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Research article2007Peer reviewedOpen access

Effect of hCG stimulation on plasma androstenone concentrations and cytochrome b5 levels in testicular tissue

Zamaratskaia G, Lou Y, Chen G, Andresen O, Lundstrom K, Squires EJ


The effect of Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) stimulation on the concentrations of free and conjugated androstenone in plasma was studied in 34 crossbred entire male pigs (Landrace x Swedish Yorkshire). Seventeen pigs were treated with hCG 4 days prior to slaughter and the remaining pigs were treated with sterile saline and served as controls. Blood samples were taken prior to hCG or saline injection and on the day before slaughter and analysed for concentrations of free and conjugated androsterione. Testicular tissue samples were taken at slaughter and analysed for the levels of cytochrome b5 (cyb5) protein. Here we have demonstrated for the first time that hCG stimulation causes an increase in the plasma levels of both free and conjugated androstenone. Not all animals responded in the same way to hCG treatment regarding levels of free and conjugated androstenone demonstrating that individual animals can have differences in their capacity to produce free and conjugated androstenone. We suggest that hCG treatment is a good way to determine the potential for androstenone conjugation when androsterione synthesis in the testis is high. The levels of cyb5 protein in the testis were slightly related (r = 0.41, p < 0.10) to free androstenone levels in the pigs after hCG administration, although levels of cyb5 protein were not affected by hCG treatment

Published in

Reproduction in Domestic Animals
2007, Volume: 42, number: 1, pages: 105-108