Effects of age, season and active immunization against estrogen on serum prolactin concentrations in stallions

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Prolactin concentrations in stallion serum were measured by radioimmunoassay based on antiserum generated against equine prolactin and radioiodinated canine prolactin. Prolactin concentrations in serum collected from 152 stallions at a slaughterhouse were higher (P<.01) in summer than in winter (5.7±.15 vs 2.0±.17 ng/ml). Moreover, there was an effect of age (P<.02) in the analysis of variance; there was no interaction between age and season. In general, prolactin concentrations increased with age up to 3 to 5 years. Samples of serum collected from five control and five estrogen-immunized stallions from 6 to 26 months of age also were assessed for prolactin concentration. Active immunization against estrogen had no effect (P>.10) on prolactin concentrations. In contrast, whether analyzed by age or by month of the year, prolactin concentrations varied with time (P<.01) in these stallions. Averaged over both groups, concentrations were high during summer and low during winter and were also gradually increasing with time as indicated by a linear trend (P<.01) in the data. It is concluded that serum prolactin concentrations in stallions 1) are seasonal, as in many other seasonally breeding species, 2) in general are highest in older stallions and lowest in young stallions and 3) are not affected by active immunization against estrogens. © 1987.

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Domestic Animal Endocrinology

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