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Sperm Formation

Sperm Formation

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This lesson will identify the steps and hormones involved in sperm formation.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

Welcome to this lesson today on sperm formation. Today you are going to be learning about the process in which sperm is formed. Specifically, you will learn about:

  1. Spermatogenesis Hormones
  2. Spermatogenesis Meiosis & Mitosis
  3. Sperm Cell Components

1. Spermatogenesis Hormones

Spermatogenesis is the name that we give the process for sperm formation and sperm formation specifically involves four hormones. Testosterone is an important male sex hormone that's involved in various aspects of the male reproductive system and is also involved in secondary sexual traits. Testosterone plays a large role in the development of secondary sexual traits, such as the deepening voice or facial hair during puberty.

Terms to Know

    • Spermatogenesis
    • The process of sperm formation.
    • Sperm
    • Male gametes produced in the testes.
    • Secondary Sexual Traits
    • Traits controlled by testosterone such as deepening of voice and facial hair development during puberty.

There is FSH, which stands for follicle stimulating hormone which acts on sertoli cells. LH stands for luteinizing hormone, which stimulates the release of testosterone. GNRH stands for gonadotropin releasing hormone and gonadotropin releasing hormone is a hormone that is released when testosterone levels fall below a set point.

Terms to Know

    • Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
    • A gonadotropin secreted by the anterior pituitary gland, follicle stimulating hormone stimulates the production of gametes; sperm in males and ova in females. FSH’s secretion is regulated through negative feedback mechanisms and the hormone gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH).
    • Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
    • A gonadotropin secreted by the anterior pituitary gland, LH stimulates Leydig cells to secrete testosterone while in females it promotes ovulation.
    • Gonadotropin-releasing Hormone (GnRH)
    • A hormone secreted by the hypothalamus that stimulates the the anterior pituitary gland to secrete FSH and LH.
    • Testosterone
    • The male sex hormone that controls the development of the male reproductive system.

2. Spermatogenesis Meiosis & Mitosis

Sperm are actually formed in the testes by meiosis and mitosis. These processes of cell division make sure that sperm are haploid so when the sperm and the egg combine there is a total of 46 chromosomes within the zygote. These haploid sperm cells are formed after meiosis II.

Sperm are formed in the testes, but they're specifically formed within seminiferous tubules. Seminiferous tubules wind around themselves within little compartments of the testes. Seminiferous tubules are lined with sertoli cells and sertoli cells provide nourishment for developing sperm cells. FHS, or follicle stimulating hormone, acts on sertoli cells specifically.

Leydig cells are found between the tubules which release the hormone testosterone. Once sperm are formed they head up to the epididymis. The epididymis is the location where sperm can mature and where sperm are stored. Once the male becomes aroused, sperm move from the epididymis into the vas deferens. The vas deferens carries sperm to the rest of the male reproductive system where eventually it will be ejaculated from the body.

Terms to Know

    • Seminiferous Tubules
    • Tubules within chambers of the testes in which sperm are produced.
    • Leydig Cells
    • Cells of the testes that release testosterone.

3. Sperm Cell Components

As you learn about the components of a sperm cell, please refer to the image below. The head of sperm cells contain DNA and are also covered by a cap of enzymes called the acrosome. This cap of enzymes basically allows sperm to penetrate the egg cell when it comes in contact with the egg cell. The midpiece contains mitochondria for energy and finally, the tail is a type of flagellum for movement that allows it to swim through the reproductive tract towards the egg.

Summary

This lesson has been an overview on sperm formation. Specifically, you learned about spermatogenesis hormones, spermatogenesis meiosis & mitosis, and the components of a sperm cell.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR AMANDA SODERLIND

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Seminiferous Tubules

    Tubules within chambers of the testes in which sperm are produced.

  • Spermatogenesis

    The process of sperm formation.

  • Sperm

    Male gametes produced in the testes.

  • Leydig Cells

    Cells of the testes that release testosterone.

  • Testosterone

    The male sex hormone that controls the development of the male reproductive system.

  • Secondary Sexual Traits

    Traits controlled by testosterone such as deepening of voice and facial hair development during puberty.

  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

    A gonadotropin secreted by the anterior pituitary gland, follicle stimulating hormone stimulates the production of gametes; sperm in males and ova in females. FSH’s secretion is regulated through negative feedback mechanisms and the hormone gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH).

  • Luteinizing Hormone (LH)

    A gonadotropin secreted by the anterior pituitary gland, LH stimulates Leydig cells to secrete testosterone while in females it promotes ovulation.

  • Gonadotropin-releasing Hormone (GnRH)

    A hormone secreted by the hypothalamus that stimulates the the anterior pituitary gland to secrete FSH and LH.