Editors: Elisabetta Tosti, Raffaele Boni

Oocyte Maturation and Fertilization: A long history for a short event

Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $119
Printed Copy: US $119
ISBN: 978-1-60805-062-8 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-60805-182-3 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2011
DOI: 10.2174/97816080518231110101


Events of reproduction occurring from meiotic resumption of the immature oocyte up to its exit from the second meiotic block following activation will be revealed. Morphological modifications of the oocyte during maturation will be related to signal transduction mechanisms involving primary or secondary messengers. A detailed view will be addressed to genetic and epigenetic control of oocyte maturation. At fertilization, reciprocal gamete activation and novel knowledge related to sperm factor and cascade mechanisms occurring in the oocyte will be focused. A detailed description of ion currents occurring during fertilization will depict another point of view of oocyte activation mechanisms, further supporting for their complexity.

Finally, all basic information related to this short time lapse will be considered in relation to clinical application of assisted reproductive technologies. New frontiers, such as stem cells and cloning technologies, will be analyzed and future applications and improvements will be hypothesised.

Indexed in: Chemical Abstracts, EBSCO.


When I was a student 50 years ago I thought that all the interesting and important things on fertilization had already been discovered and nothing was left for me to study. I was very wrong. Very little was known about what you read in this book. Not known at all or not even imaginable. Today’s students should discover what is not written in this book. Fertilization is the event which connects successive generations. Its biological and medical importance cannot be overemphasized. Female and male gametes (egg and sperm) are equally important. Female germ cells were designed and made for male germ cells and vice versa. Although the time may come when unlimited numbers of functional gametes are produced in vitro from somatic cells and, reproduction without germ cells becomes possible, we must not forget that life on earth would not have flourished without sexual reproduction. I wish I could live 50 years more to see how this book will be revised by successive students.

Ryuzo Yanagimachi
Professor Emeritus
University of Hawaii Medical School
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA