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THYROID HORMONES AND TESTOSTERONE IN SHEEP AGE RELATED PROFILES OF SERUM THYROXINE, TRI-IODOTHYRONINE AND TESTOSTERONE IN KAGHANI, RAMBOUILLET AND KAGHANI × RAMBOUILLET SHEEP

  • Ahmad, M.M. (Department of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University) ;
  • Mughal, M.R. (Department of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University) ;
  • Bari, A. (Department of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University) ;
  • Khan, M.I. (Department of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University) ;
  • Shahab, M. (Department of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University)
  • Received : 1991.05.03
  • Accepted : 1991.12.17
  • Published : 1992.03.01

Abstract

Secretory patterns of serum tri-iodothyronine, thyroxin and testosterone were analysed by specific radioimmunoassay in Kaghani (n = 42), Rambouilet (n = 42) and Kaghani ${\times}$ Rambouillet (n = 42) male sheep to determine age and breed related changes. Animals were examined at 1-2 wk, 8, 10, 12, 20, 22 and 24 months of age (n = 6/age group). All animals were maintained under standard conditions of feeding and management. $T_3$ and $T_4$ concentrations were maximal (p < 0.01) in 1-2 wk old lambs of all breeds studied ($207.4{\pm}14.9-276.8{\pm}20.4ng/dl$ and $5.76{\pm}0.3-7.23{\pm}0.9{\mu}g/dl$, respectively). For all the breeds, concentrations of $T_3$ declined markedly (p < 0.01) at 8 month of age and then varied in a narrow range ($44.5{\pm}14.0-87.0{\pm}4.8ng/dl$) up to the age of 24 month. While, serum $T_4$ concentrations decreased (p < 0.01) to nadir ($0.97{\pm}0.1-1.43{\pm}0.3{\mu}g/dl$) at 10 months of age in all the 3 breeds. Afterwards, $T_4$ levels increased gradually and attained a small peak at 20 months before declining again at 22 and 24 months of age. Serum $T_3$ and $T_4$ concentrations were correlated significantly (p < 0.05) and their ratio was constant at all ages in the different breeds. Age significantly (p < 0.01) influenced the secretion of testosterone in the breeds examined but the breed differences were comparable. Mean serum concentrations of testosterone were low from 1-2 wk to 10 months of age in the Kaghani, Rambouillet and Kaghani ${\times}$ Rambouillet animals. Peak testosterone levels were noted in the 12 months old Kaghani ($1.75{\pm}0.4ng/ml$), Rambouillet ($1.30{\pm}0.2ng/ml$) and their $T_3$ cross animals ($1.16{\pm}0.08ng/ml$). Mean testosterone levels, thereafter, decreased at 20 months and then at 22 and 24 months remained variable but higher than observed at 1-2 wk -10 months of age. The findings of the present study indicate a significant influence of age but not of breed on the peripheral concentrations of thyroid hormones and testosterone. Serum concentrations of $T_3$ and $T_4$ were not related to testosterone levels. High thyroid secretory activity observed at prenatal phase of development may play an important role in preparing the lambs to extrauterine environments.

Keywords

$T_3$;$T_4$;Testosterone;Breed;Sheep