Active immunization of prepubertal boars against testosterone: testicular and endocrine responses at 14 months of age.

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Thirteen crossbred boars were immunized at 1 mo of age against either testosterone-3-oxime-equine serum albumin (treated boars) or equine serum albumin (control boars) to test the hypothesis that active immunization against testosterone stimulates testicular growth and development in the prepubertal boar. All boars were injected with the appropriate antigen at 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 mo of age and were slaughtered at 14 mo of age. Active immunization against testosterone resulted in an increase (P less than .05) in tritiated-testosterone binding by plasma within 60 d after the primary immunization; the degree of binding decreased by 6 mo but remained elevated (P less than .05) relative to controls through 12 mo of age. There was no effect of treatment on body weights through 12 mo of age. Concentrations of testosterone in plasma were higher (P less than .05) in testosterone-immunized boars than in controls; this increase was likely due to antibody binding rather than increased testosterone secretion because (1) concentrations of androgen in testicular parenchyma at slaughter were not altered by treatment and (2) plasma concentrations of estrogens were generally not affected by treatment. Concentrations of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) were markedly suppressed in testosterone-immunized boars during the time when concentrations of these gonadotropins were high in control boars (greater than 3 mo of age). In spite of suppression of average LH and FSH concentrations, testicular weights, daily sperm production rates and seminal characteristics were similar for the two groups of boars at slaughter. (ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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Journal of animal science

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