anatomy

Reproductive System: Medical Anatomy and Histology of Male vs Female Reproductive Organs [Biology, MCAT, USMLE]

Female Reproductive System: Histology and Organs

  • Medical Anatomy and Histology: Ovary
    • Squamous epithelium = primordial follicle
    • Cuboidal epithelium = primary follicle
    • Multi-layered cuboidal epithelium = multilaminar primary follicle
    • Antrum (fluid-filled space) in the follicle = secondary follicle
    • Pink band around the oocyte = zona pellucida
    • Theca cells sit outside of the basement membrane of the follicle
    • Corpus albicans = dissolving corpus luteum
    • Granulosa cells around the ovum in a maturing follicle = corona radiata
    • “Stalk” = cumulus oophorus
    • Dark pink, rubber-band-like structure inside = atretic follicle
  • Medical Anatomy and Histology: Corpus Luteum
    • Granulosa cells are lighter staining
    • Darker staining fibroblastic cells are theca lutein cells
  • Medical Anatomy and Histology: Ovary + Fallopian tube
    • Fallopian tube epithelium: tall nuclei close to the lumen (Peg cells)  and round nuclei (ciliated cells)
    • Ampulla has the most tortuous branching pattern; infundibulum has a smaller lumen w/ less branching; intramural portion is surrounded by some myometrial muscle

  • Medical Anatomy and Histology: Uterus
    • In tact surface epithelium = not menstrual or immediately post-menstrual
    • Endometrium: basalis layer doesn’t change during menstrual cycle – functionalis layer does
    • Early proliferative phase: relatively smooth/straight glands in the functionalis +intact surface epithelium
    • Secretory phase: coiled glands with secretory product within them in the functionalis + intact surface epithelium + spiral arteries
    • Menstrual phase: hemorrhage + functionalis layer sloughing + edema
  • Cervix: non-keratinized stratified squamous epithelium that transitions into simple columnar epithelium with glands
  • Vagina: non-keratinized stratified squamous epithelium with washed-out looking cells (glycogen stored within them)
  • Medical Anatomy and Histology: Placenta
    • Fetal side: large blood vessels and smooth, simple epithelium with two layers of extra-embryonic membranes
    • Villi within the placenta
      • Round with pale staining cytoplasm = cytotrophoblast
      • Continuous and dark staining cytoplasm = syncytiotrophoblast
      • Appearance depends on age (younger = more equal representation of cyto- and syncytiotrophoblast)
      • Fetal blood is within the villus; maternal blood is in the spaces around the villus
      • Macrophages w/in villi = Hofbauer cells
    • Decidua/decidual plate = maternal side = modified endometrium
    • A large villus that goes all the way across = stem/anchoring villus

  • Medical Anatomy and Histology: Mammary Gland
    • Inactive mammary gland: “islands” of ductal tissue + dense irregular CT
    • Proliferative mammary gland: more glandular tissue than CT, development of secretory acini (little circles of cells), lumens haven’t gotten very large
    • Lactating mammary gland: dilated acini lumens w/ secretory product inside, more acini than ducts

Male Reproductive System: Organs and Histology

  • Medical Anatomy and Histology: Testes
    • Seminiferous tubule
      • Pale staining nucleus + prominent nucleolus = Sertoli Cell
      • Small cells with dark nuclei on the BM = spermatogonia
      • Cells with condensed chromatin/mitotic figures = primary spermatocytes
      • Cells with a very round, condensed nucleus closer to the lumen = early spermatids
      • Cells will longer nuclei, starting to take on the appearance of sperm = late spermatids
    • Cells between the seminiferous tubules that produce testosterone = Leydig cells
    • Dense CT on the surface of the testis = tunica albuginea
  • Efferent ductules: scalloped glands w/ alternating tall and short cells (have cilia – hard to see)
  • Epididymis: smooth ductules, stereocilia, pseudostratified columnar epithelium
    • Mature sperm stored here – only goes to vas deferens pre-ejaculation.
    • Note the sperm that arrives at the epididymis is non-motile; the activation (capacitation) occurs here
    • Function of stereocilia is absorption of fluid that comes from the testes (to keep things moving along) – this concentrates the sperm
  • Vas deferens: large smooth muscle wall (three layers), lined with pseudostratified columnar epithelium, basal cells, muscular wall much thicker than the diameter of the lumen
  • Urethra: scalloped lumen with muscular wall (only 1-2x the thickness of the lumen), transitional epithelium (binucleate surface cells and multiplelayers)
  • Seminal vesicle: convoluted lumen with mucosal crypts, seminal fluid in the lumen, pseudostratified columnar epithelium
  • Prostate gland: prostatic concretions (laid down in layers, like tree rings), fibromuscular stroma
    • Don’t confuse with lactating mammary gland – the CT is very different
    • Note: older prostate has more concretions
  • Medical Anatomy and Histology: Penis
    • Corpora cavernosa
    • Tunica albuginea: CT around the corpora cavernosa
    • Corpus spongiosum: penile urethra w/in

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