Searchable abstracts of presentations at key conferences on reproductive biology and medicine
Reproduction Abstracts (2015) 2 O018 | DOI: 10.1530/repabs.2.O018

SRF2015 ORAL COMMUNICATIONS SRF Student Prize Session (6 abstracts)

Variations in the way UK pregnant sheep are managed programs male reproductive development

Evangelia S Moutevelidi 1 , Charis O Hogg 1 , Kenneth M D Rutherford 2 & Cheryl J Ashworth 1

1University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK; 2SRUC, Edinburgh, UK.

This study determined whether variation (representative of normal UK farm conditions) in pregnant ewe management is sufficient to alter the programing of the male reproductive axis. Between days 85 and 138 of pregnancy, twin-bearing ewes were managed to either mimic ‘poor husbandry’ (PH) with a high stocking density, reduced feeding space and repeated social mixing or according to ‘best practice’ (BP) with a lower stocking density, longer feed troughs, and stable social groups. Testes were collected from male offspring at 7 (pre-pubertal, n=10/prenatal treatment) and 19 weeks (puberty, n=8/prenatal treatment) of age, weighed and preserved for histology and gene expression analyses. Proliferation of testes cells was determined by immunohistochemical localisation of Ki-67 and counterstaining with haematoxylin. There was no treatment effect on lamb body weight at either age or on 7-week-old lamb testis weight or seminiferous tubule diameter. Testes from pubertal PH lambs were heavier (352±16 g vs 257±16 g; P=0.002), with a larger volume (39 219±3293 mm3 vs 29 498±2092 mm3; P=0.015) and increased seminiferous tubule diameter (Feret’s diameter=272.36±8.81 μm vs 246.81±5.24 μm; P=0.015) compared with BP lamb testes. Testes from BP lambs had more proliferating Leydig cells than PH lambs at both ages (7 weeks: 98±28 vs 35±20 stained cells/mm2 and 19 weeks: 34±15 vs 18±4 stained cells/mm2, respectively; P=0.025). PH lamb testes tended to have greater LH receptor expression, more Sertoli cells but fewer Leydig cells compared to contemporary BP lambs. These studies suggest that the range of husbandry conditions in current farming systems is sufficient to program male reproductive development.

Funded by Scottish Government, BBSRC and Edinburgh University.

Volume 2

Society for Reproduction and Fertility Annual Conference 2015

Oxford, UK
20 Jul 2015 - 22 Jul 2015

Society for Reproduction and Fertility 

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