Apoptotic Events in Male Germ Cells and in Mature Mammalian Spermatozoa

  • J.A. Tapia
  • F.J. Peña


The spermatozoon is a highly specialized cell, which main function is to transport the male haploid genome in the female genital tract and to deliver it during fertilization of the oocyte. Several reports have shown that the molecular machinery involved in apoptosis in somatic cells is also present in sperm cells during their generation in the testis as well as in the mature, ejaculated mammalian spermatozoa. The aim of the present chapter is to give an overview of recent research on apoptosis in male germ cells and in ejaculated spermatozoa, pointing out its regulation and potential role in important sperm functions. The potential role that oxidative-stress and mitochondrial dysfunction could play as inductors of apoptosis in both fresh and frozen-thawed spermatozoa will be also discussed.


Apoptosis Spermatogenesis Mammalian Spermatozoa 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • J.A. Tapia
    • 1
  • F.J. Peña
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, Laboratory of SpermatologyUniversity of ExtremaduraSpain

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