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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Neuroendocrinologie Moleculaire de la Reproduction

Sexually active bucks are a critical social cue that activates the gonadotrope axis and early puberty onset in does.

Hormones Behavior

Hormones and Behavior
© Hormones and Behavior
Chasles M, Chesneau D, Moussu C1, Poissenot K, Beltramo M, Delgadillo JA, Chemineau P, Keller M.


In rodents, early exposure to adult male is well known to induce an early puberty in females (Vandenbergh effect). This phenomenon has been less studied in other mammals. In goats, despite our extensive knowledge about the "male-effect" phenomenon in adults (i.e. ovulation induced by the introduction of the male during the anestrous), there are few data on the consequences of an early exposure of females to males. Here, we evaluated the puberty onset of young alpine goats when raised since weaning with intact bucks (INT), with castrated bucks (CAS) or isolated from bucks (ISOL). The INT group had the first ovulation 1.5 month before the two other groups. Despite the earlier puberty the INT group of females had normal and regular ovarian cycles. Morphological study of the genital tract showed that at 6 months, uterus of INT goats was 40% heavier than CAS and ISOL goats. Moreover, INT females had a myometrium significantly thicker and INT was the only group having corpora lutea. In our study, INT females were pubescent in the month following the entry of bucks into the breeding season, suggesting that only sexually active bucks provide the signal responsible for puberty acceleration. By removing direct contact with the bucks, we showed that somatosensory interactions were dispensable for an early puberty induction. Finally, no difference in the GnRH network (fiber density and number of synaptic appositions) can be detected between pubescent and non-pubescent females, suggesting that the male stimulations triggering puberty onset act probably on upstream neuronal networks, potentially on kisspeptin neurons.

Link to Pubmed