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G. L. FOSS and F. J. W. LEWIS


Four unusual cases of Klinefelter's syndrome are described, in which motile spermatozoa were found in several ejaculates. One of these subjects was shown to be a 47XXY/46XY mosaic, but intensive cytogenic studies in the other three failed to reveal evidence of this. Records of proven parenthood may eventually disturb the present concept of sterility in this condition.

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G. L. FOSS, J. B. HOLTON, and F. J. W. LEWIS

Oral contraceptives containing oestrogen and progestagen in high dosage may produce many undesirable side effects. The risk of thrombo-phlebotic episodes (Vessey & Doll, 1969) has caused much concern, but the possible long-term effects of the numerous metabolic changes have also to be considered. Amongst the latter, impaired glucose tolerance (Wynn & Doar, 1969) and increased levels of serum glutamic—pyruvate transaminase (SGPT) have been reported (Larsson-Cohn, 1965).

The use of norgestrel alone, given continuously in low dosage of 50 μg, is slightly less effective as a contraceptive than conventional combinations of oestrogen and progestagen (Foss, Svendsen, Fotherby & Richards, 1968) and 22% of cycles are shorter than 23 days in the women on this regimen, but the incidence of side effects is much lower (Foss, 1968). With the elimination of the

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Rosalind A. Masters, R. M. Roberts, G. S. Lewis, W. W. Thatcher, F. W. Bazer, and J. D. Godkin

Summary. Blastocysts isolated from sheep (Day 14–16), pigs (Day 16) and cows (Day 19) during the pre-attachment elongation phase were cultured for up to 30 h in a modified MEM medium in the presence of radioactive amino acids (l-[14C]leucine or l-[35S]methionine) to label protein and d-[3H]glucosamine to label complex saccharides. All the blastocysts released considerable quantities of non-dialysable radioactive material into the medium at an approximately linear rate over the course of the incubation. Ion-exchange chromatography on DEAE cellulose at pH 8·2 revealed that the major glucosamine-labelled product in the medium was a non-sulphated glycoprotein which eluted early in the salt gradient. None of the blastocysts produced any detectable glycosaminoglycan-like materials such as hyaluronic acid. The glycoprotein was purified by ion-exchange and gel filtration chromatography and had a molecular weight of > 660 000. Up to 100 μg of this material could be isolated from incubations of 2 sheep conceptuses. It was relatively resistant to protease hydrolysis and consisted of approximately 50% carbohydrate and 50% protein. The main monosaccharide constituents, as revealed by gas—liquid chromatography, were galactose and N-acetylglucosamine plus some mannose and fucose. No sialic acid was present. The linkages between the carbohydrate chains and the peptide appeared to be resistant to alkaline borohydride cleavage and were probably, therefore, N-glycosidic.

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The effect of clomiphene on the sperm count and hormone excretion is described in a patient with Klinefelter's syndrome, having a 47 XXY karyotype, and in whom a testicular biopsy showed small areas of spermatogenesis.

Clomiphene stimulated the production of morphologically normal motile spermatozoa in the absence of any marked effect on hormone output.

Possible explanations for these findings are discussed.