Summary. In the epididymal fluid of boars, the concentration of carnitine (nmol/mg protein) began to increase from 20 in the distal caput, then rose progressively to 700 in the distal cauda. By contrast, the carnitine content of spermatozoa only started to increase in the proximal cauda where the concentration of carnitine in the fluid was 200–300 nmol/mg protein then gradually increased in spermatozoa from more distal sites. The increase in the acetylcarnitine content of spermatozoa paralleled that of the carnitine amount and represented 50% of the total carnitine (carnitine + acetylcarnitine). We conclude that the acetylcarnitine content of epididymal spermatozoa may be used as a marker of maturation.
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