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Wolffian duct
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Urogenital sinus of female human embryo of eight and a half to nine weeks old.
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Transverse section of a chick embryo of forty-five hours' incubation.
Latin d. mesonephricus, d. Wolffi
Gray's subject #252 1205
Carnegie stage 11
Days 28
Precursor intermediate mesoderm
Gives rise to ureteric bud

The Wolffian duct (also known as archinephric duct, Leydig's duct, mesonephric duct, or nephric duct) is a paired organ found in mammals including humans during embryogenesis.

It connects the primitive kidney Wolffian body (or mesonephros) to the cloaca and serves as the anlage for certain male reproductive organs.

Contents

Development

Wolffian duct (red) degenerates in females (middle image) and develops in males (bottom).

In both the male and the female the Wolffian duct develops in to the trigone of urinary bladder, a part of the bladder wall. However, further development differentiates between the sexes in the development of the urinary and reproductive organs.

Male development

In a male, it develops into a system of connected organs between the testis and the prostate, namely the rete testis, the efferent ducts, the epididymis, the vas deferens,and the seminal vesicle. The prostate forms from the urogenital sinus.

For this it is critical that the ducts are exposed to testosterone during embryogenesis. Testosterone binds to and activates androgen receptor, affecting intracellular signals and modifying the expression of numerous genes.[1]

In the mature male, the function of this system is to store and mature sperm, and provide accessory semen fluid.

Female development

In the female, in the absence of testosterone support, the Wolffian duct regresses, and inclusions may persist. The epoophoron and Skene's glands may be present. Also, lateral to the wall of the vagina a Gartner's duct or cyst could develop as a remnant.

The derivatives can be remebered using the mnemonic, "Gardener's SEED" for Gartner's duct, Seminal vesicles, Epididymis, Ejaculatory duct and Ductus deferens.[2]

History

It is named after Caspar Friedrich Wolff who described the mesonephros and its ducts in his dissertation in 1759.[3]

Additional images

See also

References

  1. ^ Hannema SE, Print CG, Charnock-Jones DS, Coleman N, Hughes IA (2006). "Changes in gene expression during Wolffian duct development". Horm. Res. 65 (4): 200–9. doi:10.1159/000092408. PMID 16567946.  
  2. ^ "Wolffian duct: Derivatives". LifeHugger. http://mc.lifehugger.com/moc/1232/Vitelline_veins_Derivatives. Retrieved 2009-12-12.  
  3. ^ synd/2845 at Who Named It?

External links


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

Noun

Wolffian duct

  1. a paired organ found in mammals including humans during embryogenesis
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