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


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Document Type



Published in J Androl (1988) 9(4): 278-283.


The testicular response of Ile-de-France rams actively immunized against estradiol (E2) was evaluated during both the ovine nonbreeding season (spring) and breeding season (autumn). Plasma concentrations of LH, FSH and testosterone were elevated in E2-immunized rams during both spring and autumn when compared with BSA-immunized controls. Testis weights were significantly elevated by E2 immunization and were characterized by greater interstitial cell volume, including Leydig cells, blood and lymph vessels, greater seminiferous tubule length, and greater numbers of leptotene spermatocytes and round spermatids. Neither Sertoli cell number, Sertoli cell nuclear volume nor testicular FSH receptor number were affected by E2 immunization, but testis weight, Sertoli cell nuclear area, FSH receptor number, and LH receptor number were significantly greater in autumn than in spring. A positive effect of E2 immunization on testicular LH receptors was evident in spring but not in autumn. Testicular androgen receptors were suppressed by E2 immunization but were not affected by season. It was concluded that E2 immunization results in moderate stimulation of the ovine testis to increase testosterone secretion and to enhance total daily spermatid production. This effect appears to result from a change in E2 negative feedback and increased pituitary gonadotropin secretion.