Searchable abstracts of presentations at key conferences on reproductive biology and medicine
Reproduction Abstracts (2014) 1 P108 | DOI: 10.1530/repabs.1.P108

WCRB2014 POSTER PRESENTATIONS (1) (335 abstracts)

Effect of the way in which ewes were handled during mid-gestation on testicular and ovarian development in their lambs

Suzanne de Jonge 1 , Charis O. Hogg 1 , Emma Baxter 2 , Sarah Hall 2 , Cathy M. Dwyer 2 & Cheryl Joy Ashworth 1

1University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK; 2Scotland’s Rural College, Edinburgh, UK

Introduction: This study determined whether the way in which pregnant ewes were handled affected gonad development in their offspring.

Methods: Twin-bearing Scottish Blackface × Border Leicester ewes were either handled minimally (control, C, n=20), positively (predictable timings, soft vocal tones etc. P, n=20) or negatively (random timings, shouting and whistling etc. N, n=20) between day 65 and 100 of pregnancy. Following euthanasia of a sub-set of lambs, gonads were collected from one lamb on the day of birth and from its twin at 7 months of age for histological analyses. Oestrous cycles of 7 month old female lambs were synchronised and ovaries collected on Day 8±1 of the following cycle. Cell proliferation was assessed by Ki-67 immunohistochemistry. Data were analysed using ANOVA.

Results and Discussion: There was no effect of prenatal treatment on ovarian or testicular morphology at birth. At 7 months, ovaries from all female P lambs contained antral follicles, whereas no antral follicles were observed in ovaries from C or N lambs. Seminiferous tubular area was greater in testes from 7 month old N ram lambs compared to P or C lambs (80146, 45561, 46409 μm2, for N, C and P, respectively s.e.d. =10974; P=0.045). N lambs had a higher percentage of proliferating testis cells compared to P lambs (4.5±0.8 vs 1.8±0.9% respectively; P=0.049). In summary, prenatal handling had no effect on gonad morphology at birth, but gonad development in post-pubertal animals was altered, with gender differences in response. Funded by EU (FP7) Animal Welfare Indicators (AWIN) and BBSRC.

Volume 1

World Congress of Reproductive Biology 2014

Edinburgh, UK
02 Sep 2014 - 04 Sep 2014

World Congress of Reproductive Biology 

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