Short-term fasting leads to inhibition of responsiveness to LH-stimulated testosterone secretion in the adult male bonnet monkey



A variety of stressors including fasting profoundly inhibit reproductive function in mammals. Although the effect of short-term fasting on gonadotropic axis is well established, the direct effects of fasting on gonads have not been reported. The objectives of the present experiments were to examine the effect of short-term fasting on circulating luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone (T) secretion, and to determine the responsiveness of testis to exogenous recombinant human (rh) LH treatment in male bonnet monkeys. In addition, an experiment was carried out to examine whether brief inhibition of endogenous LH secretion causes alteration in testicular responsiveness. Adult male monkeys were fasted for 1 day for examining the circulating endocrine hormone concentrations and challenged with rhLH injection 1 day after fasting. Food withdrawal for 1 day resulted in significant (P<0.05) decrease in LH, T and increase in cortisol concentrations. Surprisingly, T secretion in response to direct stimulation of Leydig cells by LH was not observed in fasted monkeys. In fed monkeys, treatment with Antide (a specific gonadotropin releasing hormone receptor antagonist to inhibit pituitary LH secretion) for 1 day did not compromise T secretion stimulated by rhLH, suggesting that loss of responsiveness of testis to exogenous LH treatment in fasted monkeys was not because of interruption in pituitary LH stimulation of the testis. The results indicate that short-term fasting in adult male monkeys cause inhibition of LH and T secretion, and inhibition of responsiveness of testis to LH stimulation. Am. J. Primatol. 69:791–801, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.