The effects of temperature on the activity of testicular steroidogenic enzymes

Abraham K. Munabi, Fernando G. Cassorla, Rosario D'Agata, Barry D. Albertson, D. Lynn Loriaux, Mortimer B. Lipsett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Decreased sperm counts and impaired sperm motility are present in a substantial proportion of men with varicocele. Elevations in the temperature of the affected testis, and increased spermatic vein estra-diol (E2) concentrations have been found in some of these patients. To investigate the possibility that increases in temperature lead to a pattern of testicular steroidogenesis that results in increased E2 synthesis, we have examined the effects of temperature changes on the activities of four important testicular steroidogenic enzymes. 3-β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3β-HSD), 17-hydroxylase (17-OH), 17, 20-desmolase (17, 20-D) and aromatase activities were measured in the microsomal fraction of rat, pig and horse testes. Incubations were performed at 34°C, 36°C, and 38°C. The activities of all 4 enzymes increased with each 2°C temperature elevation in roughly proportional amounts. We conclude that minor elevations in incubation temperature are associated with increases in the in vitro activity of four key testicular steroidogenic enzymes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-331
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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