Handling is a source of stress for farm bred blue foxes. The influence of handling during the late gestational period was investigated in 10-day-old male and female blue foxes. Testosterone and estradiol were measured by RIA in the plasma, gonadal homogenates andin vitro incubates, from blue foxes of both sexes. The gonads were incubatedin vitro without or with human chorionic gonadotropin. In cubs of both sexes, the gonad weights and ovarian estradiol production were decreased by stress. The testicular testosterone and ovarian estradiol contents were increased in prenatally stressed cubs as compared to the controls. The testicular content and baselinein vitro production of testosterone were not affected by prenatal stress, but the testicular response to human chorionic gonadotropin was higher in the stressed group. This study suggests that prenatal stress induced by handling pregnant vixens may influence gonadal steroidogenesis and that this effect was more pronounced in female cubs.
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 18, 2007
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