium lines the efferent ductules and epididymis and what surface specialisation is present?

• Name one function of the epididymis.

Vas deferens

  • Identify the epithelium and muscle layers.
  • What structures reside in the lamina propria (proper layer)?
  • What structures reside in the adventitia (outer layer)?
  • What is the function of the vas deferens?

Seminal vesicle

  • Identify the epithelium and muscle.
  • What is the function of the paired seminal vesicles? 

Prostate glands (adult)

Also an infant prostate gland and a prepubescent prostate gland.

  • Identify the prostatic urethra, prostatic glands, prostatic concretions and stroma.
  • What type of epithelium lines the prostatic urethra?
  • Name 2 products produced by the prostate gland and what are their functions?
  • Observe the increase in prostatic glands with age.
  • Notice that the prostate gland is encapsulated and what is the clinical significance of this in prostatic carcinoma? 


  • Identify the urethra, corpus spongiosum, corpus cavernosum, mucous glands of Littre, blood vessels and 
  • What type of epithelium lines the penile urethra?
  • Identify the cavernous sinuses and tunica albuginea.


• Identify the head, midpiece and tail of an individual sperm and present individual functions of these structures.

Additional resources

To support this practical and help with revision are: Prescribed Textbook:
Mescher, A.L. (2010) Chapter 21: The Male Reproductive System in Junqueira’s Basic Histology:Text & Atlas, (12th ed). New York: Lange Medical Books/McGraw-Hill NB: The 12th edition is available online. bin/local/access/access.cgi?url=

Computer resources

  1. "Access Medicine, the medical education resource for on-going study, review, and reference. Access via UNSW Library, Access Medicine Link

  2. Fabric of Life program on the desktop of student computers.

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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, March 4) Embryology BGDA Practical - Male Reproductive Tract Histology. Retrieved from

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© Dr Mark Hill 2024, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G