Capacitation of fresh bovine spermatozoa on bovine epithelial oviduct cells was assessed1) by the ability of spermatozoa to fertilize bovine oocytes in vitro and2) by exposure to lysophosphatidylcholine (LC) to induce acrosome reaction in the capacitated spermatozoa. When spermatozoa were incubated on bovine epithelial oviduct cells in B2 medium supplemented with 10% estrous cow serum (ECS) and then exposed to 100 microg/ml LC for 15 minutes, the percentage of acrosome reaction induced increased in a time-dependent course, reaching a plateau after 6 hours. Inversely, when spermatozoa were incubated in B2+10% ECS alone, the percentage of acrosome reaction induced by LC didn't fluctuate. The in vitro fertilization rate obtained after incubation of spermatozoa during 6 hours on bovine epithelial oviduct cells in B2+10% ECS medium was on average 75% for both the preovulated and ovulated oocytes. The developmental stages observed 18 hours after male and female gamete co-culture were similar to those obtained after in vivo fertilization. This study suggests that incubation of fresh bovine spermatozoa on bovine oviduct epithelial cell monolayers during 6 hours is an efficient method, and one that is close to in vivo capacitation.