Semenogelin plays an important role in sperm clotting and is degraded into smaller fragments by prostate-specific antigen (PSA) during clot liquefaction. Semenogelin and its fragments inhibit sperm motility in vitro. We studied the expression of semenogelin I mRNA and its localization in various tissues of the male genital tract. We also studied semenogelin concentrations with respect to sperm parameters and the outcome of in vitro fertilization. Semenogelin protein was detected by immunohistochemical staining and semenogelin I mRNA was detected by Northern blot analysis in the seminal vesicles and ampullary part of the vas deferens, whereas specimens from the prostate, epididymis, testis, and the female genital tract were negative. Using monoclonal antibodies against semenogelin, an immunofluorometric assay was developed to measure semenogelin levels in seminal plasma and to evaluate possible correlations with sperm parameters and fertilization in vitro. No correlation was found between the semenogelin concentration and the volume of the ejaculate, sperm concentration, sperm motility, or in vitro fertilization rate. Semenogelin levels were positively correlated with the total protein concentration in seminal plasma, and there was an inverse correlation between the concentration of semenogelin and that of PSA. The levels of semenogelin appear to bear no relationship to the in vitro fertilization capacity of the spermatozoa.
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