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J Endocrinol. 2000 Jul;166(1):153-61.

Ageing, testicular tumours and the pituitary-testis axis in dogs.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Dogs of different ages without testicular diseases were evaluated to study possible age-related changes in hormone concentrations in serum. Dogs with testicular tumours were also investigated to study the relation between tumour type and hormone concentrations; in this study, dogs with Sertoli cell tumours, Leydig cell tumours and seminomas were included. We measured testosterone, oestradiol, LH, FSH and inhibin-like immunoreactivity concentrations in peripheral venous and testicular venous blood of these animals. In normal dogs there appeared to be no age-related changes in the concentrations of the investigated hormones, except for a significant age-related decrease in oestradiol concentrations in testicular venous blood (P<0.02). Dogs with a Sertoli cell tumour had greater oestradiol concentrations and inhibin-like immunoreactivity in both peripheral and testicular venous blood than did dogs without a neoplasm (P<0. 05). Testosterone concentrations were reduced in dogs with Sertoli cell tumours, as were FSH and LH. Feminisation occurred in eight of 13 dogs with a Sertoli cell tumour and in two of 14 dogs with a Leydig cell tumour; it was accompanied by a significantly greater oestradiol concentration than in normal dogs and in dogs with Sertoli cell tumours without signs of feminisation. Dogs with a Leydig cell tumour had greater concentrations of oestradiol and inhibin-like immunoreactivity in both peripheral venous and testicular venous blood than did dogs without a neoplasm (P<0.05). The testosterone concentration in testicular venous blood of these dogs was lower than that in dogs with normal testes. The concentration of LH in peripheral venous blood was also reduced (P<0. 05). Hormone concentrations in dogs with a seminoma were not different from those in normal dogs. It was concluded that seminomas are not endocrinologically active. In contrast, both Sertoli cell tumours and Leydig cell tumours can cause increased oestrogen production leading to signs of feminisation. These tumours also have considerable amounts of inhibin-like immunoreactivity, but only in Sertoli cell tumours does this result in a reduction in FSH concentrations, suggesting that Sertoli cell tumours secrete dimeric inhibin, whereas Leydig cell tumours presumably produce loose alpha-subunits that cross-react in the inhibin assay but are not biologically active.

PMID:
10856894
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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