Factors regulating mammalian sperm migration through the female reproductive tract and oocyte vestments.
Mechanisms of mammalian sperm migration through the female reproductive tract and ovum vestments are described. The perspective is biophysical as well as biochemical and morphological, and the focus is upon the role of sperm motility in these processes. Sperm forward progression is characterized as an interactive process between the the cell and its environment, and the mediation of flagellar bend propagation by the physical properties of its surroundings is described. These properties, together with flagellar beat kinematics, sperm morphology, and surface properties, determine the magnitude of the forces generated by sperm and their consequent rate of progression. Sperm interactions with the cervical mucus, the cumulus oophorus, and the zona pellucida are described. The poorly understood affinity of the sperm surface for the macromolecules of the mucus, cumulus, and zona is stressed, as is the viscoelastic structural mechanical resistance of these biopolymers to sperm motion. The kinematics and consequences of hyperactivated sperm motion are presented, with emphasis on objective characterization of such motion (as a biomarker), along with analysis of the mechanical advantage that such motion may confer on spermatozoa during egg-vestment interaction.
Katz, DF; Drobnis, EZ; Overstreet, JW
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