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Sperm transport in the reproductive tract of the female rabbit part 1 the rapid transit phase of transport


, : Sperm transport in the reproductive tract of the female rabbit part 1 the rapid transit phase of transport. Biology of Reproduction 19(1): 101-114

Rabbit spermatozoa were recovered from the upper ampulla and the fimbrial and ovarian surfaces of all females examined at 1 min post coitum (p.c.). As many as 1000 spermatozoa could be recovered, on occasion, from the upper ampulla, fimbria and ovary of individual animals within the first 15 min p.c. After artificial intravaginal insemination, the incidence of rapid transport and distribution of sperm in the female tract were the same as in mated females. The rapid transit phase of sperm transport is an asymmetric phenomenon, occurring predominantly in the left side of the female tract of both mated and artificially inseminated does. Most spermatozoa were not motile after rapid transport and in more than 90% of these, the membranes overlying the acrosome were disrupted. After rapid transport, spermatozoa were located almost exclusively in the uppermost regions of the oviduct. Most of the spermatozoa were cleared to the peritoneal cavity between 15 min and 4 h p.c. and none appeared to reenter the lower levels of the female tract. The sustained migration of motile spermatozoa from the uterus into the oviduct was 1st detected at 90 min p.c., when small populations of motile sperm were recovered from the lower isthmus of all animals examined. These observations show clearly that rapid passive transfer of rabbit spermatozoa to the upper oviduct and peritoneal cavity is a regular sequel to mating. Most sperm in this vanguard are dead and are cleared to the peritoneal cavity before ovulation and thus can have no direct role in fertilization.

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