Differential responses in anterior pituitary luteinizing hormone (LH) content and LHβ- and α-subunit mRNA, and plasma concentrations of LH and testosterone, in bulls treated with the LH-releasing hormone agonist deslorelin

William J. Aspden, Alexandra Rao, Katherine Rose, Paul T. Scott, Lain J. Clarke, Timothy E. Trigg, John Walsh, Michael J. D'Occhio

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Abstract

Anterior pituitary gland contents of LH and LHβ- and α-subunit mRNAs, and circulating concentrations of LH and testosterone, were determined in bulls treated with the LH-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist deslorelin. Brahman (Bos indicus) bulls (14-month-old) were allocated to two groups and received the following: Control (n = 5), no treatment; Deslorelin (n = 4), four deslorelin implants (approximately 200 μg total deslorelin/day) for 36 d. Plasma concentrations of LH were higher in bulls treated with deslorelin on Day 1, had returned to typical levels by Day 8, and did not differ for control bulls and bulls treated with deslorelin from Day 8 to Day 29. Pituitary content of LH on Day 36 was reduced (P < 0.001) in bulls treated with deslorelin (33 ± 4 ng/mg) compared with control bulls (553±142 ng/mg). Relative pituitary content of LHβ-subunit mRNA was also reduced on Day 36 in bulls treated with deslorelin (Control, 0.65±0.10; Deslorelin, 0.22±0.04; P = 0.003). However, α-subunit mRNA relative content did not differ (Control, 0.73± 0.15; Deslorelin, 1.06±0.12; P > 0.05). Plasma concentrations of testosterone were increased over the period of the experiment in the bulls treated with deslorelin compared with control bulls. This is the first demonstration of reduced pituitary content of LHβ-subunit mRNA and LH, and unaltered content of α-subunit mRNA, in bulls treated with LHRH agonist. This was associated with apparently typical plasma concentrations of LH and elevated plasma testosterone. The anterior pituitary in bulls treated with LHRH agonist, therefore, undergoes classical desensitization and downregulation, but plasma LH and testosterone are not suppressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-437
Number of pages9
JournalDomestic Animal Endocrinology
Volume14
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes

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