Ceruloplasmin and transferrin in human seminal plasma: are they an index of seminiferous tubular function?

Fertil Steril. 1985 Feb;43(2):290-4. doi: 10.1016/s0015-0282(16)48388-3.


Transferrin and ceruloplasmin have been measured by a solid-phase chemiluminescent method in seminal fluid and circulating blood of normal and vasectomized subjects (1 year after operation). This study has confirmed that approximately 80% of seminal transferrin comes from the testis, while seminal ceruloplasmin was not found different in the two groups. In patients affected by azoospermia due to seminiferous tubular damage (n = 15) in whom an obstruction was previously excluded, seminal transferrin was always below the normal range. On the contrary, seminal ceruloplasmin was always in the normal range, and circulating follicle-stimulating hormone was found above the normal range only in nine cases. No correlation was found between seminal transferrin and circulating follicle-stimulating hormone in such groups. In an unselected group of infertile patients with decreased sperm concentration and/or sperm motility, seminal transferrin was found correlated with the sperm count. These studies seem to suggest that seminal transferrin is a reliable index of seminiferous tubular function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ceruloplasmin / metabolism*
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / blood
  • Infertility, Male / etiology
  • Infertility, Male / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Oligospermia / blood
  • Oligospermia / physiopathology
  • Semen / metabolism*
  • Seminiferous Tubules / physiopathology*
  • Sertoli Cells / metabolism
  • Sperm Count
  • Testis / physiopathology*
  • Transferrin / metabolism*


  • Transferrin
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone
  • Ceruloplasmin