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J Anim Sci. 2005 Dec;83(12):2901-7.

Reproductive characteristics of grass-fed, luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone-immunocastrated Bos indicus bulls.

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Department of Animal Sciences, Center for Reproductive Biology, Washington State University, Pullman, 99164, USA.


Two field trials were conducted in Brazil to evaluate LHRH immunocastration of Bos indicus bulls (d 0 = 2 yr of age). In Study I, 72 bulls were assigned randomly to one of three treatment groups: LHRH0-immunized, castrated, and intact. Immunized animals (n = 25) received a primary and two booster injections of ovalbumin-LHRH-7 and thioredoxin-LHRH-7 fusion proteins on d 0, 141, and 287. Twenty-three bulls were surgically castrated on d 141, and 24 served as intact controls. All animals were slaughtered on d 385, at approximately 3 yr of age. In Study II, 216 bulls were assigned randomly to the same three treatments as in Study I; however, because of a drought in the area, bulls were kept on pasture an additional year, and a fourth treatment was added, in which one-half the LHRH-immunized bulls received an additional booster on d 639 (fourth immunization). All animals in Study II were slaughtered on d 741 (4 yr of age). Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone antibodies increased following each immunization for immunized bulls, but they were not detectable in castrate or intact animals in either study. Consequently, scrotal circumference was suppressed in immunized bulls compared with intact controls in both studies. By d 287, serum concentrations of testosterone in LHRH-immunized bulls were decreased compared with intact controls (P < 0.01). In both studies, testes and epididymal weights at slaughter were greater (P < 0.01) for intact (500 +/- 17 and 60 +/- 2 g, respectively) than for immunized bulls (173 +/- 22 and 26 +/- 2 g, respectively) and fourth immunization bulls (78 +/- 23 and 20 +/- 2 g, respectively; Study II). At the end of each study, BW was greater (P < 0.01) for intact bulls than for castrated and LHRH-immunized animals. In these two studies, the efficacy of the LHRH fusion proteins to induce an effect similar to that of surgical castration was considered 92 and 93%, respectively. These data support the concept that immunocastration of bulls at 2 yr of age was successful and that it has practical application as a tool for producing grass-fattened bulls in Brazil.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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