Luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH, 50 μg) or saline was administered (i.m.) to adult female and male cheetahs under anaesthesia to evaluate pituitary and gonadal response. Serum LH levels did not fluctuate over a 120-min sampling period in saline-treated animals. Serum LH concentrations were raised (P < 0.05) in female and male cheetahs after LHRH injection, the temporal response being similar to previously reported results in unanaesthetized, domestic carnivores. The magnitude of the LHRH-induced LH response was sex-dependent. Over a 120-min post-injection period both saline control and LHRH-induced LH levels were about twofold greater in males than females. Although LHRH had no acute influence on ovarian oestradiol-17β production in the female, serum testosterone levels were raised (P < 0.05) in male cheetahs by 60 min after treatment. This study (1) provides introductory endocrine information on the cheetah, an endangered species, and (2) indicates that exogenous LHRH is effective in acutely altering pituitary (female) and pituitary/gonadal (male) function in an anaesthestized, non-domestic felid.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism