U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version


Document Type



Published in Journal of Andrology (May/June 1988) 9(3): 160-171


Alterations in testicular morphology were studied in boars actively immunized against gonadotropin hormone releasing hormone (GnRH). Ten boars were divided equally into two experimental groups (five GnRH-immunized, and five controls). Antibody production was achieved by conjugating GnRH to human serum globulin (hSG). The GnRH-hSG conjugate was emulsified in complete Freund’s adjuvant, and administered to bears at 12 weeks of age. Boars were given a booster in incomplete Freund’s adjuvant on week 18 and 20. The presence of high antibody titers to GnRH caused luteinizing hormone and testosterone to decline to nondetectable levels. Morphometric examination showed a reduction in percentage volume in Leydig cells/unit testis, seminiferous tubule diameter and seminiferous epithelial height, and an increase in non-Leydig cell interstitial tissue in GnRHimmunized bears compared with controls. Histologic evaluation displayed severe damage of the seminiferous epithelium, absence of spermatids, incomplete cell associations, disruption of Sertoli cells, formation of multinucleated giant cells, and a striking reduction in size and cytoplasmic structures of Leydig cells in GnRH-immunized animals. These results demonstrate the potent inhibitory effects of GnRH immunoneutralization on the boar reproductive system.