The metabolism of specifically labelled lactate by ram spermatozoa was studied under various experimental conditions. Increasing the rate at which diluted ram semen was cooled to 5° C caused a greater decrease in the formation of labelled carbon dioxide from [2-14C]lactate than from [1-14C]lactate. Changes in the amount of lactate present did not affect the relative amounts of carbon dioxide formed from carbon atoms one and two of lactate.
Washing ram spermatozoa, that had been recently ejaculated, decreased the amount of labelled carbon dioxide formed from [2-14C] lactate relative to that formed from [1-14C]lactate, whereas the reverse effect occurred on washing spermatozoa that had been stored in test tubes at 37° C for 3 hr.
When washed ram spermatozoa were incubated with lactate as substrate, labelled acetic acid accumulated from [2-14C]lactate but not from [1-14C]lactate, both in the absence and in the presence of added potassium chloride (1 mm) and magnesium chloride (2 mm).
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