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  • Author: WEIERT VELLE x
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Oestrogenic activity in urine from males was detected as early as 1927. A few years later mass excretion of oestrogens was detected in the stallion and other equines, and in the boar.

The following naturally occurring oestrogens have been chemically identified in urine from males: oestrone (stallion, bull, boar, man, rat), oestradiol-17β (stallion, boar, man, rat), oestradiol-17α (stallion, rat), oestriol (man).

The levels of oestrogens in male urine is subject to very marked species differences, the stallion showing extremely high levels, followed by other equines and by the domestic boar. During recent years a large number of wild animals has been screened for oestrogens in urine. Generally the values are very low, a few μg/100 ml of urine, while for stallion's urine the values recorded are in the mg range.

The testicular origin of the major part of urinary oestrogens was early anticipated and has been confirmed by recent biochemical investigations. A minor part is probably of adrenal origin.

The biological significance of oestrogenic hormones in the male is obscure. Mass secretion of the hormones in males of some species still represents an enigma.

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The oestrogen levels in follicular contents have been estimated for thirty-two non-pregnant mares in different phases of the oestrous cycle, and for three sterile mares with ovarian dysfunction. The estimations were made by use of a highly specific chemical method, which permitted the separate determination of oestrone and oestradiol-17β. The phases of the oestrous cycle for each mare were determined by clinical observations, post-mortem examinations of the genital organs and histological investigations of the uterus. In pro-oestrus, circumscribed groups of glandular ducts which are typical for this phase, but which do not seem to have been reported previously, have now been described. In the oestrous group of mares, the levels of both oestrone and oestradiol-17β found were highly significantly elevated when compared with the values for the mares in the other phases of the cycle taken together (P<0·0005). In the anoestrous group, a significantly elevated level of oestradiol-17β was recorded for animals with autumn follicles, when compared with the other mares in this group (P<0·05). Two mares which had persistent follicles and were placed in the metoestrous group showed elevated oestrogen values. In two cases diagnosed as cystic glandular endometritis, high oestrogen levels were encountered. In a single mare with a follicle present for a continuous period of at least 3 months (probably for more than 1 year), no oestrogens were demonstrated in the follicular fluid in spite of clinical signs of heat. In all mares except the last, oestradiol-17β was present in large amounts, relatively to oestrone. The mean values for the total amount of follicular contents analysed were 33·8 μg oestradiol-17β and 2·3 μg oestrone per 100 ml (uncorrected values).

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Bovine placental aldose reductase has been partially purified from foetal cotyledons and the levels of activity measured in forty samples from foetuses 1 to 9 months old. A statistically significant increase in the specific activity of the enzyme with advancing pregnancy was observed.

No significant correlation was found between aldose reductase activity and foetal blood fructose levels.

The increase in enzyme activity during pregnancy followed a pattern similar to that previously observed for urinary oestrogens in cows.