PMID: 591809Nov 1, 1977

The onset and establishment of spermatogenesis in rats in relation to gonadotrophin and testosterone levels

The Journal of Endocrinology
F H de Jong, R M Sharpe


The concentrations of LH and FSH in the plasma and pituitary gland, and testosterone in the plasma and testes were measured in individual rats between 21 and 180 days of age. Spermatogenesis was quantitated in the same animals and correlations between the various parameters were calculated. The numbers of Sertoli and spermatogenic cells up to pathytene spermatocytes increased in parallel with the peripheral levels of FSH up to days 33 or 35. The concentration of FSH in the plasma started to decrease after day 55, but this decrease could not be correlated with the appearance of any cell type in the testes of the same animals; it was probably due to the high levels of peripheral testosterone at this age. Testicular and plasma levels of testosterone were closely correlated in all age groups studied. The first significant increase occurred between days 39 and 41 and coincided with an increased growth rate of the seminal vesicles and ventral prostate gland. The increase in the concentration of testosterone occurred 10 days after the concentration of LH in the plasma rose to a measurable level. Spermatogenesis had proceeded up to step 16 spermatids at this age.


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