Testicular Fluid Content and Scrotal Surface Temperature Increase with Rams' Sexual Activity

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ContentsContact with oestrual ewes induces an increase in LH and testosterone concentrations in rams. LH provokes an increase in testicular capillary permeability in rodents and an increase in testicular fluid in rams. Therefore, the objectives of the present experiment were to determine whether contact with oestrual ewes, including courtship and mating, induces an increase in testicular fluid content and scrotal temperature in rams. During the breeding season, after 2 weeks isolated from females, a total of 18 tests were performed using one ram with one ewe. The rams were allowed to court and mate the ewes during 20 min. Testosterone blood concentrations were measured by RIA from blood samples taken before and immediately after each test. Rectal, scrotal surface and anal skin temperatures were measured before the test, at the end, and 30 min later. At the same moments, ultrasonographic examinations of the testes were performed. Testosterone concentrations increased after the tests (p = 0.016), and ultrasound images were darker at the end of the tests and 30 min later (p < 0.0001). Rectal, anal skin and scrotal temperatures increased at the end of the test, but decreased 30 min later to initials values. The stimulus of oestrual ewes determined an increase in testosterone secretion, which was associated with an increase in testicular fluid content. Fluid content remained increased at least for 30 min after the end of the ram–ewe contact. Contact with oestrual ewes triggered an increase in testicular fluid that remained higher after the end of the test.

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