Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
In this study a fraction was prepared from rabbit sperm that activated rabbit and mouse oocytes following injection into the cytoplasm. The sperm factor activated oocytes exhibited cortical granule exocytosis, pronuclear formation, and cleavage. The sperm factor was soluble in aqueous solution and was not active extracellularly. Unlike most artificial activation methods that are only effective with aged oocytes, the sperm factor activated recently ovulated oocytes. The factor appears to be a protein or associated with a protein but not an acrosomal protein. Fractions from both mouse and bull sperm did not activate rabbit or mouse oocytes. Their inactivity may be owing to the techniques used to recover the fractions or differences between species in sperm morphology and fertilization processes. These observations support the hypothesis that oocyte activation is induced by a factor within sperm that is released into the cytoplasm of the oocyte at the time of sperm-oocyte fusion.
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