Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
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Year : 1980  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 250-2  

Glyceryl phosphoryl choline levels in cases of epididymitis.

BB Pardiwalla, PP Kulkarni, DS Pardanani 

Correspondence Address:
B B Pardiwalla

How to cite this article:
Pardiwalla B B, Kulkarni P P, Pardanani D S. Glyceryl phosphoryl choline levels in cases of epididymitis. J Postgrad Med 1980;26:250-2

How to cite this URL:
Pardiwalla B B, Kulkarni P P, Pardanani D S. Glyceryl phosphoryl choline levels in cases of epididymitis. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 1980 [cited 2023 Feb 4 ];26:250-2
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Full Text


The organic fraction of human seminal plasma contains glycerylphosphorylcholine (GPC).[5] High concentrations of this substance are also found in the epididymis of several mammalian species [9],[10], [12]

Glycerylphosphorylcholine is synthesised by the epithelial cells of the epididymis, apparantly under androgenic control.[11]

In semen, GPC is present in high concentrations (upto 1%), in the ram, bull, goat, stallion and the rabbit.[8] Comparatively low concentrations are found in the human semen.[2]

These findings suggested that the epididymis could be a major source of GPC, and that the seminal levels of these substances might be useful indicators of the epididymal function.


Glycerylphosphorylcholine was estimated by the method of White.[13]


The mean values of GPC in ug/ml. of seminal plasma and Standard Deviation (SD) values in all the three groups in this study are tabulated below:

The data was analysed using the student `T' test. The `T' value was calculated for vasectomised and for epididymitis patients, by comparison with normal controls.

The `P' value was also found out using the `T' table. Significantly low values of GPC were found in vasectomised and in patients with epididymitis.


A major part of GPC found in the semen is produced in the epididymis,[3], [9] and the concentration of this substance in the epididymal fluid is an important indicator of the epididymal function.

Small amounts of GPC are also produced in the accessory sex organs. This was shown in a study in which GP'C levels in the semen of patients with absence of vas deferens was only about 10% of those found in the normospermic men. [1]

Frenkel et al4 have shown that levels of GPC are significantly low in vasectomised patients; this was also confirmed in our studies. Pardanani et al[7] have shown that the epididymis undergoes some gross changes after vasectomy which may be responsible for poor pregnancy rates after successful vas re-anastomosis.

However, Naik et al[6] have observed that the decrease in the GPC levels in the seminal plasma after vasectomy were due to the mechanical blockage of the epididymal secretions. This was supported by their observations that within a month of successful vas re-anastomosis, the levels of GPC in semen returned to normal.

In our study, it was shown that in diseased conditions, the normal anatomy and physiology of the epididymis was disturbed, resulting in low levels of GPC in the semen.

Significantly low values of GPC in the semen were obtained in vasectomised patients and in cases with epididymitis. In this study, we have made no attempt to correlate the seminal levels of GPC to the severity of epididymal disease. The present study has shown that there is both a structural and functional change in the epididymis, with a resultant low levels of GPC in cases with epididymitis.


We owe our sincere thanks to Dr. V. K. Naik, Ph.D., for his help in this work. We also thank Dr. A. R. Sheth, Ph.D., for giving us permission to work in his department. Lastly we thank Dr. C. K. Deshpande, Dean, K.E.M.H., for giving us permission to publish this work.


1Calamera, J. C. and Lavieri, J. C.: Glycerylphosphorylcholine in human seminal plasma of normal subjects and sterile patients. Andrologia, 6: 67-68, 1974.
2Dawson, R. M. C., Mann, T. and White, I. G.: Glycerylphosphorylcholine and phosphory1choline in semen and their relation to choline. Biochem. J., 65: 627630, 1957.
3Dawson, R. M. C., and Rowlands, I. W.: Glycerylphosphorylcholine in male reproductive organs of rats and guinea pigs. Q. J. Expt. Physiol., 44: 26-27, 1959.
4Frenkel, G., Peterson, R. N., Davis, J. E. and Freund, M.: Glycerylphosphorylcholine and Carnitine in normal human semen and postvasectomy semen: Differences in concentrations. Fert. and Ster., 25: 84-87, 1974.
5Mann, T.: "Biochemistry of Semen and the Reproductive Tract". Metheun and Co., Ltd., London, 1964, pp. 91, 282-285.
6Naik, V. K., Pardanani, D. S., Joshi Usha and Sheth, A. R.: Seminal plasma concentrations of glycerylphosphorylcholine before and aft-r vasectomy and vas re-anastomosis. Fert. and Ster., 32: 685686, 1979.
7Pardanani, D. S., Patil, N. G. and Pawar, H. N.: Some gross observations of the epididymis following vasectomy: A clinical study. Fert. and Ster., 27: 267686, 1979.
8Scott, T. W., Wales, R. G. and Wallace J. C.: Composition of the ram epididymal and testicular fluid and the biosynthesis of glycerylphosphorylcholine by the rabbit epididymis. J. Reprod. and Fert. 6: 49-50, 1963.
9Tyler, B., Arriata, W. S. M., and Sandra Cordex: The Role of phosphate esters in male fertility. Fert. and Ster., 30: 329333, 1978.
10Wales, R. G., Wallace, J. C. and White, I. G.: Composition of the epididymal and testicular fluid. J. Reprod. and Fert., 12: 139-140, 1966.
11Wallace, J. C., Wales, R. G. and White, I. G.: The respiration of the rabbit epididymis and its synthesis of glycerylphosphorylcholine: Aust. J. Biol. Sci. 19: 849-851, 1966.
12White I. G.: Biochemistry of semen and interaction in the female reproductive tract. Search, 3: 22-26, 1972.
13White, 1. G.: Studies in the estimation of glycerol, fructose, and lactic acid with particular reference to semen. Ass. J. Expt. Biol., 37: 441-450, 1950.

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