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J Anat. 1993 Dec;183 ( Pt 3):441-50.

The tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) and the Sprague-Dawley rat: comparative anatomy and physiology of inguinoscrotal testicular descent.

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Surgical Research Laboratory, Royal Children's Hospital Research Foundation, Victoria, Australia.


Inguinoscrotal testicular descent in the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) and the Sprague-Dawley rat was studied by macroscopic dissection, histological evaluation and organ culture bioassay. In 3 or 4 d Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 10) the gubernacular tip bulged free from the surrounding tissues, particularly with the application of abdominal pressure. Microscopic examination revealed that only the body of the gubernaculum is connected posteriorly to the pubic region. In contrast, macroscopic dissection of male tammar wallabies (n = 17) revealed a densely adherent distal gubernacular attachment to the inside of the fibrous scrotal bulge while the body of the gubernaculum was less firmly attached. These attachments were present throughout the process of testicular descent, illustrating an important anatomical difference between these species. The gubernaculum from the tammar wallaby pouch young was studied in organ culture with rat calcitonin gene-related peptide for 4 d. Rhythmic gubernacular contractions similar to those documented previously in the rat were not observed. The hypothesis proposed in the rat for the control of inguinoscrotal gubernacular migration via the genitofemoral nerve and its neurotransmitters may not be applicable in marsupial mammals.

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