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Zentralbl Veterinarmed A. 1989 Feb;36(2):90-103.

Clinical, endocrinological and spermatological studies after endotoxin in the ram.


Eight rams were injected intravenously with endotoxin from Salmonella typhimurium. Blood plasma was analysed for the contents of 15-ketodihydro-PGF2 alpha, LH, testosterone, calcium and total amount of white blood cells. Semen was examined for motility, concentration, volume and morphological appearance. After castration at 4 or 16 weeks the testes were examined histologically. The total white blood cells and the calcium levels as well as LH and testosterone decreased and the levels of 15-ketodihydro-PGF2 alpha rose after the endotoxin administration. The examination of the semen showed a significant decrease in motility and a significant increase in abnormal sperm heads. The histological examination showed a slight degeneration in the seminiferous epithelium in the rams castrated at 4 weeks after the endotoxin administration; this degeneration was not seen in the rams castrated at 16 weeks. The present results indicate that endotoxin seems to exert a negative effect on the genital functions of the ram; the changes in LH and testosterone are very similar to those seen after heat induced stress. The histological changes indicate a short-lasting mild degeneration in the seminiferous epithelium.

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