Metabolic Strategy in Human Spermatozoa: Its Impact on Sperm Motility

  • Juan G. Alvarez
Part of the Serono Symposia USA book series (SERONOSYMP)


The mammalian spermatozoon must reach the site of fertilization in the oviduct to exert its ultimate biological role of delivering the male haploid DNA complement to the oocyte, thereby producing a pronucleate embryo and a subsequent pregnancy. In order to reach the oviduct in vivo, the sperm cell must be capable both of acquiring its characteristic motility pattern during maturation in the testes and of maintaining this motility pattern during its migration through the female reproductive tract. The capability of the sperm cell to display motion in vitro and in vivo is highly dependent on its ability to generate ATP, which, in turn, is used as the dynein ATPase substrate to transduce chemical energy into mechanical work by the contractile proteins of the flagellum. The ability of the spermatozoon to maintain its motility pattern in vitro and in vivo, therefore, is going to depend both on the normal function of the contractile proteins of the flagellum and its ability to generate ATP but also on the availability of metabolic substrate in the female reproductive tract to produce ATP.


Sperm Cell Pyruvate Kinase Human Sperm Female Reproductive Tract Epididymal Spermatozoon 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

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  • Juan G. Alvarez

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