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Article
September 20, 1913

THE JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION: HAVE SPERMATOZOA OTHER FUNCTIONS THAN THAT OF FERTILIZATION?

JAMA. 1913;61(12):966-971. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04350120056016
Abstract

Our widening view of the possibilities and omnipresence of immunity reactions in physiologic as well as pathologic processes gives us an understanding of the significance which may lie in a recent study of Kohlbrugge of Utrecht on the fate of spermatozoa in the female organism and their potential influence on both mother and offspring.1 The prevailing idea has been that of the millions of spermatozoa introduced into the mammalian female—about two hundred million in the human—one single spermatozoon, more active or more fortunate than the rest, reaches the goal and becomes immortalized in a new being, while all the rest die and pass out through the route by which they have entered. It has been known to the zoologists that in at least some of the invertebrates the spermatozoa invade the entire body of the female, penetrating even the viscera, and sometimes perforating the cuticle

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