PROF. P. MOTTA / DEPT. OF ANATOMY / UNIVERSITY "LA SAPIENZA", ROME / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PROF. P. MOTTA / DEPT. OF ANATOMY / UNIVERSITY "LA SAPIENZA", ROME / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The death of spermatozoa. False-colour scanning electron micrograph of two spermatozoa on the surface of the uterus being destroyed by three leucocytes (yellow). After ejaculation sperm may stay alive in the female reproductive tract for about 24 hours. At the beginning of their journey in the vagina the spermatozoa number about 300 million but only a few hundred survive and reach the Fallopian tubes, the others are similarly destroyed. The epithelium of this area is populated by simple columnar secretory cells (violet) covered by tiny projections known as microvilli. Magnification: x4050 at 6x7cm size.
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