Skip to main content Accessibility help

Ultrastructure of Lymphatic Stomata in the Tunica Vaginalis of Humans

  • Jiaxiong Wang (a1), Zepeng Ping (a1), Tingting Jiang (a1), Hongyuan Yu (a2), Chong Wang (a1), Zhongliang Chen (a1), Xing Zhang (a1), Dandan Xu (a1), Li Wang (a1), Zhongjie Li (a1) and Ji-Cheng Li (a1)...


Lymphatic stomata are small openings of lymphatic capillaries on the surface of the mesothelium that lines the serous cavity and have the function of active absorption. They play an important role in physiological and pathological conditions. The cavity of the tunica vaginalis is a typical serous cavity of the testis, but the lymphatic stomata of the tunica vaginalis of humans have never been reported. Here, we studied their ultrastructure by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The submesothelial connective tissue with foramina was investigated after the mesothelial cells were digested using NaOH solution. We found the lymphatic stomata in cuboidal mesothelial cell regions of the parietal layer of the tunica vaginalis of humans with a diameter of about 1–2 μm. Sometimes, closed lymphatic stomata could be observed. Our study is the first to report the existence of lymphatic stomata of the tunica vaginalis of humans. We found that the tunica vaginalis cavity is connected with the lymphatic system through the stomata, which might provide a morphological basis for the drainage of hydrocele and tumor metastasis of the tunica vaginalis of humans.


Corresponding author

* Corresponding author. E-mail:


Hide All
Bird, S.D. (2004). Mesothelial primary cilia of peritoneal and other serosal surfaces. Cell Biol Int 28(2), 151159.
Chen, J.L. & Hsu, Y.H. (2009). Malignant mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis testis: A case report and literature review. Kaohsiung J Med Sci 25(2), 7781.
Funatsu, K., Nishihara, H., Nozaki, Y., Sakai, T., Tomoda, N., Itoh, Y. & Hayabuchi, N. (1998). A case of a solitary metastatic diaphragmatic tumor—Relation to the peritoneal stomata of the diaphragm. Radiat Med 16(5), 363365.
Koski, M.E., Makari, J.H., Adams, M.C., Thomas, J.C., Clark, P.E., Pope, J.C.T. & Brock, J.W. 3rd (2010). Infant communicating hydroceles—Do they need immediate repair or might some clinically resolve? J Pediatr Surg 45(3), 590593.
Leak, L.V. & Rahil, K. (1978). Permeability of the diaphragmatic mesothelium: The ultrastructural basis for “stomata”. Am J Anat 151(4), 557593.
Li, J. (1993). Ultrastructural study on the pleural stomata in human. Funct Dev Morphol 3(4), 277280.
Li, J., Lu, Z., Wu, N., Zhou, J. & Shi, Y. (1996a). A scanning electron microscopy and computer image processing morphometric study of the pharmacological regulation of patency of the peritoneal stomata. Ann Anat 178(5), 443447.
Li, J., Zhou, J. & Gao, Y. (1997). The ultrastructure and computer imaging of the lymphatic stomata in the human pelvic peritoneum. Ann Anat 179(3), 215220.
Li, J., Zhou, J. & Shi, Y. (1996b). Scanning electron microscopy of human cerebral meningeal stomata. Ann Anat 178(3), 259261.
Li, J., Zhou, J., Tota, B., Scalia, G. & Gattuso, A. (2001). Regulating effects of vascular endothelial growth factor and ANG II on frog's pericardial stomata, mesothelium and angiogenesis. Chin Med Sci J 16(1), 2328.
Li, J.C., Tota, B. & Zummo, G. (2000). Discovery of frog pericardial lymphatic stomata and its significance. Acta Zool Sinica 46, 372375.
Li, J.C. & Yu, S.M. (1991). Study on the ultrastructure of the peritoneal stomata in humans. Acta Anat (Basel) 141(1), 2630.
Li, Y.Y. & Li, J.C. (2003). Ultrastructure and three-dimensional study of the lymphatic stomata in the costal pleura of the rabbit. Microsc Res Tech 62(3), 240246.
Li, Y.Y. & Li, J.C. (2008). Cell signal transduction mechanism for nitric oxide regulating lymphatic stomata and its draining capability. Anat Rec (Hoboken) 291(2), 216223.
Mendoza, N., Li, A., Gill, A. & Tyring, S. (2009). Filariasis: Diagnosis and treatment. Dermatol Ther 22(6), 475490.
Miserocchi, G., Mariani, E. & Negrini, D. (1982). Role of the diaphragm in setting liquid pressure in serous cavities. Respir Physiol 50(3), 381392.
Mutsaers, S.E. (2004). The mesothelial cell. Int J Biochem Cell Biol 36(1), 916.
Ohtani, Y. & Ohtani, O. (1997). Obliteration of the lymphatic trunks draining diaphragmatic lymph causes peritoneal fluid to enter the pleural cavity. Arch Histol Cytol 60(5), 503510.
Rodriguez, W.C., Rodriguez, D.D. & Fortuno, R.F. (1981). The operative treatment of hydrocele: A comparison of 4 basic techniques. J Urol 125(6), 804805.
Shinohara, H., Nakatani, T. & Matsuda, T. (1985). The presence of lymphatic stomata in the ovarian bursa of the golden hamster. Anat Rec 213(1), 4452.
Sui, M.H. & Li, J.C. (2001). The discovery of ovary lymphatic stomata in human and its significance. Acta Anat Sinica 32(3), 220222.
Tsilibary, E.C. & Wissig, S.L. (1977). Absorption from the peritoneal cavity: SEM study of the mesothelium covering the peritoneal surface of the muscular portion of the diaphragm. Am J Anat 149(1), 127133.
Tsilibary, E.C. & Wissig, S.L. (1987). Light and electron microscope observations of the lymphatic drainage units of the peritoneal cavity of rodents. Am J Anat 180(2), 195207.
Velasco, A.L., Ophoven, J., Priest, J.R. & Brennom, W.S. (1988). Paratesticular malignant mesothelioma associated with abdominoscrotal hydrocele. J Pediatr Surg 23(11), 10651067.



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed