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Epididymis, Duct - Atrophy

Image of duct atrophy in the epididymis from a male F344/N rat in a subchronic study
Epididymis, Duct - Atrophy. Decreased diameter of empty ducts in the body and tail of the epididymis in a male F344/N rat from a subchronic study.
Figure 1 of 4
Image of duct atrophy in the epididymis from a male F344/N rat in a subchronic study
Epididymis, Duct - Atrophy. This higher magnification of Figure 1 shows the scalloped outline of reduced epididymal ducts in a male F344/N rat from a subchronic study.
Figure 2 of 4
Image of duct atrophy in the epididymis from a male F344/N rat in a chronic study
Epididymis, Duct - Atrophy. Empty, collapsed ducts surrounded by abundant mesenchymal tissue in a male F344/N rat from a chronic study.
Figure 3 of 4
Image of duct atrophy in the epididymis from a male F344/N rat in a chronic study
Epididymis, Duct - Atrophy. Higher magnification of Figure 3 showing collapsed ducts surrounded by myofibrotic mesenchymal tissue in a male F344/N rat from a chronic study.
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comment:

Atrophy of the epididymis is generally associated with decreased luminal sperm content, secondary to decreased testicular spermatogenesis. It is characterized by a decreased diameter of the ducts, resulting in intraductal folding of the epithelium to form a scalloped appearance. The interstitial stroma may also be increased ( Figure 3image opens in a pop-up window and Figure 4image opens in a pop-up window ). Atrophy can be diffuse or segmental. When segmental, it most commonly affects the corpus cauda junction. The epididymis is an androgen-dependent tissue, and atrophy can be seen in response to decreased testosterone, decreased dihydrotestosterone (e.g., 5α-reductase inhibition), or androgen receptor antagonism. Epididymal atrophy is a common age-related finding that is associated with testicular degeneration/atrophy.

recommendation:

Ductal atrophy should be recorded and graded and should be discussed in the pathology narrative if the incidence and/or severity appears to be related to chemical administration. If both epididymides are involved, the diagnosis should be indicated as bilateral and the severity based on the more severely affected epididymis. Correlation with disturbances in other male reproductive organs is recommended to aid interpretation.

references:

Creasy D, Bube A, de Rijk E, Kandori H, Kuwahara M, Masson R, Nolte T, Reams R, Regan K, Rehm S, Rogerson P, Whitney K. 2012. Proliferative and nonproliferative lesions of the rat and mouse male reproductive system. Toxicol Pathol 40:40S-121S.
Abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22949412

Ezer N, Robaire B. 2002. Androgenic regulation of the structure and functions of the epididymis. In: The Epididymis: From Molecules to Clinical (Robaire B, Hinton BT, eds). New York, Kluwer/Plenum, 297-316.
Abstract: http://www.springer.com/medicine/urology/book/978-0-306-46684-7

Klinefelter GR. 2002. Actions of toxicants on the structure and function of the epididymis. In: The Epididymis: From Molecules to Clinical (Robaire B, Hinton BT, eds). New York, Kluwer/Plenum, 353-370.
Abstract: http://www.springer.com/medicine/urology/book/978-0-306-46684-7

NTP is located at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.