Male Reproductive System

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  • Male Reproductive system
    • Initiating an erection
      • Parasympathetic fibres from the sacral portion of the spinal cord initiate and maintain erection
        • Release and stimulate the local production of Nitric Oxide (NO) - vasodilator
        • NO relaxes smooth muscle of arterioles in erectile tissue
        • Widening/relaxation of blood vessel = increased blood flow = erection
    • Anatomy
      • Spermatic cord
        • Muscle enclosing ductus deferens, blood vessels, nerves and lymphatic vessels supplying each of the testes
      • Cremaster and dartos muscles
        • Allow accent/descent of the testes
      • Rafe
        • Raised thickening of the scrotum externally dividing two testes
      • Internal scrotal septum
      • Testes
        • Septa subdivide testes into lobules
          • Each lobule contains 1-3 semiferous tubules
            • Site of spermatogenesis
            • Spermatogenic cells = sperm forming cells
            • Sertoli cells = support spermatogenesis
          • Inbetween tubules are blood vessels and interstitial cells that produce androgens
    • Spermatogenesis
      • Spermatozoa (mature gamete) formation
        • 4 distinct regions
          • Head = densely packed chromosomes and acrosome contains enzymes essential for fertiilisation
          • Neck = contains centrioles and original spermatid
          • Middle piece = mitochondria
          • Tail = flagellum; whip like corkscrew motion
        • Lacks many organelles - reduces size and mass increasing mobility and speed
      • Begins at puberty
      • Involves Mitosis, Meiosis and Spermiogenesis
      • Occurs in seminiferous tubules
        • Begins in outermost layer (immature) and proceeds towards lumen (maturer)
      • Spermatogonia
        • Develop from primordial germ cells during 5th week of development
      • Spermiogenesis
        • formation of acrosomem development of flagella and multiplication of mitochondria
        • Sperm are haploid
        • Unable to swim and incapable of fertilisation
    • Nurse (sertoli) cells
      • Essential role in nurturing and providing structural support for the sperm during development
      • Roles
        • Phagocytosis of degenerated germ cells
        • Untitled

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