Steroid induced exocytosis: the human sperm acrosome reaction

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1989 Apr 28;160(2):828-33. doi: 10.1016/0006-291x(89)92508-4.


By a combination of organic precipitation and high pressure liquid chromatography, human sperm acrosome reaction inducing activity has been purified from the fluid aspirated from preovulatory human ovarian follicles and identified as 4-pregnen-3,20-dione (progesterone) and 4-pregnen-17 alpha-ol-3,20-dione (17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone). It is argued that progesterone is present at the site of fertilization of placental mammals in concentrations sufficient for activity, and hence provides a mechanism of inducing the acrosome reaction, an exocytotic event, in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 17-alpha-Hydroxyprogesterone
  • Acrosome / drug effects
  • Acrosome / physiology*
  • Body Fluids / analysis
  • Cell-Free System
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Exocytosis / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Follicular Phase
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyprogesterones / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Progesterone / pharmacology*
  • Sperm Maturation / drug effects
  • Spermatozoa / physiology*


  • Hydroxyprogesterones
  • Progesterone
  • 17-alpha-Hydroxyprogesterone