Passive immunization of cyclic mares against androgen: gonadotropin and progesterone concentrations and estrous characteristics.

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Antiserum generated in a horse against testosterone conjugated to bovine serum albumin (BSA) was administered to six lighthorse mares (androgen-immunized mares) 1 to 3 d before a prostaglandin-induced estrus and twice again at 2-d intervals. Six control mares were administered antiserum generated against BSA on the same schedule. Relative to testosterone, cross-reactivities of other steroids with the testosterone antiserum were (%): dihydrotestosterone, 52; 5 alpha-androstane-3 alpha,17 beta-diol, 8.6; androst-4-ene-3,17-dione, 1.2; and all others tested less than .1. Tritiated testosterone binding in plasma increased (P less than .01) in androgen-immunized mares within 1 h and remained elevated (P less than .01) relative to controls for greater than 21 d. There was no effect (P greater than .10) of passive immunization against androgen on interval to estrus after prostaglandin injection, duration of estrus, ovarian volume, number of palpable follicles or follicular volume during estrus. In contrast, concentrations of luteinizing hormone (LH) were higher (P less than .05) in androgen-immunized mares than in control mares during estrus and early diestrus. Concentrations of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and progesterone at those times were not affected (P greater than .10). From these data, we conclude that androgens in the mare during estrus may be involved with the regulation of LH secretion. In contrast, no involvement with FSH secretion was apparent under these short-term conditions.

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Journal of animal science

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