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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Reproduction

Impact of a timed-release follicle-stimulating hormone treatment from one to three months of age on endocrine and testicular development of prepubertal bulls1


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 95 No. 4, p. 1669-1679
    Received: Sept 26, 2016
    Accepted: Feb 21, 2017
    Published: April 13, 2017

    2 Corresponding author(s):

  1. B. R. Harstine*,
  2. L. H. Cruppe*†,
  3. F. M. Abreu*,
  4. M. D. Utt,
  5. R. S. Cipriano*,
  6. A. Lemes*,
  7. C. Premanandan,
  8. J. M. DeJarnette and
  9. M. L. Day 2
  1. * The Ohio State University, Department of Animal Science, Columbus 43210
     Select Sires, Inc., Plain City, OH 43064
     The Ohio State University, Department of Veterinary Biosciences, Columbus 43210
    § University of Wyoming, Department of Animal Science, Laramie 82071


In prepubertal bulls, FSH facilitates testis maturation and a transient proliferation of Sertoli cells. Two experiments examined the effects of exogenous FSH on hormone secretion and testis development in Angus bulls. Exogenous FSH treatment consisted of an intramuscular injection (i.m.) of 30 mg FSH (Folltropin-V) in a 2% hyaluronic acid solution (FSH-HA). In Exp. 1, bulls (50 ± 6.5 d of age) received either FSH-HA (n = 5) or saline (control; n = 5) on d 50 and 53.5. Blood samples were collected via jugular venipuncture to assess FSH concentrations every 6 h for 24 h after treatment and every 12 h until 84 h. After each treatment, peripheral FSH concentrations were greater (P < 0.05) in the FSH-HA–treated bulls than in the control bulls 6 h after treatment and tended to be greater (P ≤ 0.08) 12 h after treatment. The FSH concentration from 18 to 84 h after treatment did not differ between treatments. In Exp. 2, bulls were treated with FSH-HA (n = 11) or saline (control; n = 11) every 3.5 d from 35 to 91 ± 2 d of age. Blood samples were collected before each treatment to quantify FSH, testosterone, and activin A concentrations. Scrotal circumference (SC) and BW were measured weekly. Bulls were castrated at 93 ± 2 d of age. Seminiferous tubule diameter, testis composition, and the number of Sertoli cells per tubule cross section (GATA-4 positive staining) were determined from fixed and stained histological sections. Follicle-stimulating hormone concentrations within the FSH-HA–treated bulls increased (P < 0.05) on d 70 from prior sampling and remained elevated. The FSH concentration did not differ between treatments from 35 to 66.5 d of age but were greater (P < 0.05) in the FSH-HA–treated bulls than in the control bulls from 70 to 91 d of age. Serum concentration of activin A on d 35, 70, and 91 did not differ between treatments. The FSH-HA and control bulls did not differ (P > 0.1) in BW, SC, testis weight, testis volume, percent of parenchyma composed of tubules, tubule diameter, and concentration of testosterone. The number of Sertoli cells per tubule cross section was greater in the FSH-HA–treated bulls than in the control bulls (33.35 ± 0.9 vs. 28.27 ± 0.9 cells; P ˂ 0.05). In summary, the FSH-HA treatment from 35 to 91 d of age resulted in increased endogenous FSH from 70 to 91 d and increased numbers of Sertoli cells at 93 d of age. Exogenous FSH altered endocrine mechanisms regulating endogenous FSH secretion and augmented Sertoli cell proliferation in young bulls, but this effect was apparently not caused by increased activin A concentration in the FSH-HA–treated bulls.

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