Size of rat spermatozoa during maturation along the epididymis

N. Laufer*, J. Y. May, S. Segal, N. B. Grover

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


An electrical sizing apparatus based on the Coulter Counter was used to measure rat spermatozoa from the proximal (caput) and distal (caudal) ends of the epididymis and from the ejaculate. The typical size distribution is unimodal with a positive skew, the crescent shape of the cells precluding absolute volume determinations. During their passage through the epididymis, spermatozoa decrease in size as part of maturation. Saponin causes cell lysis and chymotrypsin cell shrinkage, both effects being more pronounced in the proximal region. It would seem that, during the maturation process within the epididymis, changes occur in the spermatozoon membrane that make the cells more stable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-299
Number of pages7
JournalSystems Biology in Reproductive Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1979
Externally publishedYes


  • Chymotrypsin
  • Ejaculate
  • Electrical size
  • Epididymis
  • Rat spermatozoa
  • Saponin


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