HA7: Spermatic Cord - elastin stain
Because this is a thick section stained for extracellular matrix, it is not ideal for analyzing cellular details, but it is excellent for illustrating the different anatomical structures within the spermatic cord. The spermatic cord contains nerves, blood vessels, lymphatics, skeletal muscle and a duct. In HA7 you can see the vas deferens (V), the cremaster muscle (M), and the pampiniform plexus (P). Since spermatogenesis is optimal at 2-3 degrees below core body temperature, the cremaster is relaxed when the ambient temperature is warm and contracts to lift the testis closer to the body when it is cold. The pampiniform plexus is a network of veins that cools the arterial blood as it travels to the testis.