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Human Reproduction

Structure and function of male reproductive system

The testis and ovary produce the male and female gametes respectively by gametogenesis (spermatogenesis in males and oogenesis in females).

Spermatogenesis

  • In males, sperms are produced by the spermatogonia (immature germ cells), which are present in the inner walls of the seminiferous tubules.

  • Spermatogonia increase in number by mitosis. These are diploid.

  • Some of the spermatogonia called primary spermatocytes periodically undergo meiosis.

  • After the first meiotic division, two haploid and equal secondary spermatocytes are formed.

  • These further undergo meiosis to give rise to four haploid spermatids.

  • These spermatids are converted into sperms by spermiogenesis.

  • The sperm head gets embedded in the Sertoli cells after spermiogenesis and is released from the seminiferous tubules by spermiation.

  • Spermatogenesis starts at puberty by the action of the gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), which in turn causes the release of two gonadotropins called Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH).

  • LH acts on Leydig cells and causes them to release androgens, which stimulate the process of spermatogenesis while the FSH acts on the Sertoli cells, which help in spermiogenesis.

Structure of a Sperm

  • A mature sperm consists of:

    • Head

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