Concentrations of prolactin, luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone in pituitary and serum of horses: effect of sex, season and reproductive state.
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Pituitary and serum from 86 male or female horses of various reproductive states were collected in the normal breeding season (summer) and in the nonbreeding season (winter) at a commercial slaughterhouse. Concentrations of prolactin (PRL), luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) were measured by radioimmunoassay. Concentrations of pregnant mare serum gonadotropin and reproductive steroids in serum and gross appearance of the reproductive tract and gonads were used to catagorize reproductive state. Concentrations of PRL were higher (P less than .01) in summer than in winter in pituitary and serum of mares, stallions and geldings. In summer, mares had higher (P less than .01) concentrations of PRL in serum than stallions. In mares, concentrations of LH in pituitary were higher (P less than .05) in summer than in winter. Concentrations of LH in serum were higher (P less than .01) in summer than in winter in mares and geldings, higher (P less than .01) in mares than in stallions in summer, higher (P less than .01) in geldings than in stallions in summer and higher (P less than .01) in mares with low serum progesterone (P) concentrations than in mares with high P concentrations in summer. Concentrations of FSH in pituitary and serum did not differ between summer and winter for any type of horse.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)