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Volume 59, issue 1
Arch. Anim. Breed., 59, 139–144, 2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Arch. Anim. Breed., 59, 139–144, 2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Original study 14 Mar 2016

Original study | 14 Mar 2016

Testosterone and cortisol patterns and the effects of electro-ejaculation and copulation in Awassi rams

Mazen Alomar, Ahmad Soukouti, Mohee Alden Alzoabi, and Moutaz Zarkawi Mazen Alomar et al.
  • Division of Animal Production, Department of Agriculture, Atomic Energy Commission, P.O. Box 6091, Damascus, Syria

Abstract. The effects of month, electro-ejaculation (EE) and copulation process on testosterone and cortisol levels were investigated in Syrian Awassi rams. Jugular blood samples were collected from 10 rams at weekly intervals for 1 year. During the breeding and non-breeding season, samples were collected 60 min before EE and copulation as well as 0 (at the time of ejaculation), 20 and 60 min after EE and copulation. Low testosterone levels were detected from October to February (4.58–5.06 nmol L−1), while high levels were noted from May to September (8.01–11.40 nmol L−1) with significant differences among months (P< 0.001). In contrast, cortisol levels were low from March to October (0.63–2.27 nmol L−1) and the highest level was recorded in December (11.30 nmol L−1) with a significant month effect (P< 0.001). Cortisol reached its maximum concentration in the electrically stimulated rams 20 min post electro-ejaculation with no significant difference between the two seasons at this end time point. Means of testosterone levels differed between the breeding and the non-breeding season for electro-ejaculated rams. An increase in testosterone level was observed after 60 min of copulation process in the non-breeding, while no differences were noted for this hormone over the four time periods during the breeding season. Cortisol levels rose significantly in non-breeding season at 0 and 20 min after copulation (P< 0.001). In conclusion, Syrian Awassi rams displayed a clear seasonality of testosterone and cortisol. Cortisol levels indicate an acute stress response to EE treatment. Females have an effect on testosterone and cortisol levels in Syrian Awassi rams only during the non-breeding season.