Abstract # 137:

Scheduled for Friday, June 22, 2012 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 22 (Gardenia) Poster Presentation


TESTOSTERONE ENANTHATE TREATMENT TEMPORARILY SUPPRESSES FOLLICLE-STIMULATING HORMONE RELEASE, BUT SPARES SEXUAL BEHAVIOR IN ADULT MALE RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA)

S. B. Stephens and K. Wallen
Department of Psychology and Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
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Methods used to prevent male reproduction in group-housed primates are permanent and require surgery.  We examined whether testosterone enanthate (TE) would reversibly render adult male rhesus macaques infertile without eliminating sexual behavior.  TE treatment has previously been shown to decrease follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).   Weekly TE injections (10mg/kg IM) were given to gonadally intact adult male rhesus macaques (N=4) for fourteen weeks during the fall breeding season with blood collected prior to each injection.  Testosterone levels significantly increased over pre-treatment levels (M=2.69ng/ml±0.68) after one week of TE injections (M=16.10ng/ml±0.89), [F(1,3)=2336.15, p<.001].  FSH levels declined similarly (M=0.55ng/ml±0.14) [F(1,3)=17.85, p=.024] and remained significantly lower than pretreatment levels (M=1.23ng/ml±0.37), [F(13,39)=7.924, p<.001].  Four weeks after the last TE injection, FSH levels increased (M=1.26ng/ml±0.65) and returned to pretreatment levels, [F(1,3)=0.02, p=.892].  The suppression of FSH during weekly TE treatment suggests sperm production decreased, but the recovery of FSH by four weeks after TE treatment indicates that this treatment is readily reversible.  During TE treatment, adult males continued to show sexual behavior and little aggression was observed during sexual behavior pair-tests despite the increase in testosterone levels.  Weekly TE treatment is an effective temporary method to prevent reproduction, while preserving sexual behavior in group-housed rhesus macaques.  Supported by: National Institute of Mental Health (MH050268), Yerkes National Primate Research Center (RR-00165), and the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience (NSF IBN 9876754).