Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department

Veterinary Science

First Advisor

Dr. Edward L. Squires

Abstract

The objectives of this thesis were: (1) to evaluate the downregulation of the stallion hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis by a GnRH antagonist (acyline) based upon endocrine, seminal, testicular and behavioral effects, and (2) to assess recovery after treatment. Stallions were treated for 50 days (n=4; 330µg/kg acyline q 5d) and controls (n=4) received vehicle alone. Stallions were assessed pre-treatment and for 72 days after last treatment. Treatment induced declines (p<0.05) in FSH, LH, testosterone (to castrate levels) and estrone sulfate. Gonadotropins and testosterone returned to control values within nine days and estrone sulfate by 14 days after treatment discontinuation. Acyline-treated stallions failed to respond with FSH, LH and testosterone increase after exogenous GnRH stimulation (25µg gonadorelin, IV) compared to pre-treatment and control stimulation. Total sperm numbers and motility were reduced in acyline-treated stallions, as well as total seminal plasma protein and testicular volume (p<0.05). Time to ejaculation was increased in acyline group (p<0.5). Testicular, sexual behavior and most seminal parameters regained normal levels within 72 days after treatment ceased. Sperm output of acyline-treated stallions was regained within seven months after ending treatment. Acyline reversibly suppressed the stallion HPG axis, thus has potential for treating the androgen-dependent Equine-Arteritis-Virus carrier state and as behavior modulator.

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