Difference between Seminiferous Tubules and Leydig Cells

Seminiferous Tubules

Seminiferous tubules are large coiled tubes that are surrounded by a layer called tunica albuginea. The tubules open into irregular anastomosing channels called rete testis. It consists of sertoli cells that have the prime responsibility to produce sperm and control the entry and exit of nutrients and hormones into the tubules. The sertoli cells have spermatogenic cells in between that differentiate by meiosis to produce sperm cells. The seminiferous tubules make up to 90% of the testis.

Leydig Cells

Leydig cells are testicular cells that are present in the interstitial spaces in the testis. The cells are polyhedral in shape with a distinct nucleus. The main function of the leydig cells is to scerete the male sex hormone, testosterone.

Seminiferous Tubules vs Leydig Cells

Seminiferous Tubules

Leydig Cells

Description

Seminiferous tubules are large coiled tubes that are the chief site for production of sperms.

Leydig cells are epithelial cells that are responsible for secretion of androgens.

Location

They are coiled tubes that cover 90% of the testis.

Leydig cells are present in the interstitial space of the testis.

Structure

They are coiled tubes that consist of sertoli cells and spermatogenic cells.

The cells are polyhedral with a prominent nucleus.

Function

The chief function of the seminiferous tubules is the production and transportation of sperm cells.

The main function of the leydig cells is to secrete androgens such as testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone and androstenedione.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Difference between Seminiferous Tubules and Leydig Cells

Are Leydig cells present between seminiferous tubules?

No, the leydig cells are found in the space adjacent to the seminiferous tubules.

What is the difference between Sertoli cells and Leydig cells?

Sertoli cells are nutritive cells that nourish the developing sperm cells, whereas leydig cells are secretory cells that are responbile for the production of male sex hormones.

How is testosterone produced in Leydig cells?

The leydig cells produce testosterone in response to luteinizing hormone that is released by the pituitary gland.

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