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Revista médica de Chile

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PENA S, Patricio et al. Effects of proteolytic enzymes and sexual abstinence on a-glucosidase levels in human seminal plasma. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2001, vol.129, n.5, pp.489-493. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: a-glucosidase is found in human seminal plasma as an acid form, located in accessory glands, and as a neutral form secreted almost exclusively by the epididymis. Quantification of a-glucosidase activity is a marker of the secretory function of the epididymis and indemnity of the sperm transport pathway Aim: To obtain reference values for a-glucosidase in normal samples of seminal plasma, to evaluate its behavior in serial samples and to determine the effect of proteolytic enzymes. Material and methods: Fifty donors, with normal semen analysis according to the criteria of the World Health Organization, were evaluated. For the study with alpha-quimotrypsin, 0.1 to 10 mg/ml of the enzyme was added to the seminal plasma from a group of donors. a-glucosidase was also measured in semen obtained from nine patients at different time intervals. Results: Normal a-glucosidase values ranged from 14.52 to 25.69 µU/ml. Concentrations up to 10 mg/ml of alpha-quimotrypsin (10 times of that usually used in the liquefaction of the semen) did not alter the quantification of a-glucosidase. Serial determinations revealed oscillations in their magnitude, which stayed in each patient's characteristic range. However a subgroup presented a marked reduction of the activity of a-glucosidase as the abstinence diminished (40%). Conclusions: Evaluation of a-glucosidase in seminal plasma gives reliable information of the secretor state of the epididymis and especially replaces invasive methods used to evaluate the indemnity of the spermatic transport from the epididymis to the anterior urethra. (Rev Méd Chile 2001; 129: 489-93)

Keywords : Epididymis; Glucosidases; Semen; Semen preservation.

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