The Wolffian duct (also known as archinephric duct, Leydig's duct, and the mesonephric duct) is an paired organ found in mammals including humans during embryogenesis. It connects the primitive kidney Wolffian body (or mesonephros) to the cloaca and serves as the anlage for certain male reproductive organs.
In the female, in the absence of testosterone support, the Wolffian ducts do not develop and wither. As a residual the epoophoron may be present. Also, lateral to the wall of the vagina a Gartner's duct or cyst could develop as a remnant.
Wolffianducts are present in the embryo at a crown-rump length of 4-5 mm, and serve as the excreting duct to the mesonephros.
In the male fetus, the anterior part of the wolffianducts communicate with the seminiferous tubules, the posterior part forms the vas deferens and the seminal vesicle.
Gonadectomy performed in male rabbit fetuses before the age of differentiation induces the degeneration of the wolffianducts and the development of the müllerian ducts into fallopian tubes, uterus and the upper part of the vagina (24).
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