Sperm Capacitation

  • Jeffrey Boldt
  • Don P. Wolf


In 1951, C. R. Austin and M. C. Chang published what have become classic papers in the field of mammalian reproduction. In their studies, rabbits induced to ovulate at prescribed times were artificially inseminated via the fallopian tube at various time intervals before and after ovulation. After some 30–40 hours, the eggs were recovered and examined for evidence of fertilization. An interesting pattern emerged as only eggs recovered from animals inseminated several hours before ovulation were fertilized; those inseminated either just prior to or after ovulation yielded only a few fertilized ova. The conclusion reached by both investigators was that sperm must reside within the oviduct for some time prior to ovulation to acquire fertilizing ability. The acquisition of fertilizing ability, termed capacitation by Austin (1952), is now recognized as an essential feature of mammalian fertilization.


Seminal Plasma Acrosome Reaction Epididymal Sperm Sperm Capacitation Sperm Surface 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey Boldt
  • Don P. Wolf

There are no affiliations available

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