Adrenal-pituitary-gonadal relationships and ejaculate characteristics in captive leopards (Panthera pardus kotiya) isolated on the island of Sri Lanka

J. L. Brown, D. E. Wildt, Lyndsay Phillips, J. Seidensticker, S. B.U. Fernando, S. Miththapala, K. L. Goodrowe

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16 Scopus citations


In Study 1, semen was collected using a standardized electroejaculation procedure. Males (N = 8) produced ejaculates with a high incidence of sperm abnormalities (77 ± 3.3%). After electroejaculation under anaesthesia, serum cortisol concentrations increased (P < 0.05), while testosterone concentrations decreased (P < 0.05) and LH and FSH concentrations were unchanged (P > 0.05) over a 2-h bleeding period. In Study 2, male and female leopards were bled at 5-min intervals for 3 h and given (i.v.): (1) saline (N = 2/sex); (2) GnRH (1 μg/kg body weight) 30 min after the onset of sampling (N = 5/sex); or (3) ACTH (250 μg) at 30 min followed by GnRH 1 h later (N = 5/sex). Basal concentrations of serum LH, FSH and cortisol were comparable (P > 0.05) between male and female leopards. After GnRH, peak LH concentrations were 2-fold greater (P < 0.05) in males than females while FSH responses were similar. In males, testosterone concentrations increased 2-3-fold following GnRH. After ACTH, serum cortisol concentrations doubled within 15 min in both sexes. Administration of ACTH 1 h before GnRH did not affect GnRH-induced LH or FSH release (P > 0.05); however, testosterone secretion was only 30% of that observed after GnRH alone (P < 0.05). We conclude that (1) the high incidence of sperm abnormalities in the leopards of Sri Lanka may be related to parallel findings of genetic homozygosity; and (2) decreases in basal and GnRH-stimulated testosterone secretion were related to increases in serum cortisol afte electroejaculation or ACTH and were not associated with changes in pituitary gonadotrophin secretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-613
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Reproduction and Fertility
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Embryology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology


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