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1 September 2001 Prolactin Actions in the Sheep Testis: A Test of the Priming Hypothesis
Gerald A. Lincoln, Julie Townsend, Henry N. Jabbour
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This study investigated whether prolactin (PRL) plays a priming role in the testis during the nonmating season and thereby facilitates gonadal reactivation. Sexually inactive Soay rams under long days were treated as follows: 1) group C (control) received vehicle, 2) group B received bromocriptine to suppress PRL secretion, 3) group B PRL received bromocriptine ovine PRL to reinstate physiological levels of PRL (n = 5/group). Treatments were for 10 wk. The photoperiod was then switched to short days to reactivate the reproductive axis. Testis diameter and sex skin coloration were recorded, and routine blood samples were collected to measure concentrations of FSH, inhibin A, and testosterone (T). At the end of the treatments, blood samples were collected every 10 min for 10 h to monitor LH pulses and the T-response to exogenous LH, and a testis biopsy was collected to assess spermatogenic activity (bromodeoxyuridine [BrDU] method) and expression of PRL receptor (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and immunocytochemistry). There were no significant differences between groups in spermatogenesis (BrDU index) or steroidogenesis (T-response), and no difference in the time taken to achieve full testicular redevelopment under short days. Testis diameter and inhibin A were marginally increased in group B PRL. Overall, this thorough experiment provides minimal support for the priming hypothesis.

Gerald A. Lincoln, Julie Townsend, and Henry N. Jabbour "Prolactin Actions in the Sheep Testis: A Test of the Priming Hypothesis," Biology of Reproduction 65(3), 936-943, (1 September 2001).
Received: 8 March 2001; Accepted: 1 May 2001; Published: 1 September 2001

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