Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

p. 1235-1244

The epididymis and its role on sperm quality and male fertility

Souza, Ana Paula Binato deSchorr-Lenz, Ângela MariaLucca, FrancieleBustamante-Filho, Ivan Cunha

The epididymis is a complex organ where spermatozoa acquire motility and ability to fertilize theegg. Epididymal maturation lasts 1 or 2 weeks and exposes the immature spermatozoa to a sequentially modified milieu, promoting intense interactions with secretions by the epididymal epithelium. Sperm surface modifications in response to interactions with epididymal secretions are key steps to achieve fertility ability. However, the precise molecular mechanisms that convert an immotile and infertile gamete into a highly motile cellcapable of fusion with an oocyte are still unknown. Recent data on proteomics and transcriptomics of epididymal fluid and epididymosomes brought new ideas of the physiological roles of proteins and miRNAs in epididymal maturation in spermatozoa. This review focuses on the recent discoveries on epididymal fluid composition and its role on sperm maturation and preservation, linking to their survival and fertility potential.(AU)

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