Molecular Mechanisms of Mammalian Sperm-Zona Pellucida Interaction: Crosstalk Between Sperm and Egg

  • Gregory S. Kopf
  • Yoshihiro Endo
  • Shigeaki Kurasawa
  • Richard M. Schultz


Aside from its importance in understanding specific aspects of fertilization, studies on sperm — egg interaction provide an elegant general model to study intercellular communication and cellular activation. Sperm functions such as motility, metabolism, capacitation(in mammals) and the acrosome reaction are modulated by specific factors associated with the egg, its acellular or cellular investments, or fluids bathing both the male and female reproductive tracts. In some species the identity, structure and function of these factors are known, and their mode of action at both the physiological and biochemical levels are starting to be elucidated. Emerging from such studies is the idea that the interaction of some of these factors with sperm to bring about a physiological response occurs via processes analogous to ligand -receptor -intracellular second messenger signalling systems known to mediate somatic cell function in response to hormones, neurotransmitters, and growth factors.


Zona Pellucida Acrosome Reaction Cortical Granule Sperm Binding Intact Sperm 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory S. Kopf
    • 1
  • Yoshihiro Endo
    • 1
  • Shigeaki Kurasawa
    • 1
  • Richard M. Schultz
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Reproductive Biology, Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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