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However, there was a significant p. In these experiments mortility could not be restored by rewarming the semen.

Sperm: 15 crazy things you should know

Viability followed motility closely at 20 and 37 degrees but at 4 degrees C viability was well preserved despite loss of motility. At the higher temperatures the motionless sperms were dead but this was not the case at 4 degrees. As expected, there was more bacterial growth at higher temperatures, mainly gram-negative bacteria such as Esch.


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At 37 degrees the semen became significantly acidic p. To determine the effect of bacterial growth on sperm motility, the experiment was repeated with antibiotics added. None grew any organisms and there was no fall in pH, even at 37 degrees C. Sperm kept in the presence of antibiotics retained motility at 20 and 37 degrees C better than those kept without antibiotics but there was still a significant deterioration p. As described in Chapter 16, the axoneme consists of two central singlet microtubules surrounded by nine evenly spaced microtubule doublets.

These dense fibers are stiff and noncontractile, and it is not known what role they have in the active bending of the flagellum, which is caused by the sliding of adjacent microtubule doublets past one another.


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  6. Flagellar movement is driven by dynein motor proteins, which use the energy of ATP hydrolysis to slide the microtubules, as discussed in Chapter The ATP is generated by highly specialized mitochondria in the anterior part of the sperm tail called the midpiece , where the ATP is needed see Figures and Drawing of the midpiece of a mammalian sperm as seen in cross section in an electron microscope.

    The core of the flagellum is composed of an axoneme surrounded by nine dense fibers. The axoneme consists of two singlet microtubules surrounded by nine microtubule more In mammals, there are major differences in the way in which eggs are produced oogenesis and the way in which sperm are produced spermatogenesis.

    Sperm and Semen Testing and Evaluation

    In human females, for example, oogonia proliferate only in the fetus, enter meiosis before birth, and become arrested as oocytes in the first meiotic prophase , in which state they may remain for up to 50 years. Individual oocytes mature from this strictly limited stock and are ovulated at intervals, generally one at a time, beginning at puberty. In human males, by contrast, meiosis and spermatogenesis do not begin in the testes until puberty and then go on continuously in the epithelial lining of very long, tightly coiled tubes, called seminiferous tubules.

    Immature germ cells, called spermatogonia singular, spermatogonium , are located around the outer edge of these tubes next to the basal lamina, where they proliferate continuously by mitosis. Some of the daughter cells stop proliferating and differentiate into primary spermatocytes.

    Normal sperm count: A guide to semen analysis

    These cells enter the first meiotic prophase, in which their paired homologous chromosomes participate in crossing-over , and then proceed with division I of meiosis to produce two secondary spermatocytes, each containing 22 duplicated autosomal chromosomes and either a duplicated X or a duplicated Y chromosome. The two secondary spermatocytes derived from each primary spermatocyte proceed through meiotic division II to produce four spermatids, each with a haploid number of single chromosomes. These haploid spermatids then undergo morphological differentiation into sperm Figure , which escape into the lumen of the seminiferous tubule Figure The sperm subsequently pass into the epididymis, a coiled tube overlying the testis, where they undergo further maturation and are stored.

    The stages of spermatogenesis. Spermatogonia develop from primordial germ cells that migrate into the testis early in embryogenesis. When the animal becomes sexually mature, the spermatogonia begin to proliferate rapidly, generating some progeny that more Highly simplified drawing of a cross section of a seminiferous tubule in a mammalian testis.

    Sperm Are Highly Adapted for Delivering Their DNA to an Egg

    A All of the stages of spermatogenesis shown take place while the developing gametes are in intimate association with Sertoli cells. These large cells extend more An intriguing feature of spermatogenesis is that the developing male germ cells fail to complete cytoplasmic division cytokinesis during mitosis and meiosis. Consequently, large clones of differentiating daughter cells that have descended from one maturing spermatogonium remain connected by cytoplasmic bridges, forming a syncytium Figure The cytoplasmic bridges persist until the very end of sperm differentiation , when individual sperm are released into the tubule lumen.

    This accounts for the observation that mature sperm arise synchronously in any given area of a seminiferous tubule. But what is the function of the syncytial arrangement? Cytoplasmic bridges in developing sperm cells and their precursors.

    Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th edition.

    The progeny of a single maturing spermatogonium remain connected to one another by cytoplasmic bridges throughout their differentiation into mature sperm. For the sake of simplicity, more Unlike oocytes, sperm undergo most of their differentiation after their nuclei have completed meiosis to become haploid.


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    The presence of cytoplasmic bridges between them, however, means that each developing haploid sperm shares a common cytoplasm with its neighbors. In this way, it can be supplied with all the products of a complete diploid genome. Developing sperm that carry a Y chromosome , for example, can be supplied with essential proteins encoded by genes on the X chromosome. Thus, the diploid genome directs sperm differentiation just as it directs egg differentiation.

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    Some of the genes that regulate spermatogenesis have been conserved in evolution from flies to humans. The DAZ gene , for example, which encodes an RNA -binding protein and is located on the Y chromosome , is deleted in many infertile men, many of whom cannot make sperm. Two Drosophila genes that are homologous to DAZ are essential for spermatogenesis in the fly.

    Improving Fertility in Men with Poor Sperm Count - UCLA Urology

    RNA-binding proteins are especially important in spermatogenesis, because many of the genes expressed in the sperm lineage are regulated at the level of RNA translation. A sperm is usually a small, compact cell, highly specialized for the task of fertilizing an egg.