Previous studies revealed a significant decrease in the content of phospholipids and acyl-esters in spermatozoa during their passage through the epididymis (Scott, Voglmayr & Setchell, 1967). These results prompted us to investigate whether testicular and ejaculated spermatozoa could utilize fatty acids, which presumably become available to the spermatozoa as a result of phospholipid hydrolysis. The experiments described below show that both cell types were able to metabolize added 14C-labelled palmitic and oleic acids.
Testicular and ejaculated semen were obtained using procedures described by Voglmayr, Scott, Setchell & Waites (1967). The cells were incubated under aerobic conditions for 3 hr at 38° C in Krebs-Ringer bicarbonate buffer solution (pH 7·4) containing 14C-labelled fatty acid complexed to bovine serum albumin (using Complex B as described by Kessler,
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