Fate of superfluous sperm products after vasectomy and in the normal male tract of the mouse

C L Barratt (Lead / Corresponding author), J Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The progression of 3H-labelled spermatozoa (thymidine or arginine) was followed through the tracts of unilaterally vasectomized, bilaterally vasectomized, oligozoospermic (t6/tw5) and normal mice; the regional lymph nodes were also investigated. The same rate of sperm production and transport was found in normal and in vasectomized tracts, down to the corpus epididymidis; there was some delay in spermatozoa entering the cauda in the vasectomized tracts. In the mouse, therefore, vasectomy does not affect the rates of sperm production or transport until just before the blockage in the swollen cauda epididymidis. Radioactivity appeared in the caudal and 'para-aortic' lymph nodes as the radioactive spermatozoa passed from the corpus, showing that this is one route of disposal of spermatozoa, or of sperm products, after vasectomy. Naturally oligozoospermic and normal mice gave similar results; again the caudal, iliac and renal lymph nodes received radioactive spermatozoa/sperm products. Some loss of (by definition) superfluous spermatozoa in the normal male tract therefore occurs naturally by this route, and we suggest that vasectomy further exploits this physiological pathway. This would account for the finding that many males do not make antisperm antibodies after vasectomy, just as normal males do not, even though their lymph nodes normally receive spermatozoa/sperm products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Reproduction and Fertility
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1986


  • Animals
  • Epididymis/physiology
  • Lymph Nodes/physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Oligospermia/physiopathology
  • Sperm Transport
  • Spermatozoa/physiology
  • Vasectomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Fate of superfluous sperm products after vasectomy and in the normal male tract of the mouse'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this