Fachbereich Veterinärmedizin



    Pituitary and testis responsiveness of young male sheep exposed to testosterone excess during fetal development (2013)

    Zeitschriftenartikel / wissenschaftlicher Beitrag
    Recabarren, Mónica P
    Rojas-Garcia, Pedro P
    Einspanier, Ralf (WE 3)
    Padmanabhan, Vasantha
    Sir-Petermann, Teresa
    Recabarren, Sergio E
    Reproduction; 145(6) — S. 567–576
    ISSN: 1470-1626
    DOI: 10.1530/REP-13-0006
    Pubmed: 23579187
    Institut für Veterinär-Biochemie

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    Abstract / Zusammenfassung

    Prenatal exposure to excess testosterone induces reproductive disturbances in both female and male sheep. In females, it alters the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis. In males, prenatal testosterone excess reduces sperm count and motility. Focusing on males, this study tested whether pituitary LH responsiveness to GNRH is increased in prenatal testosterone-exposed males and whether testicular function is compromised in the testosterone-exposed males. Control males (n=6) and males born to ewes exposed to twice weekly injections of 30 mg testosterone propionate from days 30 to 90 and of 40 mg testosterone propionate from days 90 to 120 of gestation (n=6) were studied at 20 and 30 weeks of age. Pituitary and testicular responsiveness was tested by administering a GNRH analog (leuprolide acetate). To complement the analyses, the mRNA expression of LH receptor (LHR) and that of steroidogenic enzymes were determined in testicular tissue. Basal LH and testosterone concentrations were higher in the testosterone-exposed-males. While LH response to the GNRH analog was higher in the testosterone-exposed males than in the control males, testosterone responses did not differ between the treatment groups. The testosterone:LH ratio was higher in the control males than in the testosterone-exposed males of 30 weeks of age, suggestive of reduced Leydig cell sensitivity to LH in the testosterone-exposed males. The expression of LHR mRNA was lower in the testosterone-exposed males, but the mRNA expression of steroidogenic enzymes did not differ between the groups. These findings indicate that prenatal testosterone excess has opposing effects at the pituitary and testicular levels, namely increased pituitary sensitivity to GNRH at the level of pituitary and decreased sensitivity of the testes to LH.