1. The activities of l-ornithine decarboxylase (EC 4.1.1.17) and S-adenosyl-l-methionine decarboxylase (EC 4.1.1.50) were dramatically enhanced in both the ventral prostate and the seminal vesicle of castrated rats in response to androgenic stimulation. The time course of the stimulation of ornithine decarboxylase together with the quantitatively different response of adenosylmethionine decarboxylase to testosterone treatment in the prostate gland and seminal vesicle indicated that the enhancement in polyamine synthesis in the ventral prostate may reflect both cellular proliferation and the restoration of the secretory functions of the organ. In the seminal vesicle, however, the stimulation of the polyamine-biosynthetic pathway more closely resembled the pattern found in other rat tissues, such as regenerating liver, undergoing compensatory growth. 2. Ornithine decarboxylase activity in the ventral prostate and especially in the seminal vesicle of sexually mature rat was diminished in vivo by various short-chain diamines such as 1,2-diaminoethane, 1,3-diaminopropane and putrescine (1,4-diaminobutane). These diamines had no direct effect on the enzyme activity in vitro. 3. In contrast with the marginal decrease in ornithine decarboxylase activity produced by diaminoethane in the ventral prostate of non-castrated animals, repeated injections of the latter amine completely prevented the intense stimulation of the enzyme activity in the ventral prostate and seminal vesicle of castrated rats at 24h after the commencement of testosterone treatment. 4. The decrease in ornithine decarboxylase activity observed after injections of diamines (putrescine) in the ventral prostate was apparently associated with a similar decrease in the amount of immunoreactive protein as revealed by immunotitration of the enzyme with antiserum to rat ornithine decarboxylase.

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