Indexed on: 25 Jan '17Published on: 25 Jan '17Published in: Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE
Tubal morphogenesis is a fundamental requirement for the development of most mammalian organs, including the male reproductive system. The epididymis, an integral part of the male reproductive tract, is responsible for sperm storage, maturation, and transport. The adult epididymis is a highly coiled tube that develops from a simple and straight embryonic precursor known as Wolffian duct (WD). Proper coiling of the epididymis is essential for male fertility, as sperm in the testis are unable to fertilize an oocyte. However, the mechanism responsible for epididymal development and coiling remains unclear, partially due to the lack of whole organ culture and imaging methods. In this study, we describe an in vitro culture system and whole mount immunofluorescence protocol to better visualize the process of WD coiling and development, which may also be applied to study other tubular organs.