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B. Colenbrander, F. H. de Jong, and C. J. G. Wensing

Summary. Serum testosterone concentrations were elevated between 40 and 60 days p.c. but were low between 60 and 100 days p.c. when the testis descends. Elevated concentrations occurred in the perinatal period and from the 18th week after birth. Between 60 days p.c. and 16 weeks after birth the changes in serum testosterone concentrations parallel those of testicular development, as determined by morphology and steroid histochemistry, and peripheral LH concentrations.

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E. N. Noordhuizen-Stassen, G. A. Charbon, F. H. de Jong, and C. J. G. Wensing

Summary. Blood flow to the testis, haemoglobin oxygen saturation and testosterone concentration in arterial and venous testicular blood vessels were studied in Texel rams in the breeding and non-breeding season.

Blood flow in the proximal and distal testicular artery was measured electromagnetically. The mean flow in the proximal testicular artery was 18·5 ml/min and in the distal testicular artery 7·5 ml/min, and there was no detectable seasonal influence.

Haemoglobin oxygen saturation and testosterone concentration were measured in the saphenous artery and vein, the distal testicular artery and vein, and in the proximal testicular vein. The haemoglobin oxygen saturation in the proximal testicular vein was significantly higher than in the distal testicular vein in both seasons. The mean testosterone concentration was significantly lower in the proximal testicular vein than in the distal testicular vein in both seasons. Based on haemoglobin oxygen saturation and testosterone data, it was calculated that between 28 and 46% of the testicular arterial blood was bypassing the testis and was directly flowing through arterio-venous anastomoses towards the pampiniform plexus in the spermatic cord of conscious rams. In anaesthetized rams 55 and 64% of the blood was flowing directly from the testicular artery to the pampiniform plexus based on blood flow data.

Transfer of testosterone and oxygen by passive diffusion from the testicular artery to the pampiniform plexus and vice versa in the spermatic cord was not detected.

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J. C. Meijer, V. L. Trudeau, F. H. de Jong, M. Bevers, E. N. Noordhuizen-Stassen, and C. J. G. Wensing

Summary. Effects of GnRH, administered via the testicular artery, on testicular steroidogenesis were studied in rams during the non-breeding season. Concentrations of testosterone and 17-hydroxyprogesterone in testicular venous blood showed similar profiles which were identical for GnRH-treated (0·5 ng infused over 60 min or 25 ng injected) and control testes. Increases of testicular venous concentration of both hormones were only marginally reflected in peripheral venous concentrations. Peripheral administration of hCG (200 i.u., i.v.) stimulated testosterone secretion to a larger extent than 17-hydroxyprogesterone secretion in 10/11 rams, GnRH-treated and control testes showing identical responses. High testicular venous concentrations of both hormones after administration of GnRH were paralleled by increased concentrations of endogenous LH. These LH peaks were evoked by 25 ng GnRH in 7/8 rams. The observed effects of GnRH treatment on testicular steroid secretion thus cannot be considered to be the result of direct stimulation of steroidogenesis by GnRH.

Keywords: GnRH; in vivo; testis; ram; testosterone; progesterone

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Vera Baumans, S. J. Dieleman, H. S. Wouterse, Leni van Tol, Grietje Dijkstra, and C. J. G. Wensing

Summary. Serum testosterone concentrations ranged from 0·24 to 1·45 nmol/1 between Day 53 post coitum (p.c.) until Day 40 post partum (p.p.) and did not show variations that could be correlated with the process of testicular descent. The intratesticular androgen appeared to be mainly testosterone, its concentration being about 5000-fold higher than that in serum whereas 5α-dihydrotestosterone could not be demonstrated. The intratesticular testosterone concentration at the initiation of gubernacular regression (Day 0) was apparently, but not significantly, higher than at Day 49 p.c. and at Day 40 p.p. The ability of the neonatal canine testis to synthesize testosterone was indicated by increased serum testosterone concentrations after hCG stimulation.