Female major histocompatibility complex type affects male testosterone levels and sperm number in the horse (Equus caballus).

Details

Serval ID
serval:BIB_EC6368FB0FA3
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Female major histocompatibility complex type affects male testosterone levels and sperm number in the horse (Equus caballus).
Journal
Proceedings. Biological Sciences / the Royal Society
Author(s)
Burger D., Dolivo G., Marti E., Sieme H., Wedekind C.
ISSN
1471-2954 (Electronic)
ISSN-L
0962-8452
Publication state
Published
Issued date
2015
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
282
Number
1807
Pages
20150407
Language
english
Notes
Publication types: Journal Article ; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Publication Status: ppublish
Abstract
Odours of vertebrates often contain information about the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), and are used in kin recognition, mate choice or female investment in pregnancy. It is, however, still unclear whether MHC-linked signals can also affect male reproductive strategies. We used horses (Equus caballus) to study this question under experimental conditions. Twelve stallions were individually exposed either to an unfamiliar MHC-similar mare and then to an unfamiliar MHC-dissimilar mare, or vice versa. Each exposure lasted over a period of four weeks. Peripheral blood testosterone levels were determined weekly. Three ejaculates each were collected in the week after exposure to both mares (i.e. in the ninth week) to determine mean sperm number and sperm velocity. We found high testosterone levels when stallions were kept close to MHC-dissimilar mares and significantly lower ones when kept close to MHC-similar mares. Mean sperm number per ejaculate (but not sperm velocity) was positively correlated to mean testosterone levels and also affected by the order of presentation of mares: sperm numbers were higher if MHC-dissimilar mares were presented last than if MHC-similar mares were presented last. We conclude that MHC-linked signals influence testosterone secretion and semen characteristics, two indicators of male reproductive strategies.
Keywords
Animals, Female, Horses/immunology, Horses/physiology, Major Histocompatibility Complex/physiology, Male, Odors, Smell/physiology, Sperm Count/veterinary, Sperm Motility, Testosterone/blood
Pubmed
Web of science
Create date
23/03/2015 16:05
Last modification date
20/08/2019 17:14
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