MCAT Biology : Male Reproductive Physiology

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for MCAT Biology

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Example Questions

Example Question #12 : Systems Biology And Tissue Types

What cell type is responsible for testosterone production in human males?

Possible Answers:

Sertoli cells

Zona pellucida

Cells of Leydig

Spermatogonia

Correct answer:

Cells of Leydig

Explanation:

This question requires knowledge of the different cell types in the human male’s reproductive anatomy. The cells of Leydig (also known as the interstitial cells) secrete testosterone and other androgens (male sex hormones), while the Sertoli cells are responsible for nourishing developing sperm. Spermatogonia are sperm cell precursors, and the zona pellucida refers to one of the layers surrounding an ovum.

Example Question #13 : Systems Biology And Tissue Types

The scrotum is responsible for which of the following in the male repoductive system?

Possible Answers:

Androgen synthesis

Temperature regulation

Synthesis of sperm

Lubrication

Nourishment of sperm

Correct answer:

Temperature regulation

Explanation:

The scrotum is a bag of skin containing the testes. The importance of the scrotum is to regulate temperature because sperm synthesis in the testes must occur at a few degrees below body temperature. The testes are the location of sperm synthesis, androgen synthesis occurs in the interstitial cells, nourishment of the sperm takes place in the seminal vesicles, and lubrication occurs in the bulbourethral glands.

Example Question #14 : Systems Biology And Tissue Types

Which of the following answer choices correctly describes the path of a mature sperm, during normal male ejaculation?

Possible Answers:

Seminiferous tubule → Epididymis → Vas deferens → Ejaculatory duct

Epididymis → Vas deferens → Ejaculatory duct → Urinary bladder

Seminal vesicle → Epididymis → Vas deferens → Ejaculatory duct

Vas deferens → Epididymis → Urethra → Penis

Correct answer:

Seminiferous tubule → Epididymis → Vas deferens → Ejaculatory duct

Explanation:

This question requires knowledge of the ejaculatory path in human males. The quick mnemonic for memorizing the pathway is SEVEn UP (Seminiferous tubule, Epididymus, Vas deferens, Ejaculatory duct, nothing, Urethra, Penis). Additionally, this alerts us to an important characteristic of the MCAT. Oftentimes, answer choices for pathway questions will neither start at the beginning of the pathway nor end at the absolute end of the pathway. Because of this, be sure to know all steps of a pathway, not just the beginning or end.

Example Question #15 : Reproductive System And Development

In the male reproductive tract, sperm cells follow a specific path. Which of the following do sperm cells enter after traveling through the epididymis? 

Possible Answers:

Vas deferens 

Urethra

Ejaculatory duct

Penis 

Seminiferous tubules 

Correct answer:

Vas deferens 

Explanation:

Sperm cells in the male reproductive tract are first created in the seminiferous tubules of the testes. From there they travel through the epididymis, vas deferens, ejaculatory duct, urethra, and penis. 

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