surface epithelium

Rete testis

Rete testis is an anastomosing network of delicate tubules located in the hilum of the testicle (mediastinum testis) that carries sperm from the seminiferous tubules to the vasa efferentia.

Rete tubular ectasia is a disorder of the rete testis in which many benign cysts are present.

In the area of the rete testis, the sperm are concentrated as fluid is reabsorbed. If this does not occur, the sperm which enter the epididymis are not concentrated, resulting in infertility.


In the development of the urinary and reproductive organs, the testis is developed in much the same way as the ovary, originating from mesothelium as well as mesonephros. Like the ovary, in its earliest stages it consists of a central mass covered by a surface epithelium. In the central mass, a series of cords appear. These cords run together toward the future hilum and form a network which ultimately becomes the rete testis.

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