1. What is capacitation?
A sperm cell undergoes capacitation once it enters the female reproductive tract. It is a process in which cholesterol and glycoproteins are removed from the sperm cell head which allows the cell to bind to the zona pellucida of the egg cell or ovum. It is the penultimate step in the maturation of mammalian spermatozoa and is important to render the sperm cell to be competent to fertilise an oocyte or egg. Capacitation is a biochemical event and prior to this the sperm cell is mature and shows normal motility.
2. What role do hormones play in gametogenesis?
Generally there are three hormones in which have a direct role in gametogenesis. These are
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone or GnRH: GnRH is a small peptide that travels via blood circulation and affects the cells in the anterior pituitary. It regulates the secretion of the Follicle Stimulating Hormone and the Luteinizing Hormone from this part of the hypothalamus.
FSH or Follicle Stimulating hormone: This hormone acts on gamete-producing cells to regulate or control gametogenesis.
LH or Luteinizing hormone: This hormone acts on the hormone-producing cells or the endocrine system by stimulating the release of steroid sex hormones.