Fourteen albino male mice were subjected to bilateral section and ligation of the epididymis at a point just distal to the proximal lobules of the head, and were killed 2, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20 and 24 weeks after operation. One testis was studied using the periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) technique, the other by frozen sections. The weight of the seminal vesicle was taken as an indicator of androgen output.
Testicular histology remained unchanged during the 6 months after operation, and there was no alteration in the weight or cytology of the seminal vesicles. An attempt is made to relate the findings to current views on Leydig cell biology.
The postoperative occurrence of abnormal Leydig cells is described: these cells contain abundant PAS-positive cytoplasmic material (? glycoprotein) and have not previously been noted. Their anatomical and physiological significance is not clear.