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6 - Regulation of capacitation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 August 2009

Bart M. Gadella
Affiliation:
Departments of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Farm Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Pablo E. Visconti
Affiliation:
Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA
Christopher J. De Jonge
Affiliation:
University of Minnesota
Christopher Barratt
Affiliation:
University of Birmingham
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Summary

Introduction

Mammalian sperm are not able to fertilize eggs immediately after ejaculation. They acquire fertilization capacity after residing in the female tract for a finite period of time that varies depending on the species. In 1951, Chang (1951) and Austin (1951) independently demonstrated that such a period of time in the female tract is required for the sperm to acquire their fertilizing capacity. Both authors observed that freshly obtained rabbit sperm introduced into the Fallopian tubes shortly after ovulation were not able to penetrate the eggs; instead if sperm were introduced a few hours before ovulation, the majority of the eggs were later observed to be fertilized. This observation led them to conclude that freshly ejaculated sperm are incapable of penetrating the zona pellucida immediately, and that sperm must remain within the female tract for a period before they are able to penetrate the eggs. Following these original observations, many studies confirmed that the environment of the female tract induces a series of physiological changes in the sperm; these changes are collectively called ‘capacitation’. Inherent to these first observations was that capacitation state became defined using fertilization as end-point.

Type
Chapter
Information
The Sperm Cell
Production, Maturation, Fertilization, Regeneration
, pp. 134 - 169
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2006

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  • Regulation of capacitation
    • By Bart M. Gadella, Departments of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Farm Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan, Utrecht, The Netherlands, Pablo E. Visconti, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA
  • Edited by Christopher J. De Jonge, University of Minnesota, Christopher Barratt, University of Birmingham
  • Book: The Sperm Cell
  • Online publication: 14 August 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511545115.007
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  • Regulation of capacitation
    • By Bart M. Gadella, Departments of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Farm Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan, Utrecht, The Netherlands, Pablo E. Visconti, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA
  • Edited by Christopher J. De Jonge, University of Minnesota, Christopher Barratt, University of Birmingham
  • Book: The Sperm Cell
  • Online publication: 14 August 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511545115.007
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Regulation of capacitation
    • By Bart M. Gadella, Departments of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Farm Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan, Utrecht, The Netherlands, Pablo E. Visconti, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA
  • Edited by Christopher J. De Jonge, University of Minnesota, Christopher Barratt, University of Birmingham
  • Book: The Sperm Cell
  • Online publication: 14 August 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511545115.007
Available formats
×