Past Issue

Volume 12, Number 3, Oct-Dec 2018, Pages: 182-190

Spermatozoa: A Historical Perspective

Jenniffer Puerta Suárez, M.Sc, 1, Stefan S. du Plessis, Ph.D, 2, Walter D. Cardona Maya, Ph.D, 1, *,
Reproduction Group, Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Medical School, University of Antioquia, Antioquia, Colombia
Division of Medical Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Tygerberg, South Africa
*Corresponding Address: Reproduction Group Department of Microbiology and Parasitology Medical School University of Antioquia Antioquia Colombia


The 100,000th scientific article on the subject of spermatozoa was recently published. Numerous studies evaluated the characteristics of this important cell that led to tremendous discoveries. Since its first observation and description in 1677, many important characteristics have been described regarding this highly fascinating gamete. In this review, we intend to provide a historical account of the numerous milestones and breakthroughs achieved related to sperma- tozoa. We conducted a review of the literature by selecting the most important subjects with regards to spermatozoa. Since their discovery by van Leeuwenhoek, spermatozoa have been studied by scientists to better understand their physiology and process of interaction with their female counterpart, the oocyte, in order to treat and resolve infertility problems. Three centuries after van Leeuwenhoek’s discovery, the 100,000th article about these cells was published. It is encouraging that sperm research reached this landmark, but at the same time it is clear that further research on male reproductive physiology and spermatozoa is required to shed more light on their function and pathology in order to reduce the number of unexplained infertility cases.