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
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.