CAPACITATION OF GOLDEN HAMSTER SPERMATOZOA DURING INCUBATION IN CULTURE MEDIUM

in Reproduction

Golden hamster spermatozoa recovered from the cauda epididymidis can penetrate eggs in vitro after a delay of 2 to 3 hr, which is attributed to the need for sperm capacitation (Barros, 1968). During an investigation into the optimal conditions for fertilization of hamster eggs in vitro (Bavister, 1971), I found that this delay could be substantially reduced by preincubating epididymal spermatozoa in a simple culture medium (a modification of Tyrode's solution, containing bovine serum albumin, designated Tyrode-B; Bavister, 1969). The preliminary findings in this work have already been reported (Austin, Bavister & Edwards, 1973); the present communication describes the techniques used and contains results of a larger series of experiments. Since there is some controversy over the meaning of the term `capacitation', it is used below to denote only those changes undergone by spermatozoa after leaving the male reproductive tract and

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    Society for Reproduction and Fertility

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