Testicular Functions

Testes have two major functions: production of sperm and synthesis of male hormones. The endocrine function of the testes is the production of testosterone and androstenedione. These sex hormones are synthesized in the interstitial or Leydig cells. The seminiferous tubules in the testes are lined with sertoli cells that support germ cells during the production of sperm (spermatogenesis). The weight of the two testes ranges from 6 g for rabbits to 720 g for boars (Table 1). Gonadotropic hormones synthesized in the anterior pituitary gland stimulate growth and maturation of testes resulting in sexual maturation, sperm production, and ejaculation.

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