High resolution

Module 8: Figure sperm chemotaxis

Sperm migration by thermotaxis and chemotaxis in the female genital tract.

This diagram of the human genital tract illustrates the path taken by sperm to reach the egg, which is surrounded by cumulus cells. The temperature gradient down the oviduct was measured in rabbits. Sperm in the vagina swim into the uterus and then into the storage site in the oviduct where they undergo capacitation before migrating up the oviduct to fertilize the egg. This migration is guided by both thermotaxis up the temperature gradient and by chemotaxis. Reproduced by permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd: Eisenbach, M. and Giojalas, L.C. (2006) Sperm guidance in mammals: an unpaved road to the egg. Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 7:276–285. Copyright (2006); http://www.nature.con/nrm; see Eisenbach and Giojalas 2006.