Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department/School/Program

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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