Recommendations for clinical GnRH challenge testing of stallions Academic Article uri icon


  • Eight mature light-breed stallions with normal testes size, sperm output and semen quality were used to evaluate response to 3 GnRH challenge regimens in the summer in southeast Texas. Gonadotropin releasing hormone (50 g) was administered intravenously once to each of eight stallions after three days of sexual rest (50 g GnRH-1X), The same stallions were administered either 5g GnRH intravenously once hourly for three injections (5 g GnRH-3X) and 15g GnRH intravenously once (15g GnRH-1X) one and two weeks later Blood samples were collected prior to and at intervals after GnRH administration. Plasma was immediately separated from blood samples and was frozen until assayed for LH, FSH, estradiol and testosterone concentrations. Percentage changes in hormone concentrations from pre-treatment values (baseline) were analyzed by paired student's t-test to detect significant rises in hormone concentrations. Group mean percentage changes in hormone concentrations were analyzed by analysis of variance to compare responses among treatments. A computerized peak-detection algorithm (PC Pulsar) was used to detect peaks in LH and testosterone concentrations following 5 g GnRH-3X and 15 g GaRH - 1X treatment. No differences (P > 0.10) were detected in percentage change from baseline concentration for LH, FSH, or testosterone at one or two hours after administration of any of the three regimens of GnRH. When more frequent sampling intervals were analyzed for 5 g GnRH - 3X or 15 g GnRH - 1X treatments, no differences were detected in percentage change from baseline concentration for any hormone at 15, 30 or 60 minutes, Thereafter, percentage changes in concentrations of LH and FSH remained increased for 5g GnRH - 3X compared to 15 g GnRH-1X treated stallions (P < 0.05). Percentage changes in concentrations of testosterone were increased for 5 g GnRH - 3X compared to 15 g GnRH-1X treated stallions from 180 - 300 min (P < 0.05), while no differences (P > 0.10) were detected between 5 g GnRH-3X and 15 g GnRH-1X treated stallions for changes in concentrations of estradiol throughout the experiment. For 15 g GnRH-1X treated stallions, maximum concentrations of LH in PC Pulsar-detected peaks occurred most commonly at 15 to 30 minutes (7/8 treatment periods) after GnRH injection. Maximum concentrations of testosterone in PC Pulsar-detected peaks occurred most commonly at 60 -120 rain (7/8 treatment periods) after GnRH injection. A protocol of blood sampling prior to, and 15,30,60 and 120 minutes after, intravenous administration of small doses of GnRH would be practical for challenge testing of stallions during the breeding season. In order to reduce cost of hormone assays, we suggest assay of the pre-challenge blood sample (baseline) could include LH, FSH, testosterone and estradiol concentrations (to assess overall by pothalamic-pituitary-testicular function), while only LH and testosterone concentrations need be determined after GnRH administration (to assess pituitary and testicular responsiveness). Assay for LH could be done on only the 15 and 30 minute post-GnRH samples, and assay for testosterone could be done on only the 60 and 120 minute post-GnRH samples. Failure to achieve approximately a 50% increase in LH concentration by 30 minutes after GnRH administration, and/or failure to achieve approximately a 100% increase in testosterone concentration by two hours after GnRH administration, could be further pursued either by treatment with increasing dosages of GnRH, or repeated administration of GnRH at hourly intervals, as has been suggested by other workers.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Equine Veterinary Science

author list (cited authors)

  • Blanchard, T., Varner, D., Miller, C., & Roser, J.

complete list of authors

  • Blanchard, Terry||Varner, Dickson||Miller, Corey||Roser, Jan

publication date

  • January 1, 2000 11:11 AM