Fine structure of seminiferous tubules in antarctic seals

Akhouri A Sinha, Albert W. Erickson, Ulysses S. Seal

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7 Scopus citations


The fine structure of seminiferous tubules from 5 crabeater, 2 leopard and 2 Ross seals showed that during the nonbreeding season the tubules were essentially similar in possessing spermatogenic and Sertoli cells. However, the tubules of leopard and Ross seals had more primary and secondary spermatocytes and spermatids than the crabeater seals. In general, the tubules were devoid of spermatozoa. The spermatids showed stages of maturation such as Golgi phase of acrosome formation, acrosomal cap formation and condensation of nuclei. Some spermatids degenerated in tubules. Both maturing and degenerating spermatids were closely associated with Sertoli cells. Junctional complexes with plaques of filaments were observed between Sertoli cells and the spermatogenic cells. Sertoli cells, irregular and polygonal, contained highly convoluted nuclei, strands of rough endoplasmic reticulum, smooth endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi complexes, small mitochondria, variable amounts of lipid droplets, lysosomes, lipofuscin granules and highly plicated plasma membranes. In brief, the spermatogenic activity had practically ceased in the testes and the animals probably secreted low levels of testosterone during the nonbreeding season.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-188
Number of pages6
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 1977


  • Antarctic seals
  • Seminiferous tubules
  • Sertoli cells
  • Spermatogenic cells
  • Ultrastructure


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