Testes are involved in two main functions associated with reproductive process i.e. Gamete (Spermatozoa) production and hormone (Testosterone) production.
Gamete Production in Testes Sperms or spermatozoa are male sex gametes containing haploid (N, single set of 23 chromosomes) chromosome number required for fertilization. Spermatogenesis is the process of production of spermatozoa from spermatogonia (containing 2N, 23 pairs or a set of 46 chromosomes) by way of mitotic and meiotic cell divisions. Sperm is a specialized cell carrying required genetic material for fertilization and has its own motility. A period of 74 days is required for transformation of spermatogonia to sperm. From seminiferous tubules, the spermatozoa move to rete testes, a space in centre of testes. From here they leave the testes and enter epididymis for storage and maturation.
Hormone synthesis in Testes: Testes also works as an endocrine gland that synthesizes and secrete male sex hormone called androgen or testosterone. Hormone secreting cells are known as interstitial cells or Leydig's cells and these are situated in the connective tissue space around the seminiferous tubules. Testosterone is a 19 carbon steroid molecule synthesized from cholesterol. Secretion of testosterone is stimulated by LH (also called interstitial cell stimulating hormone in males) from anterior pituitary. Testosterone is responsible for formation of spermatozoa, their maturation in epididymis growth and development of tubular genital tract and accessory sex glands, exhibition of male sex behavior and male sex characters. Hormonal secretion begins after the puberty is attained. Puberty stage is the development state of animal when it transforms from young hood to adulthood. After puberty the body attains sexual maturity with secretion of potent gametes and expression of typical sexual behaviour. Puberty age in boys and girls is approximately 16 and 14 years, respectively. Testes also produce small amount f estrogen hormone from sertoli cells of seminiferous tubules. Estrogen is required for spermatogenesis process.