Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is a transmembrane glycoprotein with glutamate carboxypeptidase activity. However, its precise function in the prostate, prostasomes and seminal plasma with regard to male fertility remains unknown. This study was conducted to investigate the seminal plasma PSMA levels in fertile men and patients with oligoasthenoteratozoospermia (OAT) and to analyse its association with sperm parameters. Twenty fertile men and twenty patients admitted at the urology clinic of our institution with the diagnosis of OAT were included in the study. Following semen analysis, seminal plasma was isolated from semen ejaculates. PSMA concentrations in the seminal plasma were determined by ELISA. The correlations between seminal PSMA concentrations and semen parameters were statistically analysed. Seminal plasma PSMA concentration was significantly lower in OAT patients compared to fertile controls (p < .01). In fertile men, PSMA concentration was significantly correlated with the sperm concentration (r = -.481, p < .05), whereas in the patient group no statistically significant correlation was found between the sperm parameters and seminal PSMA level. This is the first study in the literature to investigate PSMA levels in the seminal plasma from infertile men. Decreased levels of seminal plasma PSMA might suggest a role for compromised prostasome function in the pathogenesis of OAT syndrome.
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