This study determined whether chronic exposure of female lambs to the electric and magnetic fields (EMF) of a high voltage transmission line can alter pineal secretion of melatonin and the normal occurrence of puberty. Twenty female Suffolk lambs were assigned randomly in equal numbers to a control and a treatment group. Treatment from 2 to 10 mo of age consisted of continuous exposure within the electrical environment of a 500-kV transmission line (mean electric field 6 kV/m, mean magnetic field 40 mG). Treated lambs were penned directly beneath the transmission line; control lambs were maintained in a pen of similar construction 229 m from the line where EMF were at ambient levels (mean electric field < 10 V/m, mean magnetic field < 0.3 mG). Melatonin was analyzed by RIA in serum of blood samples collected at 0.5-3-h intervals over eight 48-h periods. To assess attainment of puberty, serum concentrations of progesterone were determined by RIA from blood samples collected twice weekly beginning at 19 wk of age. Concentrations of circulating melatonin in control and treated lambs were low during daylight hours and increased during nighttime hours. The characteristic pattern of melatonin secretion during nighttime (amplitude, phase, and duration) did not differ between control and treatment groups. Age at puberty and number of subsequent estrous cycles also did not differ between groups. These data suggest that chronic exposure of developing female sheep to 60-Hz environmental EMF does not affect the mechanisms underlying the generation of the circadian pattern of melatonin secretion or the mechanisms involved in the onset of reproductive activity.
A polypeptide with molecular mass of 17 kDa has been partially purified and identified as a major secretory glycoprotein in the rat epididymis. It is phosphorylated and contains high mannose-type oligosaccharides with 5 and 6 mannose units predominantly. These sugar residues are sufficiently exposed in the molecule to be released by endo-beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase H without prior denaturation or protease digestion. Specific binding of the glycoprotein to testicular spermatozoa was demonstrated with Ka 0.2 x 10(9) M-1 and 17,200 sites per cell, while no binding to epididymal spermatozoa was detectable. Direct labeling of surface proteins on cauda epididymis spermatozoa revealed the presence of a major band of 16.2 kDa, which may be equivalent to GP17. The interaction of the epididymal secretory protein with sperm suggests a possible role in the maturation process.
We have previously demonstrated, using two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, that much of the microheterogeneity of human (h) and rabbit (rb) testosterone-binding globulin (TeBG) is due to differential glycosylation of a single protomer. Since glycosylation has been shown to be a physiologically important modification of proteins, we have examined the structure of the oligosaccharide chains attached to hTeBG and rbTeBG to facilitate future studies on the mechanisms of action of the proteins. The structures of the oligosaccharides attached to TeBG were determined by using serial lectin chromatography. About 10% of the TeBG from castrated male rabbits and about 20% of the TeBG from pregnant rabbits and from a human sample were not retained on a column of immobilized concanavalin-A (Con-A). This fraction would consist of TeBG with attached asparagine (Asn)-linked tri- and tetraantennary complex and serine/threonine (O)-linked oligosaccharides as well as non-glycosylated forms. None of the lectins used to subfractionate these species was effective. Forty to 50% of the TeBG applied to Con-A possessed biantennary complex oligosaccharides as indicated by the fact that it could be eluted with 10 mM 1-O-methyl-alpha-D-glucopyranoside and by its retention on wheat germ agglutinin (WGA). About 8% of the biantennary complex oligosaccharides on hTeBG and none of those on rbTeBG were fucosylated on the chitobiose core, as determined by chromatography on Lens culinaris lectin (LcH). Galactosylated oligosaccharides were also present on the TeBG in this fraction as indicated by its interaction with Ricinus communis-I (RCA-I). Thirty to 40% of the TeBG applied to Con-A was retained and could be eluted with 0.5 M methyl-alpha-D-mannopyranoside. This fraction contains TeBG possessing high mannose-type, hybrid-type, and complex galactosylated glycans as determined by chromatography on Con-A, WGA, and RCA-I. Evidence based on the binding of mannoside-eluted TeBG to Con-A, WGA, and RCA-I indicated that at least the TeBG in this fraction contained two glycosylation sites and that the sites were differentially glycosylated.