Epididymis, epithelium and connective tissue
This image shows the pseudostratified columnar epithelium that lines the mucosa of the epididymis.
The epididymis, located in the scrotum, is a highly coiled portion of the duct which carries sperm from the testis to the urethra.
In the epididymal epithelium, the tall columnar cells and shorter basal cells give the appearance of two rows of nuclei. However, both types of cells together really form a single layer with every cell sitting on the basement membrane. Hence this epithelium is pseudostratified. (For another example of pseudostratified epithelium, see the trachea.)
The columnar cells are characterized by apical stereocilia (giant microvilli, not true cilia; "stereo" means "solid"). The basal cells are believed to be precursors of the columnar cells. epithelium
The epididymal epithelium is supported by loose connective tissue.
The loose connective tissue of a mucosa is called lamina propria, and typically has a fairly high proportion of cells with immune function.
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Last updated: 25 July 2003 / dgk