Wolffian Duct

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Related to Mesonephric ducts: Mesonephric tubule, mullerian duct

Wolffian duct

[′wu̇l·fē·ən ′dəkt]

Wolffian Duct


(from the name of the naturalist K. F. Wolff), tubule of the primary or truncal kidney, the mesonephros (Wolffian body). It develops in almost all vertebrates from the rudiment growing from the head kidney, the pronepriros, to the cloaca. The Wolffian duct appears to be formed metamerically only in elasmobranch fishes. In the embryos and larvae of bony fishes and amphibians, the Wolffian duct is the excretory duct of the pronephros and mesonephros, but only of the mesonephros in sexually mature females. In male amphibians, a connection forms between the testis and Wolffian duct; the latter functions simultaneously both as a ureter and as a sperm duct. In reptiles, birds, and mammals, due to the appearance of the pelvic kidney, the metanephros with a secondary ureter, the Wolffian duct functions only in the early stages of development, after which it becomes just a sperm duct in males and degenerates in females.


Potemkina, D. A. “O sposobe obrazovaniia vol’fova protoka u amfibii.” Dokl. AN SSSR, 1951, vol. 80, no. 2.


References in periodicals archive ?
Mesonephric duct occupied between testis and mesonephros and shifted to primary bladder.
The other ends of these tubules drain into bilateral (one on each side) mesonephric ducts that empty into the cloaca, also known as the urogenital sinus.
In females the mesonephric ducts degenerate and by twelve weeks due to lack of testosterone and the paired paramesonephric developed on lateral aspect of mesonephrons to reach urogenital sinus at nine weeks and unfused lateral arms of paramesonephric ducts forming fallopian tubes.
In type B, the division of the genital ridge occurs in the region where the primordial gonads are attached to the mesonephric ducts and the supernumerary testis has its own epididymis.
Mesonephric duct The tubule that drains from the embryonic kidney (mesonephros) to the cloaca in the embryo.