Animal Science, Department of


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Published in Reproduction (2003) 125, 225–232


Administration of GnRH agonist for an extended period inhibits pulsatile LH release but enhances testicular function of bulls. The mechanism whereby long-term administration of GnRH agonist enhances testosterone concentration in the blood of bulls has not been determined. The aim of this study was to determine whether chronic treatment with the GnRH agonist, azagly-nafarelin, increases blood concentrations of LH and FSH in prepubertal bulls. Two different doses of the GnRH agonist were administered via Alzet mini-osmotic pumps for 28 days. Blood samples were collected at 20 min intervals for 24 h at days 2, 13 and 25 of treatment. Agonist-treated groups had reduced testosterone pulse frequency (P < 0.05) and increased mean and basal concentrations of testosterone (P <0.05) compared with untreated control bulls. Basal LH concentrations were higher in agonist-treated bulls during all three periods (P < 0.05) and overall (1 ng ml−1 higher, compared with control bulls; P < 0.001). Frequency of LH pulses in the agonist-treated groups was reduced to less than one pulse in 24 h. Agonist-treated bulls tended to have (P < 0.10) or had (P < 0.05) a slight but significant increase in blood FSH concentration. In conclusion, the higher blood testosterone concentration in bulls after prolonged treatment with GnRH agonist may result, at least in part, from changes in the testes induced by enhanced basal concentration of LH.