Updated: 11/2/2018

Spermatogenesis

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Overview
 

 
Introduction
  • A process by which spermatogonia develop into spermatozoa
    • begins at puberty
    • requires 64 days (approximately 2 months)
  • Broken down into
    • spermatogenesis
      • the formation of spermatids from spermatogenic cells
    • spermiogenesis
      • the process of spermatids maturing into mature sperm
Spermatogenesis
  • Spermatogenic cells are organized in poorly defined layers of progressive development between adjacent Sertoli cells in seminiferous tubules
  • Spermatogonia (2N), most immature spermatogenic cells, rest on basal lamina
    • spermatogonia occupy basal compartment in seminiferous tubules
  • Spermatogonia (2N) divide by mitosis
    • produces primary spermatocytes (2N)
  • Primary spermatocytes (2N) replicate DNA (4N)
    • primary spermatocytes move across Sertoli cell - Sertoli cell junctional complexes into luminal compartment in seminiferous tubules
  • Primary spermatocytes (4N) divide by meiosis I 
    • produces 2 haploid secondary spermatocytes (2N)
    • nondisjunction at this stage can lead to Klinefelter syndrome
  • Secondary spermatocytes (2N) divide by meiosis II
    • produces 4 haploid spermatids (1N)
Spermiogenesis
  • Spermatids (1N) differentiate into spermatozoa (1N) by an extensive remodeling process
  • Loss of cytoplasm, gain of acrosomal cap, and flagellum (tail)
    • acrosomal cap develops via Golgi apparatus
    • flagellum (tail) develops via centrioles
Spermatozoa
  • Head
    • acrosomal cap and nucleus
  • Tail
    • neck
    • middle piece
      • mitochondria provide energy for movement of flagellum (tail)
        • sperm motility
    • principal piece
    • end piece
  • Nutrition
    • spermatozoa feed on fructose
 

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