- Publication date : 1997-09-19
de Lamirande E, Leclerc P, Gagnon C. Capacitation as a regulatory event that primes spermatozoa for the acrosome reaction and fertilization. Mol. Hum. Reprod. 1997;3:175-94. PubMed PMID: 9237244.
acrosome adenylyl cyclases animals antigens, surface cyclic amp female fertilization humans ions male membrane lipids protein kinases reactive oxygen species sperm capacitation sperm motility spermatozoa
Capacitation is defined as the series of transformations that spermatozoa normally undergo during their migration through the female genital tract, in order to reach and bind to the zona pellucida, undergo the acrosome reaction, and fertilize the egg. During this process, extensive changes occur in all sperm compartments (head and flagellum; membrane, cytosol, cytoskeleton), factors originating from epididymal fluid and seminal plasma are lost or redistributed and membrane lipids and proteins are reorganized; ion fluxes induce biochemical modifications and controlled amounts of reactive oxygen species are generated; spermatozoa develop hyperactivated motility; and complex signal transduction mechanisms are initiated. The main purpose of capacitation is to ensure that spermatozoa reach the eggs at the appropriate time and in the appropriate state to fertilize these eggs, by finely-controlling the rate of the changes necessary to prime spermatozoa and by activating all the mechanisms needed for the subsequent acrosome reaction. The reversibility of some of the mechanisms leading to sperm capacitation may therefore be a very important aspect of the fine regulation and perfect timing of this process.