ductus efferentes, efferent ducts, efferent ductules, ductuli efferentes
Important function is to be part of the conduites for sperms, which make a pathway and help the transportation of sperms from rete testis to the epididymis (a tube that connects a testicle to a vas deferens; Pic. 1, 2) thanks to smooth muscle contraction.
Other function is the reabosorption of luminal fluid, which leads to the increase of the concentration of sperm as they enter the epididymis. The epithelium has also secretory function, but it is little known about it.
Efferent ductules connects the rete testis (the network of interconnecting tubules located in the hilum of the testicle) and the epididymis (Pic. 3).
In humans there are approximately 15–20 efferent ducts, which also occupy nearly one third of the head of the epididymis (Pic. 4). Near the rete testis the ductules are straight or slightly convulted, surrounded by epididymal ligament and fat and by a band of smooth muscle that helps to propel the sperms.
Ductuli efferentes arise from the cuboidal and squamous epithelium of the rete testis.
The epithelium is unilaminar (composed of only one layer) and composed of ciliated cells (Pic. 5) and non-ciliated cells: