K+ and Cl- channels and transporters in sperm function

Curr Top Dev Biol. 2013:102:385-421. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-416024-8.00014-3.


To succeed in fertilization, spermatozoa must decode environmental cues which require a set of ion channels. Recent findings have revealed that K(+) and Cl(-) channels participate in some of the main sperm functions. This work reviews the evidence indicating the involvement of K(+) and Cl(-) channels in motility, maturation, and the acrosome reaction, and the advancement in identifying their molecular identity and modes of regulation. Improving our insight on how these channels operate will strengthen our ability to surmount some infertility problems, improve animal breeding, preserve biodiversity, and develop selective and secure male contraceptives.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acrosome Reaction / physiology
  • Animals
  • Chloride Channels / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Potassium Channels / metabolism*
  • Sperm Capacitation / physiology
  • Spermatozoa / physiology*


  • Chloride Channels
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Potassium Channels