Discussion and summary

In this chapter, we have attempted to review some of the advances in the sperm capacitation field in the last years. Although the molecular basis of this phenomenon is still not well understood, the use of novel technologies such as flow cyto-metry, single cell analysis and tandem mass spectrometry in combination with the examination of knock-out mice with phenotypes involving capacitation will result in considerable advances in our understanding of this process. As a final note, it should be highlighted that most of our knowledge of sperm capacitation is coming from in vitro experiments. While these observations are important, it should be taking into account for future studies the ability of the female tract to control the speed of capacitation and to deliver freshly capacitated sperm to all of the ovulated eggs. Comparison between in vivo and in vitro capacitation will be necessary to fully understand the capacitation process and warrant continued investigation in this field.

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