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The acrosome - from Greek: akron (extreme) and soma (body) - or the head cap of the sperm is a lysosome that covers the head of the sperm cell under its cell membrane .

Acrosome (left in picture)

The acrosome is formed by the Golgi apparatus of the spermatids , is shaped quite differently from species to species, but always contains hydrolyzing enzymes such as acrosine (a serine protease ), esterase , hyaluronidases and acidic proteinases . Their effect is crucial for the so-called acrosome reaction to take place , with the help of which the protective covering of the egg cell (the corona radiata and zona pellucida of the egg cell) can be dissolved and penetrated. It follows that genetic defects in these enzymes can lead to sterility in men.

On the acrosome itself, the “acrosome cap” is morphologically differentiated from the adjoining “equatorial segment”.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ RD Moreno, CP Alvarado: The mammalian acrosome as a secretory lysosome: new and old evidence. In: Molecular reproduction and development. Volume 73, Number 11, November 2006, pp. 1430-1434, ISSN  1040-452X . doi : 10.1002 / billion . 20581 . PMID 16894549 .
  2. ^ P. Vigil, RF Orellana, ME Cortés: Modulation of spermatozoon acrosome reaction. In: Biological research. Volume 44, Number 2, 2011, pp. 151-159, ISSN  0717-6287 . doi : 10.4067 / S0716-97602011000200007 . PMID 22513418 .