In two experiments 1-14C-acetate plus 7α-3H-cholesterol (experiment I) or 4–14C-dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) plus 7α-3H-DHEA- 35S-sulfate (experiment II) were perfused in vivo through the spermatic artery of patients undergoing orchiectomy. Blood samples from the spermatic vein were analyzed for free and conjugated steroids. In experiment I 14C as well as 3H activities were incorporated into various C21 and C19 steroids indicating a de novo synthesis of steroids from acetate and from cholesterol. In experiment II both free and sulfoconjugated DHEA were metabolized to different C19 or C18 steroids to nearly the same extent (8 or 5%, respectively). The sulfoconjugated steroids in the vein plasma exhibited the same 3H/35S ratio as the injected substrate, thus proving a ‘direct’ metabolism of the sulfate without splitting of the ester bond.

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