The aim of this study was to evaluate the change in the expression of mannose-ligand receptors following a freezing-thawing procedure, in order to assess its impact on sperm capacitation and acrosome reaction. Twenty semen samples were obtained from fertile donors. Sperm samples were divided into two equal volumes. One aliquot was cryopreserved and the other aliquot was incubated at 32°C. After 2 h the frozen sample was thawed and both samples were further incubated at 32°C to allow capacitation. Mannose receptors were examined following 4 and 22 h of incubation using a mannosylated-BSA-FITC probe. The expression of mannose-ligand receptors on the sperm plasma membrane was determined according to the fluorescence pattern: pattern I represents pre-capacitation, pattern II represents capacitated spermatozoa and pattern III represents acrosome-reacted spermatozoa. After 4 h incubation in capacitating medium, the percentages of patterns I, II and III were 90, 7 and 3% for fresh spermatozoa and 89, 8 and 3% for frozen-thawed spermatozoa, respectively (P>0.05). Following 22 h of incubation, the percentages of patterns I, II and III were 84, 11 and 5 for fresh spermatozoa and 83, 11 and 6% for frozen-thawed spermatozoa, respectively (not significant at P>0.05). The percentages of patterns II and III in fresh and frozen-thawed spermatozoa were increased by the same magnitude with longer incubation in the capacitating conditions. It was concluded that the freezing-thawing procedure for human spermatozoa does not affect the expression of mannose-ligand receptors and the dynamics of sperm pre-fertilization processes.