The epididymis is a long (4 - 5 meters), highly coiled tube, along which sperm mature as they move from the testis to the vas deferens. This tube is surrounded by smooth muscle and embedded within a loose, vascular stroma. Smooth muscle, inconspicuous in this image, becomes thicker as the duct approaches the vas.
The lumen of the epididymal duct contains spermatozoa and is lined by a pseudostratified columnar epithelium with apical stereocilia.
The appearance of the epididymis should be compared with that of testis, which contains smaller, more numerous tubules lined by a more complex epithelium.
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Last updated: 6 March 2002 / dgk