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Cell transplantation into the seminiferous tubules is a useful technique for the study of physiological and pathological conditions affecting the testis. However, the precise three-dimensional organization and, particularly, the complex connectivity of the seminiferous network have not yet been thoroughly characterized. To date, the technical approaches to address these issues have included manual dissection under the stereomicroscope, reconstruction of histological serial sections, and injection of contrast dyes, but all of them have yielded only partial information. Here, using an approach based on the microinjection of a self-polymerizing resin followed by chemical digestion of the surrounding soft tissues, we reveal fine details of the seminiferous tubule scaffold and its connections. These replicas of the testis seminiferous network were studied by scanning electron microscopy. The present results not only establish a morphological basis for more precise microinjection into the mouse seminiferous tubules but also enable a more profound investigation of physiological and embryological features of the testis.


Unai Silván, Juan Aréchaga. Anatomical basis for cell transplantation into mouse seminiferous tubules. Reproduction (Cambridge, England). 2012 Sep;144(3):385-92

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PMID: 22753766

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