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Z. MORITA and M. C. CHANG

Summary.

The motility and metabolism of hamster epididymal spermatozoa in the presence of secretions from the ventral prostate gland have been studied. The aerobic metabolism and motility of hamster epididymal spermatozoa were depressed by a factor of large molecular size which could be partially but not completely destroyed by heating, even at 90° C for 10 min. Treatment of the ventral prostate secretion with EDTA had no effect on this factor, indicating that its activity is not dependent on divalent cations. The presence of 0·01 to 0·1% cysteine had no visible effect on the activity of this factor, suggesting that sulphydryl binding is also not involved. Its adverse effect on spermatozoa could not be neutralized by the secretion of other accessory glands. Hamster epididymal spermatozoa were more sensitive to the hamster ventral prostate secretion than mouse and rat epididymal spermatozoa and the ventral prostate secretions of the mouse and rat appeared to have no adverse effect on their epididymal spermatozoa.

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Z. MORITA and M. C. CHANG

Summary.

The maintenance of motility and the survival of rat epididymal spermatozoa kept at 37° C have been investigated. While progressive motility of long duration was observed when the epididymal spermatozoa of the hamster, guinea-pig and rabbit were suspended in balanced salt solutions, rat epididymal spermatozoa became immotile within 1 to 2 hr. The factor missing from the salt solutions which can maintain the motility of rat spermatozoa was shown to be present in the secretion from the seminal vesicles, epididymis and coagulating gland of the rat. The most effective factor occurred in the secretion of the seminal vesicles of the hamster, and was found to be unstable, thermolabile and undialysable through the collodion bag filter which retains proteins of a molecular weight of approximately 70,000 to 100,000. By means of electrophoretic separation, three fractions with the low mobility of serum γ and β-globulins were detected in the fresh secretion of the seminal vesicles of the hamster. The motility of rat epididymal spermatozoa was better maintained in solutions containing protein, such as albumin, α-globulin, or peptides like glutathione or cysteine. It appears that a non-specific protein which is supplied by the seminal vesicles is necessary to maintain the motility of rat spermatozoa.