In the horse, pronounced changes in fertility occur annually in response to photoperiod. However, the mechanisms regulating gonadotrophin synthesis and release in this species remain unclear. Here, we investigated the expression of gonadotrophin subunits and GnRH receptor (GnRH-R) mRNA in the pituitary glands of Thoroughbred horses during the breeding (BS) and non-breeding (NBS) season. Seasonal effects on the prevalence of gonadotrophs in the pars distalis were also examined. GnRH-R and common alpha-, LHbeta- and FSHbeta-subunit mRNA contents were determined by Northern analysis and the prevalence of LH-gonadotrophs assessed by immunohistochemistry in pituitaries from sexually active females (mares) in the BS, and sexually inactive mares in the NBS. These variables were then measured in castrated male horses (geldings). In mares, pituitary content of FSHbeta mRNA was significantly higher in the NBS (P0.05). These results reveal robust seasonal effects on common alpha-subunit and FSHbeta gene expression in the pituitary of the mare, in the absence of detectable changes in the content of LHbeta or GnRH-R mRNA.
|Translated title of the contribution||Gonadotrophin subunit and GnRH receptor gene expression in the pars distalis of the equine pituitary|
|Pages (from-to)||236 - 242|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||General and Comparative Endocrinology|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2009|