Animal Reproduction (AR)
https://animal-reproduction.org/article/doi/10.21451/1984-3143-AR955
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Review

The epididymis and its role on sperm quality and male fertility

Ana Paula Binato de Souza, Ângela Maria Schorr-Lenz, Franciele Lucca, Ivan Cunha Bustamante-Filho

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Abstract

The epididymis is a complex organ where spermatozoa acquire motility and ability to fertilize the egg. 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 cell capable 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.

Keywords

epididymis, epididymosomes, spermatozoa, proteomics, sperm maturation.

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