Secretory Function of the Primate Oviduct

  • Luigi MastroianniJr.
  • Richard Stambaugh
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 4)


The fluid contained within the oviductal lumen constitutes the milieu in which spermatozoa, ova, and the recently fertilized ovum survive and function. The biological processes which are known to occur at the oviductal level include capacitation of spermatozoa, fertilization, and cleavage. Thus, over and above its ability to transport gametes, the oviduct functions to provide an appropriate environment for the gametes, for the fertilization process, and for the fertilized ovum during the early stages of development. These environmental influences have not as yet been adequately assessed in laboratory species, and certainly in the primate, both monkey and human, there are glaring deficiencies in our knowledge. In the rabbit, in vitro fertilization has been accomplished in a chemically defined medium with ova and spermatozoa which have not been exposed to the tubal environment (Seitz et al., 1970). By standard techniques, the fertilization process in vitro is indistinguishable morphologically from that observed in vitro. Yet consistently fewer in vitro -fertilized and -cultured rabbit embryos develop to term following transfer to surrogate dams than do in in vivo-fertilized embryos (Mills et al., 1973). Thus a chemically defined medium which will support fertilization and early cleavage may not in fact provide all that is necessary for subsequent normal development. Conversely, it is known that tubal fluid constitutes a satisfactory medium for in vitro fertilization (Suzuki and Mastroianni, 1968)


Zona Pellucida Secretory Function Ovulatory Cycle Cervical Mucus Fertilization Process 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luigi MastroianniJr.
    • 1
  • Richard Stambaugh
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Reproductive Biology, Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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