Differences in gonadotrophin concentrations and pituitary responsiveness to GnRH between Booroola ewes which were homozygous (FF), heterozygous (F + ) and non-carriers (++) of a major gene influencing their ovulation rate

K. P. McNatty, N. Hudson, K. M. Henderson, M. Gibb, L. Morrison, K. Ball, P. Smith
1987 Reproduction  
The mean plasma concentrations of FSH and LH were significantly higher in FF ewes than in ++ ewes with those for F+ animals being consistently in between. These gene-specific differences were found during anoestrus, the luteal phase and during a cloprostenol-induced follicular phase, suggesting that the ovaries of ewes with the F-gene are more often exposed to elevated concentrations of FSH and LH than are the ovaries of ewes without the gene. The gene-specific differences in LH secretion arose
more » ... because the mean LH amplitudes were 2\p=n-\3 times greater in FF compared to ++ ewes with the LH amplitudes for F + ewes being in between. The LH pulse frequencies were similar. In these studies the pulsatile nature of FSH secretion was not defined. The pituitary contents of LH during the luteal phase, were similar in all genotypes whereas for FSH they were significantly higher in the F-gene carriers compared to ++ ewes. The pituitary sensitivity to exogenous GnRH (0\m=.\1,0\m=.\5, 5\m=.\0and 25 \g=m\gi.v.) was related to genotype. Overall the LH responses to GnRH were lower in FF ewes than in ++ ewes with the results for the F+ ewes being in between. The FSH responses to all GnRH doses in the FF genotype were minimal (i.e. < 2-fold). In the other genotypes a > 2-fold response was noted only at the highest GnRH dose (i.e. 25 \g=m\g). Treatment of FF and F+ but not ++ ewes with GnRH eventually led to a reduced FSH output, suggesting that the pituitary responses to endogenous GnRH were being down\x=req-\ regulated in the F-gene carriers whereas this was not the case in the non-carriers. Collectively these data confirm that peripheral plasma and the pituitary together with the ovary are compartments in which F-gene differences can be observed. In conclusion, these findings raise the possibility that F-gene-specific differences may also extend to the hypothalamus and/or other regions of the brain.
doi:10.1530/jrf.0.0800577 pmid:3116233 fatcat:hu6cizfouzhcfbzrjzsvxa57nu