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QUANTITATIVE STUDIES OF PROSTATIC SECRETION : I. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NORMAL SECRETION; THE INFLUENCE OF THYROID, SUPRARENAL, AND TESTIS EXTIRPATION AND ANDROGEN SUBSTITUTION ON THE PROSTATIC OUTPUT

Authors
Journal
Journal of Experimental Medicine
0022-1007
Publisher
The Rockefeller University Press
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Article
Disciplines
  • Biology

Abstract

A simple isolation of the prostate enabled quantitative collection of prostatic secretion in dogs over periods of months. The secretory stimulant was pilocarpine and 2 similar amounts injected with a 6 hour interval gave smaller amounts at the second testing, suggesting a fatigue effect. The prostate was not absolutely refractory since doubling the amount of alkaloid injected at the second test increased the volume to equal or exceed the preliminary secretion. The depression effect had disappeared at 24 hours. In normal dogs the secretory curves were essentially regular, with occasional prolonged rises or depressions. The amount of secretion did not bear a direct relationship to the weight of the gland in adult dogs. The germinal epithelium of the testis underwent atrophy during the first few weeks of cage life while the prostatic secretion was maintained, showing that the atrophy was differential and did not involve the cells producing the androgenic hormone. The atrophy was reversible and all dogs kept for more than 4 months showed restoration of the germ cells. A few dogs developed atrophy of the germinal cells with cessation of prostatic secretion for many weeks but with final recovery. Removal of the suprarenal glands with suprarenal insufficiency did not produce sterility. The distribution of electrolytes in the prostatic secretion differed from that in the serum-transudate system, although the concentration of osmotically active substances was the same, being made up almost entirely of sodium and chloride. The distribution was not affected by the different physiological procedures used in this study. Protein concentrations were less than 1 per cent. The rate of prostatic atrophy following castration was determined, and cessation of secretion occurred in 7 to 23 days. The restoration of prostatic fluid in castrate dogs following daily injections of testosterone propionate followed a smooth curve to form a plateau which was interrupted occasionally by prolonged elevations with return to the established level. The prostate having been reconstructed, the dosage of androgenic material injected could be greatly reduced without causing a decrease in secretion. Ablation of the thyroid and parathyroid glands had no significant influence on prostatic secretion. Hyperthyroidism caused a secretory depression interrupted with returns to normal levels.

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