Perspectives on the Biological Role of Human Prostasomes

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: Prostasomes are extracellularly occurring organelles which are secreted in human semen by the prostate gland. Prostasomes have several known biological activities, but their physiological function is still unclear. In this thesis some new aspects were studied on the biological role of the prostasomes. The motility-stimulatory effect of prostasomes on cryopreserved spermatozoa was further studied by supplementing the swim-up medium with seminal prostasomes, and with prostasomes purified from a PC-3 prostate cancer cell line (PC-3 prostasomes), on fresh spermatozoa. The recovery of motile spermatozoa after swim-up increased by 50% when the swim-up medium was supplemented with prostasomes. The PC-3 prostasomes bore a functional resemblance to seminal prostasomes as regards various expressions of sperm motility promotion. Prostasomes proved to have potent antibacterial effects. The effects were not strictly confined to Bacillus megaterium since a few other bacteria were also sensitive. The high percentage of patients with anti-prostasome antibodies showed that prostasomes could be one of the major targets for antisperm antibodies (ASA). The results demonstrate that ASA in serum of infertile men and women recognise prostasomes as antigens, and that polyclonal antibodies raised against prostasomes agglutinate human spermatozoa. This suggests that prostasomes contribute at least partly to immunological infertility. Three types of prostasomes (seminal-, native- and metastasis-derived prostasomes) demonstrated similarities regarding a high cholesterol/phospholipid ratio and some marker enzymes. The conclusion is that prostasomes have a common and exclusive prostatic origin in man and that they are internalised in storage vesicles of the secretory cells and released in toto by an ordinary exocytotic event.