Changes in protein composition of the luminal fluids along the epididymis of the tammar, Macropus eugenii

in Reproduction

Summary. Micropuncture samples of luminal fluid were collected from the rete testis and along the epididymis. Quantitative analyses showed that the ductuli efferentes reabsorb about half the protein leaving the testis. Considerable protein is secreted by the caput epididymidis (initial segment) and there is a net loss of protein from the corpus and cauda epididymidis.

Denatured, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis showed that there are 5 proteins in rete testis fluid which are not present in blood (Mr of 14 700, 22 800, 24 100, 43 200 and 44 800). One of these proteins (Mr 14 700) is lost from plasma in the ductuli efferentes and 2 (Mr 43 200 and 44 800) are lost in the corpus epididymidis. Twelve proteins appear in the epididymal plasma and are not present in rete testis fluid or blood: 6 appear in the caput epididymidis (Mr 30 000, 31 000, 32 300, 17 400, 18 700 and 21 400), 3 in the corpus epididymidis (Mr 12 800, 39 800 and 90 600) and 3 in the cauda epididymidis (Mr 10 900, 56 300 and 63 000). A protein with the same molecular weight as a blood protein (149 500) accumulates in the corpus and cauda epididymidis.

None of the samples of luminal fluid contained particulate matter other than spermatozoa, indicating that the tammar is a useful animal for micropuncture studies.

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