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Aust J Biol Sci. 1987;40(1):79-90.

Structural differentiation and fluid reabsorption in the ductuli efferentes testis of the rat.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Newcastle, N.S.W.


The ductuli efferentes testis of the rat form a cord which is embedded in adipose tissue. The cord is anatomically differentiated into a proximal cylindrical region, the initial zone, and an ampulla, the coni vasculosi. The initial zone contains six or seven ductuli which leave the rete testis and run in a sinuous path, roughly parallel with one another. However, the ductuli in the coni vasculosi are more sinuous than in the initial zone and they anastomose; pairs join together to form ultimately a single, common ductulus efferens. Stereological studies of paraffin sections and electron micrographs showed that the differentiation of the ductuli into two parts can be recognized at tissue and cellular levels of organization. Stereological and micropuncture studies showed that the ductuli efferentes reabsorb most of the fluid leaving the testis and it was concluded that most reabsorption occurred in the initial zone. It was estimated that the rate of fluid absorption is greater in the ductuli efferentes than in the proximal convoluted tubules of the kidney. The mechanism of fluid transport across the mucosa of the ductuli is considered in the Discussion. It is concluded that transport in vesicles and vacuoles could not account for the rate of fluid reabsorption and that the main mechanism of transport probably involves the coupling of water and active salt transport.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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