The androgenic control of the composition of the rat epididymis determined by efferent duct ligation or castration

D. E. Brooks
1977 Reproduction  
The mechanisms controlling the maturation of spermatozoa in the epididymis remain poorly understood although it is clear that an adequate supply of androgens is required for the normal maintenance of the organ. The technique of efferent duct ligation prevents spermatozoa from entering the epididymis and therefore enables metabolic processes to be studied in the androgen-maintained epididymis without contribution from spermatozoa. Castration enables the epididymis to be studied when spermatozoa
more » ... d when spermatozoa and androgenic support are absent. Determinations of enzyme activities have indicated that, provided about 6 weeks are allowed following efferent duct ligation for the epididymis to become largely emptied of spermatozoa, the results of efferent duct ligation are indistinguishable from those after castration and later androgen replacement (Brooks, 1976b, c). These two techniques therefore enable a study to be made of the epididymis with and without androgenic support. Previous data have been presented of the gross biochemical composition of the epididymis during the pubertal period (Brooks, 1976a), when circulating androgen levels are rising (Lee, de Kretser Hudson & Wang, 1975) and spermatozoa first enter the epididymis. The present study extends these observations by providing measurements of the androgenic control of biochemical parameters in the epididymis of mature animals. Details of the operative procedures and of the chemical estimations have been given by Brooks, Hamilton & Mallek (1974) and Brooks (1976a, b). Adult male albino rats weighing 326 ± 13 g were used and the segments taken as caput and cauda epididymidis were identified as described by Brooks (1976b). Table 1. The composition of the caput and cauda epididymidis of rats 6-8 weeks after bilateral efferent duct ligation or castration Caput epididymidis Cauda epididymidis No. of Efferent duct replicates ligated Castrated Efferent duct ligated Castrated Wetwt(mg) 17 Drywt(%) 4 Total protein (mg/g wet wt) 3 Soluble protein (% total protein) 3 Total lipid (mg/g wet wt) 4 Phospholipid (mg/g wet wt) 4 DNA (mg/g wet wt) 4 RNA (mg/g wet wt) 4 Acid-soluble phosphorus (mg/g wet wt) 4 Glycogen (mg/g wet wt) 3 Total sialic acid (pmol/g wet wt) 3 t Soluble sialic acid (pmol/g wet wt) 3 101 ±6
doi:10.1530/jrf.0.0490383 pmid:850226 fatcat:b32gkciqxzcqrpxac3s5ubgt3q