Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 260, Issue 3, pp 469–477 | Cite as

Organization of testicular interstitial tissue of an Australian rodent, the spinifex hopping mouse, Notomys alexis

  • E. J. Peirce
  • W. G. Breed


The organization of testicular interstitial tissue of the spinifex hopping mouse, Notomys alexis differs from that of other rodents. It comprises between 10.3% and 17.3% (average 15.0%) of the total testicular volume, and is variable in its organization both at different locations within the testis of the one animal and among different individuals. Abundant, closely packed Leydig cells are usually present; however, in some regions large, thick-walled blood vessels and extensive peritubular lymphatic spaces, often lacking an endothelium adjacent to the Leydig cells, are also prominent. The Leydig cells in contact with the large blood vessels and lymphatics, unlike those in regions where lymph is sparse, are not densely packed and sometimes contain numerous lipid droplets. Ultrastructure of Leydig cells is typical of steroid-producing cells; however, mitochondria are often extremely large, unusual in shape or bizarely arranged in relation to one another. Also electrondense bodies displaying a paracrystalline-like internal structure of parallel, electron-dense filaments arranged in a lattice pattern occur in the cytoplasm of many cells. The significance of these unusual ultrastructural features and the organization of the interstitial tissue remain to be determined conclusively, but may relate to steroid synthesis, secretion and uptake.

Key words

Testis Interstitial tissue Leydig cells Lymphatics Ultrastructure Spinifex hopping mouse Notomys alexis (Rodentia) 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. J. Peirce
    • 1
  • W. G. Breed
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and HistologyUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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