Rete testis

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Rete testis
Rete testis.jpg
Position of the rete testis within the testicle
Illu testis schematic.jpg
Latin Rete testis
Precursor Wolffian duct
Gray's p.1244
MeSH A05.360.444.849.600
Anatomical terminology

Rete testis /ˈriti ˈtɛstɪs/[1] is an anastomosing network of delicate tubules located in the hilum of the testicle (mediastinum testis) that carries sperm from the seminiferous tubules to the efferent ducts.

It is in the rete testis that the sperm become concentrated and other fluids are reabsorbed. If this does not occur, the sperm that enter the epididymis will not be concentrated, resulting in possible infertility.

Rete tubular ectasia is a disorder of the rete testis characterized by multiple benign cysts.

It is the counterpart of the rete ovarii in females.[2]


Micrograph of the rete testis. H&E stain.

In the development of the urinary and reproductive organs, the testis is developed in much the same way as the ovary, originating from mesothelium as well as mesonephros. Like the ovary, in its earliest stages it consists of a central mass covered by a surface epithelium. In the central mass, a series of cords appear. These cords run together toward the future hilum and form a network that ultimately becomes the rete testis.

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