Q:

What is the function of the seminiferous tubules?

A:

Seminiferous tubules produce and transport sperm cells inside the testicles; these tiny tubes are full of Sertoli cells which help facilitate sperm cell growth. The process of sperm maturing in seminiferous tubules is called meiosis.

Mammals, birds and even some fish have seminiferous tubules in the male members of the species. Inside of a testicle, there are a number of different sections called lobules; the area that separates each lobule is called a septa. Each lobule has multiple internal seminiferous tubules. There are also Ledyig cells here that produce testosterone and other types of hormones to help with the sperm growth process. Tubules each have a straight part and one that is convoluted; this section twists in on itself in order to allow for more production within a smaller space. The straight section then transports the sperm created in the convoluted section out of the testicles where it can aid in reproduction. The tubules also have a design that prevents any larger material from entering due to the tight connections in the Sertoli cells. One of the reasons for this is that if the body’s immune system managed to travel into this part of the testicles, it could decide that sperm are a threat to the body and then destroy them.

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