The Journal of endocrinology

Comparative rates of formation, in vivo, of 16-androstenes, testosterone and androstenedione in boar testis.

PMID 6491575


Three mature Large White boars were anaesthetized and received [7(n)-3H]pregnenolone by continuous infusion into right and left spermatic arteries for up to 180 min. Spermatic venous blood flow was measured by separate timed collections of completely diverted outflow from each testis and blood not sampled was returned to the peripheral circulation. The total radioactivity in plasma from each testis increased markedly during the first 60 min of infusion to reach a plateau from 80 to 180 min. Radiolabelling of 5 alpha-androst-16-en-3-one, 5 alpha-androst-16-en-3 beta-ol and -3 alpha-ol showed similar patterns with ratios of mean radioactivity of 5:3:1 respectively between 80 and 180 min. In comparison, the amounts of tritiated 4,16-androstadien-3-one formed were very small. The radiolabelling of testosterone and 4-androstenedione occurred more rapidly than that of the 16-androstenes and reached maxima by 30 min. However the amounts were only one-fifth (testosterone) and one-tenth (4-androstenedione) those of the combined quantities of tritiated 16-androstenes. Addition of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) to the infusate to one testis in each animal (so that 5000 i.u. hCG were delivered in 15-20 min) produced no change in the outputs of radiolabelled steroids although radioimmunoassay of spermatic venous plasma in samples from the third experiment showed a transient increase in the concentration of 4-androstene-3,17-dione during the hCG infusion. It is suggested the lack of response to hCG could be produced by saturation and down regulation of binding sites by the very high local concentrations of hCG.

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