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Article

Determining the Effects of Serial Injections of Pregnant Mare Serum Gonadotropin on Plasma Testosterone Concentrations, Testicular Dynamics, and Semen Production in Leopard Geckos (Eublepharis macularius)

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Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
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Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
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Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
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Mississippi Aquarium, Gulfport, MS 39501, USA
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Clinic for Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, and Fish, Justus Liebig University Giessen, 35392 Giessen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Olga García-Álvarez
Animals 2021, 11(9), 2477; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092477
Received: 19 July 2021 / Revised: 18 August 2021 / Accepted: 19 August 2021 / Published: 24 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Reproduction)
Current estimates have determined that one in five reptile species are already threatened with extinction. The aim of this study was to determine if pregnant mare serum gonadotropin could be used in leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) to stimulate the production of sperm and increase their testosterone concentrations. This information may aid in the development of breeding programs for endangered gecko species in the future that will be useful for conservation efforts. Our results demonstrated that this hormone did stimulate sperm production and increased testicular size in leopard geckos. However, it did not increase testosterone concentrations under the current conditions between October–December in the Northern hemisphere. Ultimately, future studies are needed to further characterize the annual reproductive cycle of leopard geckos.
Reptiles are highly susceptible to anthropogenic activities as a result of their narrow geographical ranges and habitat specialization, making them a conservation concern. Geckos represent one of the mega-diverse reptile lineages under pressure; however, limited assisted reproductive technologies currently exist for these animals. Exogenous pregnant mare serum gonadotropin (PMSG) has been found to exhibit follicle stimulating hormone-like action and has been routinely used to alter reproductive hormones of vertebrates in assisted reproductive protocols. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of serial injections of 20 IU and 50 IU PMSG on circulating testosterone concentrations, testicular dynamics, and semen production in a model species of gecko. Twenty-four captive-bred, adult, male leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) were divided into three treatment groups and administered a once-weekly injection of either PMSG or saline for a total of nine weeks. Ultrasonographic testicular measurements, electrostimulation for semen collection, and venipuncture were performed on days 0, 21, 42, and 63. Right unilateral orchidectomies and epididymectomies were performed in all animals on day 63; tissues were submitted for histopathology. PMSG treated geckos had significantly higher testicular volumes and weights, spermatozoa motility, and spermatozoa concentrations compared with controls. However, there were no significant differences in testosterone concentrations by treatment or time. Under the conditions outlined, PMSG is effective at stimulating spermatogenesis and increasing testicular size, but not effective at increasing testosterone concentrations in the leopard gecko between October–December in the Northern hemisphere. View Full-Text
Keywords: leopard gecko; Eublepharis macularius; testosterone; semen; testicle; PMSG; pregnant mare serum gonadotropin leopard gecko; Eublepharis macularius; testosterone; semen; testicle; PMSG; pregnant mare serum gonadotropin
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mason, A.K.; Lee, J.; Perry, S.M.; Boykin, K.L.; Del Piero, F.; Lierz, M.; Mitchell, M.A. Determining the Effects of Serial Injections of Pregnant Mare Serum Gonadotropin on Plasma Testosterone Concentrations, Testicular Dynamics, and Semen Production in Leopard Geckos (Eublepharis macularius). Animals 2021, 11, 2477. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092477

AMA Style

Mason AK, Lee J, Perry SM, Boykin KL, Del Piero F, Lierz M, Mitchell MA. Determining the Effects of Serial Injections of Pregnant Mare Serum Gonadotropin on Plasma Testosterone Concentrations, Testicular Dynamics, and Semen Production in Leopard Geckos (Eublepharis macularius). Animals. 2021; 11(9):2477. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092477

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mason, Alexandra K., Jeongha Lee, Sean M. Perry, Kimberly L. Boykin, Fabio Del Piero, Michael Lierz, and Mark A. Mitchell 2021. "Determining the Effects of Serial Injections of Pregnant Mare Serum Gonadotropin on Plasma Testosterone Concentrations, Testicular Dynamics, and Semen Production in Leopard Geckos (Eublepharis macularius)" Animals 11, no. 9: 2477. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092477

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