Soluble Sperm Factors, Electrical Events and Egg Activation

  • Brian Dale
  • Louis J. DeFelice
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 45)


Alberto Monroy, together with Kao, Grundfest and Tyler, were amongst the first to recognize the importance of ion fluxes through the plasma membrane in the process of egg activation (Tyler et. al. 1956). In the 1970’s the electrical events at activation in sea urchin eggs were recorded (Steinhardt et al 1971; Ito and Yoshioka, 1973; Jaffe, 1976 and Chambers and de Armendi, 1979), and shortly afterwards measurements were extended to fish, amphibia and mammals (see Igusa et al., 1983; McCulloh et al., 1983; Nuccitelli, 1980; Talevi et al., 1985 for references). The sea urchin response was noted to be a biphasic depolarization (Ito and Yoshioka, 1973). However, neither the biophysical origin of this depolarization, nor the mechanism by which it was triggered, were known. Here we follow the progress made in this field and describe how electrical measurements have been utilized to elucidate the mechanism of egg activation.


Electrical Event Fertilization Potential Gamete Fusion Cortical Reaction Step Depolarization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Dale
    • 1
  • Louis J. DeFelice
    • 2
  1. 1.Stazione ZoologicaNapoliItaly
  2. 2.Dept. of Anatomy and Cell BiologyEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA

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