The sequential effects of human cervical mucus, oviductal fluid, and follicular fluid on sperm function

Jianjun Zhu, Christopher L. R. Barratt, Jack Lippes, Allan A. Pacey, Ian D. Cooke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To compare the sequential effects of human cervical mucus (CM), oviductal fluid, and follicular fluid (FF) on sperm motility, hyperactivation, and the acrosome reaction during 9 hours of incubation in vitro.

Design: Spermatozoa from a fertile donor were allowed to penetrate human CM in vitro and then were recovered and incubated in either 30% human oviductal fluid or a simple salt solution for 3 hours before challenge with 20% FF. Thus, the sequential effects of the fluids collected from the female reproductive tract on sperm hyperactivation and acrosome reaction were examined.

Setting: The donor insemination program at the University Clinic within the Jessop Hospital for Women, Sheffield, United Kingdom.

Patients: All donors used in this study were involved in the donor insemination program.

Main outcome measures: Sperm motility, hyperactivation, and percentage of acrosome-reacted spermatozoa were measured.

Results: This study used an in vitro technique to mimic sperm transport in vivo. Spermatozoa sequentially incubated with female reproductive tract secretions in vitro showed a maintenance in the level of FF-induced hyperactivated motility and a decreased response to the FF-induced acrosome reaction when compared with sperm challenged with FF in the absence of prior incubation with human oviductal fluid.

Conclusion: It is suggested that human oviductal fluid may serve to delay the FF-induced acrosome reaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1129-1135
Number of pages7
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1994


  • Acrosome/drug effects
  • Adult
  • Body Fluids/chemistry
  • Cervix Mucus/physiology
  • Fallopian Tubes/chemistry
  • Female
  • Follicular Fluid/physiology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Progesterone/analysis
  • Sperm Motility/drug effects
  • Sperm Transport/physiology
  • Spermatozoa/cytology


Dive into the research topics of 'The sequential effects of human cervical mucus, oviductal fluid, and follicular fluid on sperm function'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this