Transformation, migration and outcome of residual bodies in the seminiferous tubules of the rat testis
Experiments were performed to study the transformation, migration and outcome of residual bodies (RBs) in the seminiferous tubules of the rat testes. One part of the testes from adult Sprague–Dawley rats was used to generate paraffin sections to observe RBs and RB precursors through specific staining, and the other part of the testes was used to generate ultrathin sections to observe RBs under a transmission electron microscope. Deep blue particles of different sizes were observed in some seminiferous tubules through specific staining for RBs and RB precursors. These particles first appeared in the seminiferous tubules at stage I of the spermatogenic cycle, and after spermiation, the particles travelled rapidly towards the deeper region of the seminiferous epithelium and soon appeared close to the basement membrane of the seminiferous tubule. All of the particles in the tubules disappeared at stage IX. Using transmission electron microscopy, components of different electron densities were observed in the RBs on the surface of the seminiferous epithelium, all of which gradually formed in the cytoplasm of spermatozoon in later stages of spermiogenesis. After the spermatozoa were released, the RBs in the epithelium travelled quickly to the edge of the tube and were gradually transformed into lipid inclusions. These lipid inclusions ultimately became lipidlike particles. The lipidlike particles were discharged into the interstitial tissue. RBs initiate their own digestive process before their formation during spermiation in the rat testes. After spermiation, the RBs transform into lipid inclusions and finally into lipidlike particles. These lipidlike particles can be eliminated from the seminiferous tubules.