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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Testicular development of Zebu bulls after chronic treatment with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist.

The objective was to compare testis characteristics of Zebu bulls treated with the GnRH agonist, deslorelin, at different times and for different durations during their development. An additional objective was to determine the usefulness of a stain for the transcription factor GATA-binding protein 4 (GATA-4) as a specific marker for Sertoli cell nuclei in cattle. Bulls (54) were allocated to nine groups (n = 6) and received s.c. deslorelin implants as follows: G1 = from birth to 3 mo of age; G2 = from 3 to 6 mo; G3 = from 6 to 9 mo; G4 = from 9 to 12 mo; G5 = from birth to 15 mo; G6 = from 3 to 15 mo; G7 = from 6 to 15 mo; G8 = from 12 to 15 mo; and G9 (control) = no implant. Bulls were castrated at 19 mo of age. Paraffin sections (10 microm) were subjected to quantitative morphometry and GATA-4 immunohistochemistry. At castration, all bulls in the control group (6/6) had attained puberty (scrotal circumference > or = 28 cm), whereas a smaller proportion (P < 0.05) had reached puberty in G2 (2/5) and G6 (1/6). Bulls in G2 and G6 also had a lesser (P < 0.05) testis weight compared with the control group. Total volume of seminiferous epithelium and total daily sperm production in G2 and G6 were only half that observed in the control group. Spermatids were observed in less than 50% of seminiferous tubules in G2, G6, and G7 compared with 82% in the control group (P < 0.05). Staining for GATA-4 was specific for and abundant in the Sertoli cell nucleus in both pre- and postpubertal bulls, and no other cell nucleus inside the seminiferous tubule was positive for GATA-4. Total number of Sertoli cells was not affected by treatment (P = 0.45), but nuclear volume was smaller in G2 and G6 (P < 0.05) compared with the control group. In conclusion, treatment of Zebu bulls with deslorelin had no apparent beneficial effect on testis development and delayed puberty when treatment was initiated at 3 mo of age. Staining for GATA-4 was a useful method for identifying and quantifying Sertoli cell nuclei in both pre- and postpubertal bulls.[1]


  1. Testicular development of Zebu bulls after chronic treatment with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist. Jiménez-Severiano, H., Mussard, M.L., Fitzpatrick, L.A., D'Occhio, M.J., Ford, J.J., Lunstra, D.D., Kinder, J.E. J. Anim. Sci. (2005) [Pubmed]
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