Immunization of pigs against chicken gonadotropin-releasing hormone-II and lamprey gonadotropin-releasing hormone-III: effects on gonadotropin secretion and testicular function. Academic Article uri icon


  • The objective of this experiment was to evaluate the effects of active immunization against 2 GnRH isoforms on gonadotropin secretion and testicular function in pigs. Synthetic chicken (c) GnRH-II and lamprey (l) GnRH-III peptides, with the common pGlu-His-Trp-Ser sequence at the N-terminal omitted, were conjugated to BSA. Forty-eight male piglets were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatments. Pigs on treatment 1 were actively immunized against cGnRH-II, whereas pigs on treatment 2 were actively immunized against lGnRH-III. Control pigs on treatment 3 were actively immunized against the carrier protein (BSA), and pigs on treatment 4 were castrated and actively immunized against BSA. The BSA conjugate was emulsified in Freund's Incomplete Adjuvant and diethylaminoethyldextran. Primary immunization was given at 13 wk of age (WOA) with booster immunizations given at 16 and 19 WOA. Body weight and plasma samples were collected weekly beginning at 11 WOA. Treatments did not affect BW during the experimental period. Antibody titers were increased in animals immunized against cGnRH-II and lGnRH-III (P < 0.001). Cross-reactivity of the antibodies to mammalian GnRH or between cGnRH-II and lGnRH-III was minimal. Concentrations of testosterone were maximal in control boars (treatment 3) and minimal in control barrows (treatment 4) and immunized pigs (treatment x week; P < 0.01). Immunized animals had concentrations of LH (P < 0.001) and FSH (treatment x week; P < 0.03) that were less than control barrows and similar to control boars. At the end of the experiment, intact (noncastrated) pigs were exsanguinated. Testes were removed immediately; Leydig cells were isolated and treated with 0, 1, or 10 ng/mL of LH. There was an LH x GnRH treatment effect on testosterone concentrations (P < 0.03), indicating that Leydig cells were sensitive to the immunization protocol and doses of LH. Taken together, these data suggest that immunization against GnRH isoforms decreased gonadotropin secretion compared with control barrows. Additionally, immunization against cGnRH-II and lGnRH-III reduced the ability of Leydig cells to respond to LH challenges.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Bowen, A., Khan, S., Berghman, L., Kirby, J. D., Wettemann, R. P., & Vizcarra, J. A.

citation count

  • 16

complete list of authors

  • Bowen, A||Khan, S||Berghman, L||Kirby, JD||Wettemann, RP||Vizcarra, JA

publication date

  • November 2006