Microvasculature of the buffalo epididymis

Authors

  • Gaetano Scala,

    Corresponding author
    1. Dipartimento di Strutture, Funzioni e Tecnologie Biologiche, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy
    • Dipartimento di Strutture, Funzioni e Tecnologie Biologiche, Via Veterinaria, 1-80137 Naples, Italy
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    • Fax: 0039-81-5644230

  • Paolo De Girolamo,

    1. Dipartimento di Strutture, Funzioni e Tecnologie Biologiche, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy
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  • Mario Corona,

    1. Dipartimento di Scienze Zootecniche e Ispezione degli Alimenti, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy
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  • Gaetano Vincenzo Pelagalli

    1. Dipartimento di Strutture, Funzioni e Tecnologie Biologiche, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy
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Abstract

The microvasculature of the water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) epididymis was investigated using light (LM), scanning electron (SEM), and transmission electron (TEM) microscopy techniques. SEM analysis of the buffalo epididymis showed fenestrations that occupied ovoid inside the endothelium of the postcapillary venules located in the caput,corpus, and cauda. They varied in shape and dimension, but more importantly, they connected the venules of the blood vascular system to the capillaries of the peripheral lymphatic vascular system. Morphofunctional analysis of these connections suggests that the microvasculature of the buffalo epididymis plays a role in facilitating the circulation of biologically active substances, and the absorption and secretion processes necessary for the survival and maturation of spermatozoa. The lymphatic capillaries at the connection points formed a network of variously sized polygonal links. These capillaries then converged to form the precollector lymphatic vessels, which in turn converged with the larger vessels originating from the testis. It was further noted that in the capillary endothelium there were no fenestrations, and in the large veins there were many diverticula. These diverticula appear to play a role in the regulation of the seasonal variations of the blood reflux. In general, the microvascular architecture of the buffalo epididymis, particularly its connection to the lymphatic vascular system, appears to play an important role in the absorption and secretion processes of the epididymal epithelium. Anat Rec 266:58–68, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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