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  • 1 Institute for Small Animal Research P. O. Box 417, H-2100 Gödöllő, Hungary
  • 2 Laboratory of Reproduction Biology, Szent István University H-2103 Gödöllő, Hungary
  • 3 Laboratory of Reproduction Biology, Szent István University H-2103 Gödöllő, Hungary
  • 4 Laboratory of Reproduction Biology, Szent István University H-2103 Gödöllő, Hungary
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Changes in plasma DHEA, testosterone (T) and 17-B-oestradiol (E2) levels were examined in domestic geese of both sexes in the fall and winter. The levels of steroid hormones were determined in blood plasma by means of radio-immunoassay (RIA). A so-called second (autumn) cycle was induced in geese via a dark-room preparation and natural keeping conditions. The plasma levels of DHEA showed a minor peak at onset of the autumn breeding and a major one prior to the more intense spring reproduction in both sexes. The seasonal curves of plasma DHEA appeared fairly similar in ganders and layers and without considerable differences between the absolute values. In ganders, plasma DHEA peaks preceded the elevations in T levels in the fall and spring alike. With layers, in turn, the autumn and spring peaks of plasma DHEA appeared after the peaks in E2 levels. With ganders, the concentration of plasma T seemed to predominate between the two androgens throughout the experimental period. With layers, in turn, the concentration of DHEA surpassed the level of plasma E2 at the time of the peak periods and other times during the study, as well. In domestic geese, DHEA is probably involved in the autumn physiological processes and the induction of reproduction during fall and early spring periods, alike.

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