The 'female effect' in Australian cashmere goats: effect of season and quality of diet on the LH and testosterone response of bucks to oestrous does

S. W. Walkden-Brown, B. J. Restall, B. W. Norton, R. J. Scaramuzzi
1994 Reproduction  
The effects of season, diet and exposure to oestrous females on LH and testosterone secretion were examined in mature cashmere bucks to determine whether there is a seasonal cycle of LH and testosterone secretion, and whether this can be modulated by long-term differential nutrition and exposure to oestrous females. Three-year-old bucks were individually housed under natural photoperiod at 29\s=deg\S153\s=deg\Eand fed diets of high (crude protein 17.6%, metabolizable energy 8.3 MJ kg\m=-\1 ) or
more » ... low (crude protein 6.9%, metabolizable energy 6.6 MJ kg \m=-\1 ) quality for 16 months ad libitum (n = 6 per treatment). Blood samples were collected to determine pulsatile LH and testosterone secretion immediately before experimental feeding, one month later, and every second month thereafter. Samples were collected for an 8 h period on successive days with the bucks isolated on the first day and each exposed to a single oestrous doe for the duration of the second day. In the absence of oestrous females, bucks exhibited a circannual pattern of secretion for both hormones with pulse frequency and mean concentrations highest in late summer and autumn and lowest in late winter and spring. Testosterone pulse amplitude followed a similar pattern, but LH pulse amplitude was highest in spring and lowest in autumn, indicating a seasonal shift in the relationship between the two hormones. Exposure to oestrous does increased LH and testosterone secretion depending on both season and diet. Responses were evident during summer, autumn and early winter, with bucks on a high quality diet exhibiting an earlier and more prolonged period of responsiveness than did bucks on a low quality diet, peaking in February compared with June. The magnitude of the LH and testosterone response was also significantly greater in bucks on a high quality diet. Weight loss during autumn appeared to reduce responsiveness in both treatments. These results demonstrate that there is a seasonal cycle in LH and testosterone secretion in mature cashmere bucks, and that nutrition and oestrous females are powerful modulators of the secretion of these hormones in a seasonally dependent way.
doi:10.1530/jrf.0.1000521 pmid:8021873 fatcat:tf5aks3y2fgjdioo5h5fct5i2y