The Functional Morphology and Adaptations of the Epididymis in a Testicondid Mammal, The Rufous Sengi (Elephantulus rufescens).

Citation:
Kisipan ML, Makanya AN, Oduor-Okelo D, Onyango DW. "The Functional Morphology and Adaptations of the Epididymis in a Testicondid Mammal, The Rufous Sengi (Elephantulus rufescens)." Kenya Veterinarian. 2011;35:52-58.

Abstract:

Sengis are testicondid African mammals that constitute order Macroscelidae. Epididymal morphology in the rufous sengis (Elephantulus rufescens) was studied with focus on features and adaptations that make it suitable for sperm maturation and storage in testicondas. The three topographic regions were distinct with the caput and cauda epididymis placed further apart and the two are connected by a slender corpus. The caput occurred as a longitudinal mass on dorsolateral border of the testis while the caput occurred as a pear-shaped mass placed laterally between the rectum and the pelvic urethra. The epithelium comprised of principal and basal cells; the former exhibiting granules and apical blebing in the caput. The lumen of cauda was densely packed with spermatozoa, with occasional masses that appeared to engulf them, and its principal cells had numerous vacuoles. This study demonstrates that beside merocrine secretion, principal cells of the caput exhibit apocrine secretion as shown by apical blebs that are shed off as epididymosomes, which transfers epididymis-secreted proteins to the spermatozoa. Additionally, the study has shown that the cauda epididymis descends to a site probably cooler than the core body temperature for optimal sperm storage, with the vacuoles indicating its involvement in fluid re-absorption and phagocytosis.

Notes:

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