Changes in the sperm surface during maturation in the epididymis

  • Gary E. Olson
Part of the Electron Microscopy in Biology and Medicine book series (EMBM, volume 2)


Mammalian spermatozoa are released into the lumen of the seminiferous tubule after completing a prolonged and complex process of differentiation. Although the resultant cells are highly specialized in structure and function, they are immature, being neither motile nor capable of fertilizing an oocyte. After leaving the testis, sperm rapidly move into the epididymis where they remain for several days. During passage through the epididymis, sperm achieve functional maturity, developing both the capacity for forward motility and for effecting fertilization of an ovum (l–4).


Epididymal Spermatozoon Mammalian Spermatozoon Intramembranous Particle Sperm Surface Sperm Plasma Membrane 
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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Boston, The Hague, Dordrecht, Lancaster 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary E. Olson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

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