Seminal Plasma Levels of PAPP-A in Normospermic and Oligospermic Men and Tissue Localization of PAPP-A in the Male Genital Tract
AbstractRadioimmunoassay, gel filtration, isoelectric focusing, and immunoperoxidase methods were used to study the levels, properties, and localization of pregnancy-associated plasma protein A (PAPP-A) in the human seminal plasma and male genital tract. Seminal plasma specimens from 20 normospermic and 20 oligospermic men were studied. PAPP-A was found in 30 of 40 samples, the levels ranging from undetectable to 135 μg/liter (median 35 μg/liter) in the normospermic group and from undetectable to 111 μg/liter (median 21 μg/liter) in the oligospermic group. There was no significant difference in the PAPP-A levels between the two groups, and no correlation was observed between the seminal plasma PAPP-A levels and the volume of seminal plasma or the sperm count or the viability of spermatozoa. Serial dilutions of seminal plasma and PAPP-A standard yielded parallel dose-response curves, and incubation with seminal plasma did not result in any change in the elution pattern of ( 125 I) PAPP-A in gel filtration. PAPP-A-immunoreactive material from seminal plasma eluted as two peaks, the major one corresponding to the elution volume of purified PAPP-A and the minor eluting more slowly. The isoelectric point of seminal plasma PAPP-A was 4.3-4.7 and that of term pregnancy serum was 4.2-4.6. In the immunoperoxidase staining, PAPP-A was seen in the epithelium of the prostate, seminal vesicle, and the ampullar part of the vas deferens but not in the testis, epididymis, proximal parts of vas deferens or urethra. The results confirm the occurrence of PAPP-A in the seminal plasma but do not suggest any clinical utility for seminal plasma PAPP-A measurements. Distal glandular parts of the genital tract are the site of PAPP-A localization in tissue, indicating either synthesis or uptake.