Chapter: Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology: The Endocrine System

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Testes

The testes are located in the scrotum, a sac of skin between the upper thighs. Two hormones, testos-terone and inhibin, are secreted by the testes.

TESTES

 

The testes are located in the scrotum, a sac of skin between the upper thighs. Two hormones, testos-terone and inhibin, are secreted by the testes.

 

TESTOSTERONE

 

Testosterone is a steroid hormone secreted by the interstitial cells of the testes; the stimulus for secretion is LH from the anterior pituitary gland.

 

Testosterone promotes maturation of sperm in the seminiferous tubules of the testes; this process begins at puberty and continues throughout life. At puberty, testosterone stimulates development of the male sec-ondary sex characteristics. These include growth ofall the reproductive organs, growth of facial and body hair, growth of the larynx and deepening of the voice, and growth (protein synthesis) of the skeletal muscles. Testosterone also brings about closure of the epiphy-ses of the long bones.

 

INHIBIN

 

The hormone inhibin is secreted by the sustentacular cells of the testes; the stimulus for secretion is increased testosterone. The function of inhibin is to decrease the secretion of FSH by the anterior pituitary gland. The interaction of inhibin, testosterone, and the anterior pituitary hormones maintains spermato-genesis at a constant rate.

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