Sperm Capacitation and Acrosome Reaction in Mammalian Sperm

  • Cintia Stival
  • Lis del C. Puga Molina
  • Bidur Paudel
  • Mariano G. Buffone
  • Pablo E. Visconti
  • Dario Krapf
Part of the Advances in Anatomy, Embryology and Cell Biology book series (ADVSANAT, volume 220)


Physiological changes that endow mammalian sperm with fertilizing capacity are known as sperm capacitation. As part of capacitation, sperm develop an asymmetrical flagellar beating known as hyperactivation and acquire the ability to undergo the acrosome reaction. Together, these processes promote fertilizing competence in sperm. At the molecular level, capacitation involves a series of signal transduction events which include activation of cAMP-dependent phosphorylation pathways, removal of cholesterol, hyperpolarization of the sperm plasma membrane, and changes in ion permeability. In recent years, new technologies have aided in the study of sperm signaling molecules with better resolution, at both spatial and temporal levels, unraveling how different cascades integrate and cooperate to render a fertilizing sperm. Despite this new information, the molecular mechanisms connecting capacitation with acrosomal exocytosis and hyperactivation are not well understood. This review brings together results obtained in mammalian species in the field of sperm capacitation with special focus on those pathways involved in the preparation to undergo the acrosomal reaction.



This work was supported by Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica de Argentina PICT 2014-2702 (to DK) and PICT 2012-1175 (to MGB); NIH R01 HD44044 and HD038082 (to PEV), R01-TW008662 (to MGB); and the National Research Council of Argentina PIP 112-201101-00740 (to MGB and DK).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cintia Stival
    • 1
  • Lis del C. Puga Molina
    • 2
  • Bidur Paudel
    • 3
  • Mariano G. Buffone
    • 2
  • Pablo E. Visconti
    • 3
  • Dario Krapf
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Rosario (CONICET-UNR) and Laboratorio de Especialidades Reproductivas (Facultad de Ciencias Bioquímicas y Farmacéuticas (UNR)RosarioArgentina
  2. 2.Instituto de Biología y Medicina Experimental (IBYME), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)Buenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, ISBUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

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