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Cortisol and transcortin in human seminal plasma and amniotic fluid as estimated by modern specific assays



Cortisol and transcortin in human seminal plasma and amniotic fluid as estimated by modern specific assays



Andrologia 22(3): 197-204



Cortisol concentrations in human seminal plasma, as estimated by the very specific Amersham 'Amerlite' luminescence immunoassay, were 176 +/- 43 (85-260) nmol/l, that is, 63.7 +/- 15.5 (31-94) ng/ml (mean +/- SD, n = 21). This is about 60% of random levels in blood serum and is the first description of cortisol in seminal fluid. In human amniotic fluid at 16-22 weeks of gestation, cortisol concentrations were lower, at 72.6 +/- 14.6 (63-124) nmol/l, that is, 29.3 +/- 5.3 (23-45) ng/ml (n = 21). Concentrations were about 15% of random maternal serum levels in the second trimester of pregnancy. The cortisol concentrations in both fluids were considerably higher than those reported for saliva, which has a mean of about 10 nmol/l. Transcortin (corticosteroid binding globulin, CBG), has been found in human seminal plasma and amniotic fluid for the first time. Concentrations were low, with values up to 12 micrograms/ml, with no significant difference between the two fluids, when using the IRE-Megenix monoclonal iodinated radioimmunoassay. Transcortin concentrations were about 10% of levels in non-pregnant blood serum, compared with about 0.1% for saliva. The higher concentrations of transcortin could perhaps account for the greater diffusion of cortisol into seminal plasma and amniotic fluid. The presence of beta-endorphin, ACTH and cortisol in amniotic fluid, seminal fluid, ovarian follicular fluid, endometrial fluid and gastric fluid may possibly, indicate the existence of a small paracrine ACTH-cortisol axis in the relevant secretory tissues.

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Accession: 007165334

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PMID: 2240617


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