Leydig's organ

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Leydig's organ (named after the German histologist Franz Leydig who first described it in 1857) is a unique structure that is only found in elasmobranchs (sharks and rays), although some elasmobranchs lack this organ. Along with the spleen and special tissue around the gonads, this structure produces red blood cells and it is nestled along the top and bottom of the esophagus.[1] Heterophilic and eosinophilic granulocytes are produced, closely resembling structures of mammalian plasma cells. Leydig's organ is part of the immune system.[2]


  1. ^ Honma, Yoshiharu; Okabe, Kazuyuki; Chiba, Akira (1984). "Comparative histology of the Leydig and epigonal organs in some elasmobranchs" (PDF). Japanese Journal of Ichthyology. 31 (1): 47–54. Retrieved 2009-08-31.
  2. ^ Mattisson, A., & Faänge, R. (1982). The Cellular Structure Of The Leydig Organ In The Shark, etmopterus Spinax(L.). The Biological Bulletin, 162(2), 182-194. doi:10.2307/1540813