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G. A. Lincoln
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H. M. Fraser
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M. P. Abbott
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Summary. Adult Soay rams were infused for 21 days with 50 μg buserelin/day, using s.c. implanted osmotic mini-pumps. The continuous treatment with this LHRH agonist induced a supraphysiological increase in the blood concentrations of LH (15-fold) and testosterone (5-fold) followed by a decrease below pre-treatment values after 10 days. The blood concentrations of FSH showed only a minimal initial increase but the subsequent decrease was dramatic, occurring within 1 day. By Day 10 of treatment, the blood concentrations of all 3 hormones were low or declining, LH pulses were absent in the serial profiles based on 20-min blood samples and the administration of LHRH antiserum failed to affect the secretion of LH or testosterone. By Day 21, the secretion of FSH, LH and testosterone was maximally suppressed. The i.v. injection of 400 ng LHRH was totally ineffective at stimulating an increase in the blood concentrations of LH while the i.v. injection of 50 μg ovine LH induced a normal increase in the concentrations of testosterone; this confirmed that the chronic treatment with the LHRH agonist had desensitized the pituitary gonadotrophs without markedly affecting the responsiveness of the testicular Leydig cells. The ratio of bioactive:radioimmunoactive LH did not change during the treatment. The long-term effect of the infusion was fully reversible as shown by the increase in the blood concentrations of FSH, LH and testosterone and the return of normal pulsatile fluctuations in LH and testosterone within 7 days of the end of treatment.

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S. E. Dodson
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M. P. Abbott
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W. Haresign
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Summary. To define gonadotrophin secretion rates in the prepubertal heifer, 12 Hereford × Friesian heifers were blood-sampled at 15-min intervals for periods of 24 h every 4 weeks from 3 weeks of age until puberty. Radioimmunoassay of plasma LH concentrations showed that, although LH episode frequency increased with age, overall mean LH concentrations and basal LH concentrations decreased between 3 and 15 weeks of age and then increased to 35 weeks of age. The validity of these trends in relation to biological activity of plasma LH was investigated using an in-vitro Leydig cell bioassay. Samples were selected from 24-h profile bleeds of 4 heifers at 3, 7, 11, 15, 19, 27 and 39 weeks of age. No significant differences were found in the patterns of change in overall mean LH concentrations, basal LH concentrations or LH episode amplitude when comparing the estimates obtained by radioimmunoassay with those by bioassay from birth over the prepubertal period. These results indicate that the changes with age observed by radioimmunoassay are representative of changes in biologically active hormone.

Keywords: bioassay; radioimmunoassay; LH; puberty; heifer

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