The anti-androgen combination, flutamide plus finasteride, paradoxically suppressed LH and androgen concentrations in pregnant spotted hyenas, but not in males.
The androgen receptor blocker flutamide and the 5α-reductase inhibitor finasteride have been used in a variety of species to investigate the ontogeny of sexual dimorphisms by treating pregnant females or neonates at critical periods of sexual differentiation. Likewise, we have used these drugs to study the profound masculinization of the external genitalia in female spotted hyenas. However, a potential pitfall of administering flutamide, either alone or in combination with finasteride, is that it maintains or even raises plasma concentrations of luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone (T), because negative feedback of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis is disrupted. Contrary to expectations, when pregnant spotted hyenas were treated with flutamide and finasteride (F&F), the concentrations of T during late gestation were suppressed relative to values in untreated dams. Herein, we further investigate the paradoxical effects of F&F treatment on a battery of sex hormones in spotted hyenas. Beyond the effects on T, we found plasma concentrations of LH, estradiol, progesterone and androstenedione (A4) were also significantly lower in F&F-treated pregnant hyenas than in controls. Flutamide and finasteride did not have similar effects on LH, T, and A4 concentrations in male hyenas. The paradoxical effect of F&F treatment on LH and T concentrations in the maternal circulation suggests that negative feedback control of gonadotropin and androgen secretion may be modified in spotted hyenas during pregnancy.
Place, NJ; Coscia, EM; Dahl, NJ; Drea, CM; Holekamp, KE; Roser, JF; Sisk, CL; Weldele, ML; Glickman, SE
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