Korean Journal of Veterinary Research 2002;42(3):299-308.
Morphometric Studies on the Testis Interstitium of Korean Ring-Necked Pheasants (Phasianus colchicus karpowi) during the Breeding and Nonbreeding Seasons
In-Shik Kim
Department of Anatomy, College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonbuk National University
번식기와 비번식기의 한국산 꿩 고환간질조직의 형태계측학적 연구
전북대학교 수의과대학 해부학교실
The purpose of this morphometric study was to obtain detailed quantitative information on all cell types in the testis interstitium of Korean ring-necked pheasants combined with data on changes in the steroidogenic function of the testis during the breeding and nonbreeding seasons. Animals collected during the breeding season, testis weights, sperm production, serum testosterone levels, leuteinizing hormone-stimulated testosterone secretion, and the length of the seminiferous tubules were significantly (p < 0.05) increased as compared to the nonbreeding season. Seminiferous tubules occupied 93.25% of testis volume in the breeding season. Leydig cells constituted 0.82% of the testicular volume. The mean volume of an Leydig cell was $1039{mu}m^3$, and each testis contained about 24.53 million Leydig cells. Testes of the pheasants during the nonbreeding season displayed a 98% reduction in testis volume that was associated with a decrease in the absolute volume of seminiferous tubules (98% reduction), tubular lumen(100%), interstitium(90%), blood vessels(84%), lymphatic spaces(97%), Leydig cells(79%), mesenchymal cells(51%), and myoid cells(61%). The number of Leydig cells, mesenchymal cells, myoid cells per testis in the breeding season was higher (p < 0.05) than in the nonbreeding season. Although the average volume of a Leydig cell was 74% lower in the nonbreeding season, the average volume of a myoid and mesenchymal cell remained unchanged. These results demonstrate that there are a striking differences in the testicular structure of the Korean ring-necked pheasant in the breeding and nonbreeding seasons. Every structural parameter of the Leydig cell was pasitively correlated with both serum and LH-stimulated secretion concentrations of testosterone. Correlation of changes in hormonal status with morphometric alterations of all Leydig cell suggests that the Korean-ring necked pheasant may be used as a model to study structure-function relations in the avian testis.
Key Words: Korean ring-necked pheasant, testis interstitium, morphometry

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