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Influence of sex and gonadal status of sheep on cortisol secretion in response to ACTH and on cortisol and LH secretion in response to stress: importance of different stressors

Turner, A.I., Canny, B.J., Hobbs, R.J., Bond, J.D., Clarke, I.J. and Tilbrook, A.J. 2002, Influence of sex and gonadal status of sheep on cortisol secretion in response to ACTH and on cortisol and LH secretion in response to stress: importance of different stressors, Journal of endocrinology, vol. 173, no. 1, pp. 113-122, doi: 10.1677/joe.0.1730113.

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Title Influence of sex and gonadal status of sheep on cortisol secretion in response to ACTH and on cortisol and LH secretion in response to stress: importance of different stressors
Author(s) Turner, A.I.ORCID iD for Turner, A.I. orcid.org/0000-0002-0682-2860
Canny, B.J.
Hobbs, R.J.
Bond, J.D.
Clarke, I.J.
Tilbrook, A.J.
Journal name Journal of endocrinology
Volume number 173
Issue number 1
Start page 113
End page 122
Total pages 10
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Oxford, Eng.
Publication date 2002-04-01
ISSN 0022-0795
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Endocrinology & Metabolism
CORTICOTROPIN-RELEASING FACTOR
PITUITARY-ADRENAL AXIS
INSULIN-INDUCED HYPOGLYCEMIA
CHRONIC ACTIVE IMMUNIZATION
ARGININE VASOPRESSIN
GLUCOCORTICOIDS
HORMONE
RAMS
SPECIFICITY
STEROIDS
Summary There are sex differences in the response to stress and in the influence of stress on reproduction which may be due to gonadal steroids but the nature of these differences and the role of the gonads are not understood. We tested the hypotheses that sex and the presence/absence of gonads (gonadal status) will influence the cortisol response to injection of ACTH, insulin-induced hypoglycaemia and isolation/restraint stress, and that sex and gonadal status will influence the secretion of LH in response to isolation/restraint stress. Four groups of sheep were used in each of three experiments: gonad-intact rams, gonadectomised rams, gonad-intact ewes in the mid-luteal phase of the oestrous cycle and gonadectomised ewes. In Experiment 1 (n=4/group), jugular blood samples were collected every 10 min for 6 h; after 3 h, two animals in each group were injected (i.v.) with ACTH and the remaining two animals were injected (i.v.) with saline. Treatments were reversed 5 days later so that every animal received both treatments. Experiment 2 (n=4/group) used a similar schedule except that insulin was injected (i.v.) instead of ACTH. In Experiment 3 (n=5/group), blood samples were collected every 10 min for 16 h on a control day and again 2 weeks later when, after 8 h of sampling, all sheep were isolated and restrained for 8 h. Plasma cortisol was significantly (P<0.05) elevated following injection of ACTH or insulin and during isolation/restraint stress. There were no significant differences between the sexes in the cortisol response to ACTH. Rams had a greater (P<0.05) cortisol response to insulin-induced hypoglycaemia than ewes while ewes had a greater (P<0.05) cortisol response to isolation/restraint stress than rams. There was no effect of gonadal status on these parameters. Plasma LH was suppressed (P<0.05) in gonadectomised animals during isolation/restraint stress but was not affected in gonad-intact animals, and there were no differences between the sexes. Our results show that the sex that has the greater cortisol response to a stressor depends on the stressor imposed and that these sex differences are likely to be at the level of the hypothalamo-pituitary unit rather than at the adrenal gland. Since there was a sex difference in the cortisol response to isolation/restraint, the lack of a sex difference in the response of LH to this stress suggests that glucocorticoids are unlikely to be a major mediator of the stress-induced suppression of LH secretion.
Language eng
DOI 10.1677/joe.0.1730113
Field of Research 111603 Systems Physiology
111404 Reproduction
110306 Endocrinology
1103 Clinical Sciences
0707 Veterinary Sciences
0702 Animal Production
Socio Economic Objective 920114 Reproductive System and Disorders
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2002, Oxford University Press
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30080851

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research
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