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Testicular development and endocrine characteristics of boars selected for either high or low testis size.

  • Schinckel, A P
  • Johnson, R K
  • Kittok, R J
Published Article
Journal of animal science
Publication Date
Mar 01, 1984
PMID: 6425259


Thirty-six Landrace x Large White cross boars were selected from litters with either high or low estimated breeding values for 150-d paired testis weight. Blood samples were taken via jugular venipuncture at eight ages (42, 56, 70, 84, 98, 112, 126 and 140 d). At each sampling age, nine blood samples were taken at 30-min intervals. Luteinizing hormone (LH) was determined on the individual serum samples. Serum samples from each boar at each age were pooled and concentrations of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol-17 beta (E2) and testosterone (T) were determined. Paired testis width, testis length and body weight were measured at 98, 112, 126 and 140 d of age. Backfat probe, weights of excised testes and histological data on testes were obtained at 140 d of age. Boars with high testis weight (HTW) were heavier (P less than .05), had higher adjusted backfat probes (P less than .01) and had consistently larger in situ testis measurements (P less than .01) than did low testis weight (LTW) boars. Boars with HTW had heavier (P less than .01) testes and epididymides at 140 d of age. They also had a higher percentage of seminiferous tubules in which spermatogenesis was present (P less than .05), a larger percentage of tubules with a lumen (P less than .05) and tubules had a larger mean diameter (P less than .01) than did those of boar with LTW. Adjustment of in situ testis measurements and excised testis weights for body weight reduced line differences by less than 20%. A rise in LH concentrations occurred at approximately 100 d of age. Boars with HTW had higher (P less than .05) and more variable (P less than .01) LH concentrations than did boars with LTW. Boars with HTW also had higher maximum concentrations of LH during the pubertal rise (P less than .01) and these concentrations tended to reach maximum levels at younger ages. Concentrations of T increased in a fashion that was nearly linear with age (P less than .01) and tended to be higher for the boars with HTW (P less than .10). Concentrations of E2 changed little from 42 to 84 d of age but increased steadily thereafter. Boars with HTW had a more rapid increase in E2 concentrations than did boars with LTW (P less than .05).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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