Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
The position and histological structure of the testes of 33 brown hares (Lepus europaeus) were studied from July to December. From July to September, the testes were located in the scrotum; in October and November, in some animals, the testes were positioned more or less in the inguinal canal towards the abdominal cavity, and in December none of the investigated animals had testes located in the scrotum. Testes were weighed and a quantitative analysis of tissue components was performed: the diameter of the seminiferous tubules, the depth of the seminiferous epithelium, the thickness of the tunica albuginea, the thickness of the peritubular tissue and the relative proportion of seminiferous tubules were determined. The tunica albuginea and peritubular tissue were thickest in September, October and at the beginning of November. In the same months the testis weight was low, and the diameter of the seminiferous tubules, the depth of the seminiferous epithelium and the relative proportion of seminiferous tubules in the testis tissue were significantly lower than in other months. We did not find any correlation between testicular regression or testis weight reduction and the change in the position of the testes. During recrudescence of spermatogenesis in November and December the testes were located in the inguinal canal.
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