They are approximately 5 cm in length, though the full length of the gland is approximately 10 cm and curled up inside of the structure. Both glands form as an outpocketing of the wall of the ampulla of the vas deferens.
They secrete a significant proportion of the fluid that ultimately becomes semen. About 70% of the seminal fluid in humans originates from the seminal vesicles.
The thick secretions contain proteins, enzymes, fructose, mucus, vitamin C, flavins, phosphorylcholine and prostaglandins. The high fructose concentrations provide nutrient energy for the spermatozoa as they travel through the female reproductive system. The fluid is expelled under sympathetic contraction of the muscularis muscle coat.
The height of these columnar cells, and therefore activity, is dependent upon testosterone levels in the blood.
The lumen is large and stores the fluid secretions between ejaculations.
The mucosa is arranged into convoluted folds, significantly increasing surface area.
Joining the epithelium to the underlying muscularis is a fibroelastic connective tissue layer, with the well-developed muscularis layer composed of an inner circular and outer longitudinal layer of smooth muscle.
- Histology image: 17501loa – Histology Learning System at Boston University - "Male Reproductive System: prostate, seminal vesicle"
- Template:SUNYAnatomyLabs - "The Male Pelvis: The Urinary Bladder"
- Template:SUNYAnatomyLabs - "The Male Pelvis: Structures Located Posterior to the Urinary Bladder"