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J. H. Aafjes, J. T. M. Vreeburg, and P. E. Schenck


In rats spermatogenesis was disturbed by heat treatment of the testes. This resulted in increases of both LH and FSH. The increased gonadotrophin levels could be suppressed with testosterone. For suppression of FSH to levels of control animals more testosterone was needed than for LH.

The increase of gonadotrophins after castration could be suppressed with testosterone released evenly from silastic capsules. For this suppression low serum levels of testosterone relative to testosterone levels in intact control animals were sufficient. This may indicate that testosterone episodically secreted has a lesser suppressive action on gonadotrophin secretion than a constant presence of this hormone.

The suppressive action of testosterone on serum gonadotrophin levels after castration was potentiated by 1,4,6-androstatriene-3,17-dione, a steroid which inhibits strongly the enzymatic transformation of testosterone into oestradiol.

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J. H. Aafjes, J. C. M. van der Vijver, R. Docter, and P. E. Schenck


In 210 subfertile men there existed a significant positive correlation between serum FSH and LH (0.41). No correlation was observed between the gonadotrophin levels and testosterone. In contrast to this FSH as well as LH were negatively correlated with the natural logarithm (In) of the sperm count/ml ejaculate (−0.44 and −0.18, respectively). When the positive correlation which existed between FSH and LH was used to calculate partial correlation coefficients, the coefficient between FSH and ln sperm count did hardly change (−0.41) the coefficient between LH and ln sperm count on the other hand became insignificant (−0.05). This suggests that spermatogenesis influences FSH serum levels in subfertile men by a decreased suppression when sperm production is diminished.

Testicular biopsies taken from 97 of these patients were used to determine biopsy scores. These scores showed a significant negative correlation with FSH (−0.34) and a positive one with ln sperm count/ml ejaculate (0.45). Interestingly the biopsy score of 16 patients who fertilized their wives, was found to be higher compared with the score of the other patients who did not fertilize. The number of sperm/ml ejaculate and the FSH values of these 2 groups of biopsied patients were, however, not significantly different. This leads to the conclusion that the biopsy score is a better parameter for the evaluation of oligospermic men than either sperm count or FSH serum values.

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H. L. Verjans, K. B. Eik-Nes, J. H. Aafjes, F. J. M. Vels, and H. J. van der Molen


The influence of treatment with various doses of testosterone propionate, 5α-dihydrotestosterone propionate or oestradiol benzoate on serum levels of LH and FSH (measured by radioimmunoassay) and on weights of ventral prostates and seminal vesicles was investigated in castrated, adult, male rats. For depression of the high, castrate levels of serum gonadotrophins with either of these steroid esters, the inhibition curves were different for LH and for FSH. Serum LH was kept at levels encountered in intact, adult, male rats by lower doses of steroid ester than was serum FSH. Oestradiol benzoate was the most potent suppressor of the serum gonadotrophins among the steroid esters tested, testosterone propionate the least. Treatment with low doses of oestradiol benzoate, however, resulted in serum FSH levels significantly above those of castrates treated with vehicle only. Finally, administration of a synthetic LH-releasing factor to testosterone propionate, 5α-dihydrotestosterone propionate or oestradiol benzoate treated, castrated, adult, male rats resulted in a further release of both LH and FSH. The latter effect was more pronounced in oestradiol benzoate treated castrates than in testosterone propionate or 5α-dihydrotestosterone propionate treated castrates.