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Molecular and biochemical events in sperm storage tubules of oviduct in birds

  • G.S. KHILLARE (a1), K.V.H. SASTRY (a2), R. AGRAWAL (a1), A. PRAKASH (a1), J. MOHAN (a1) and R.P. SINGH (a3)...

In birds, after natural mating or artificial insemination (AI), sperms are transported through cloaca or vagina at the utero-vaginal junction (UVJ) of oviduct. Only 1% of the deposited sperm passes through the selection process in the vagina to reach the UVJ. In the UVJ, sperm enter the tubular invagination of the surface epithelium of the mucosa collectively called ‘sperm storage tubules’ (SSTs) where they are stored for longer duration retaining their fertilising capacity. The storage capacity and duration varies from species to species. This enables the birds to produce fertile eggs continuously. Shortly before and during egg production, sperm residing in the SST upon release will ascend the oviduct to the site of fertilisation in the infundibulum. Within the SSTs, sperm motility is suppressed and is initiated at some stage before fertilisation. Restoration of sperm motility is necessary for the release of spermatozoa from the SSTs. The exact mechanism by which sperm are stored in these tubules and released has not been established and hence, this is the focus of this review.

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