3 years ago

Impact of a timed-release FSH treatment from 2 to 6 months of age in bulls I: Endocrine and testicular development of beef bulls

In prepubertal males, FSH facilitates Sertoli cell proliferation and testis maturation. The study aimed to determine the effect of an exogenous FSH treatment on hormone secretion and testis development in Angus bulls. Bulls (n = 22) weaned at 53 ± 3.8 days of age were randomized into two treatment groups based on age and pedigree. Beginning at Day 59, 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 = 11) or saline (control, n = 11) until Day 167.5. Blood samples to assess FSH, activin A, and testosterone were collected prior to each treatment. To determine how FSH profiles surrounding treatment were affected, three intensive blood sampling periods, each encompassing two treatment administrations, began at Day 66, 108, and 157, and blood was collected at 0, 6, 12, 18, 24, 36, 60, and 84 h respective to time of treatment. Scrotal circumference (SC) and BW were measured monthly. Bulls were castrated at Day 170 to measure testis size, seminiferous tubule diameter, and the number of Sertoli and germ cells per tubule cross-section. During intensive FSH sampling, FSH-HA bulls experienced an increase (P < 0.05) in FSH over control bulls for at least 18 h post-injection in all instances. In blood collected every 3.5 days, FSH concentrations in FSH-HA bulls were increased (P < 0.05) over initial Day 59 concentration from Day 97.5–167.5. FSH concentrations did not differ between treatments from Day 59–90.5, but were greater (P < 0.05) in FSH-HA from Day 94–167.5. Concentrations of activin A assessed for Day 59, 83.5, 94, 129, and 167.5 were greater (P < 0.05) in FSH-HA than control bulls on Day 83.5 and 94. The treatments did not differ (P > 0.1) in testosterone, BW, SC, testis size, tubule diameter, or number of germ cells per tubule. However, the number of Sertoli cells per tubule was greater in FSH-HA than control bulls (45.2 ± 1.4 vs. 41.6 ± 0.9 cells, P < 0.05). In summary, FSH-HA treatment every 3.5 days from Day 59–167.5 maintained elevated FSH for a minimum of 18 h post-injection, likely attributable to the addition of HA. We propose the exogenous FSH-HA treatment initiates a positive feedback loop that includes an increased density of Sertoli cells per tubule cross-section, which is related to increased activin A concentrations on Day 83.5 and 94. Furthermore, this activin A increase preceded an increase in endogenous FSH from Day 94–167.5 in FSH-HA bulls.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0093691X17304491

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