Efferent ductules: Structure and function

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Spermatozoa are produced in seminiferous tubules of the testis, then they mature and are stored in the epididymis. However, they must travel through two structures, the rete testis (discussed in a previous article) and efferent ductules, in order to reach the epididymis. The efferent ductules (ductuli efferentes) are a series of parallel thin, delicate tubules that connect the rete testis to a single tube, the epididymis. They are unique because they are the only part of the male reproductive system that is lined by an epithelium having both absorptive cells and cells with motile cilia. The efferent ducts are often referred to as “conduits” because sperm travel so rapidly through these tubules into the epididymis. However, work in the efferent duct epithelium has revealed its intricate kidney-like physiological function of fluid reabsorption that provides an essential role in sperm transport, concentration and maturation and thus male fertility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Reproduction
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780128151457
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Androgen receptor
  • Ductuli efferentes ciliated epithelium
  • Efferent ductules
  • Endocytosis
  • Estrogen receptor
  • Fluid reabsorption
  • Ion transport
  • Primary cilium
  • Rete testis
  • Sperm concentration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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