Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Motility and flagellar movement of ram spermatozoa along the epididymis were analysed in vitro. From the caput to the cauda of the epididymis, the percentage of motile and progressive spermatozoa increases. No flagellar bending was observed in spermatozoa from the testis or the epididymal anterior caput. When spermatozoa reached the distal caput of the epididymis, a static curvature, associated with an initiation of the flagellar beating, appeared on the flagella. This curvature normally disappeared during epididymal transit. Its disappearance was associated with an increase in the flagellar beat efficiency. Our results suggest that the initiation of motility is related to two mechanisms involving: (1) the presence of a transient static curvature, and (2) the establishment of a symmetric regular beating of the flagellum. © 1992 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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