Mitochondria in Mammalian Sperm Physiology and Pathology: A Review


Author’s address (for correspondence): FJ Peña, Section of Reproduction and Obstetrics, Department of Herd Health and Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Avd de la Universidad, s/n 10071 Cáceres, Spain. E-mail:


While, for a long time, the role of mitochondria in sperm physiology and pathology has been largely ignored, recent research points out the mitochondria as a major organelle with key roles in sperm function both under physiological and biotechnological conditions. This paper briefly reviews these novel findings regarding the role of mitochondria in sperm, paying special attention to the most practical, readily applicable, aspects of the topic such as their role as a major source of the sublethal damage that sperm experiments after cryopreservation.