Author(s): Azooz OG, Farthing MJ, Savage MO, Ballinger AB
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Abstract Delayed puberty is a frequent complication of inflammatory bowel disease. The precise etiological mechanisms are not known. In this study, we wanted to determine the relative contribution of undernutrition and inflammation to delayed puberty and the effect of inflammation on the reproductive axis. Puberty was assessed in rats with 2,4,6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid induced-colitis, healthy controls, and animals pair fed to match the food intake of the colitic group. The response to testosterone administration was assessed in colitic rats. We found that induction of colitis was associated with hypophagia and reduced weight gain, and undernutrition in healthy females (i.e., pair fed) resulted in a delay in the onset (by 4.8 days, P < 0.001) and progression of puberty (normal estrous cycles in 42\%, P = 0.04) compared with controls. However, puberty was further delayed in the colitic group (1.4 days after pair fed) with the absence of normal estrous cycling in all rats. In males, the onset of puberty was also delayed, and weights of accessory sex organs were reduced compared with pair-fed controls. Plasma testosterone concentrations were low, and gonadotropin concentrations were normal in colitic rats. Testosterone treatment normalized puberty in male rats with colitis. In conclusion, in rats with experimental colitis, inflammation appears to potentiate the effect of undernutrition on puberty. The weights of secondary sex organs and the onset of puberty were normalized by testosterone treatment.
This article was published in Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology