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D. A. NIXON

The semen of mammals is exceedingly rich in myo-inositol (Mann, 1951, 1964; Nixon, 1952, 1964; Hartree, 1957), much of which is in the contribution made by the seminal vesicles. It has been suggested by Eisenberg & Bolden (1964) that the seminal vesicles of the rat are sites of inositol storage, whereas the testes are the main sites of synthesis. However, Imai (1964) demonstrated that slices of rat seminal vesicle could synthesize inositol from glucose. Since the activity of the seminal vesicle is governed by its hormonal environment (Moore, Hughes & Gallagher, 1930), it was of interest to examine the influence of hormones upon the inositol concentration of the organ and its secretion. The animals used were adult, albino rats and immature animals of 4 to 5 weeks of age. Gross castration was performed under ether anaesthesia
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D. A. NIXON

Mann (1951, 1954) showed that meso-inositol constituted a major component of the seminal vesicle secretion. Hartree (1957) found that in the seminal plasma of man, pig and rabbit inositol existed mainly in the free form, but a substantial percentage of the total inositol was in a combined form in that of cattle, horse and sheep. The function of meso-inositol in the secretions of the male reproductive tract is obscure. In contrast to fructose, it does not appear to influence the motility or respiration of spermatozoa, nor does it influence fructolysis. Mann (1954) has suggested that it may play a part in the maintenance of the osmotic pressure in the seminal vesicle secretion. Hartree (1957) has postulated that it may be an intermediate in the conversion of glucose to fructose; a formation of inositol from glucose has indeed