3 years ago

Impact of a timed-release FSH treatment from 2 to 6 months of age in bulls II: Endocrinology, puberty attainment, and mature sperm production in Holstein bulls

The use of genomic testing in the cattle industries has renewed an interest in hastening bull puberty. In prepubertal males, FSH facilitates Sertoli cell proliferation and testis maturation. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of prepubertal administration of a timed-release FSH (delivered in a hyaluronan solution) on hormone secretion, puberty attainment, and mature sperm production in Holstein bulls in an AI center. Bulls (n = 29) were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups based on birth date and pedigree. Beginning at 62 days of age (Day 62), bulls were injected im every 3.5 days with either 30 mg FSH (Folltropin-V; NIH-FSH-P1 units) in a 2% hyaluronan solution (FSH-HA, n = 17) or saline (control, n = 12) until Day 170.5. Blood samples to assess FSH, activin A, and testosterone were collected prior to each treatment. Scrotal circumference (SC) and BW were measured monthly. Puberty assessment (ability to ejaculate 5 × 107 sperm, 10% motile) was initiated at Day 244. Average mature daily sperm production (3× wk collection, combined 2 ejaculates) was assessed from Day 571–627. In blood collected every 3.5 days, FSH concentrations within FSH-HA bulls were increased (P < 0.05) over initial Day 62 concentration from Day 93.5–170.5. Concentrations of FSH did not differ between treatments from Day 62–93.5, but were greater (P < 0.05) in FSH-HA than control bulls from Day 97–170.5. Concentrations of activin A assessed for Day 62, 86.5, 107.5, 139, and 170.5 were greater (P < 0.05) in FSH-HA than control bulls on Day 86.5 and 107.5. Treatments did not differ (P > 0.1) in testosterone, BW, or SC. FSH-HA bulls attained puberty at a younger age than control bulls (278 ± 7.7 vs. 303 ± 9.1 days of age, P < 0.05), but mature daily sperm production was not different when measured from Day 571–627 (average 5.84 ± 0.11 billion cells/day, P = 0.5). In summary, FSH administration every 3.5 days from Day 62–170.5 resulted in an increase in FSH concentration beginning at 97 days of age and a hastened age of puberty. We propose this exogenous FSH delivered in hyaluronan initiates a positive feedback loop that includes an increase in activin A production observed on Day 86.5 and 107.5. However, differences in mature sperm production were not realized in this experiment.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0093691X17304508

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