Role of dihydrotestosterone in the control of sexual behaviour on castrated male sheep

in Reproduction
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Summary. Wethers (at least 2½ years after castration) were implanted with testosterone propionate (TP), oestradiol dipropionate (ODP), dihydrotestosterone, or a combination of dihydrotestosterone and ODP Silastic capsules. Active immunization against both oestradiol and oestrone or oestradiol only was used to negate effects of oestrogens produced by aromatization of TP. On exposure to oestrous ewes, immunization of wethers implanted with TP significantly (P < 0·01) reduced all components of mating behaviour (except sniffing and Flehmen) to levels seen in untreated controls. The results support the conclusion that dihydrotestosterone potentiates the action of oestrogens, particularly as regards Flehmen, and has no action on its own within the central nervous system, while oestrogens do not restore mating activity to the same level as that following treatment with testosterone.

Keywords: testosterone metabolites; immunization; sexual behaviour; castration; ram

 

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