Animal Stress pp 245-267 | Cite as

Influence of Stress on Reproduction: Measure of Well-being

  • Gary P. Moberg


Reproduction can serve as a barometer of animal well-being. Whenever a group of animals stops reproducing, researchers begin to examine various aspects of their well-being. Do they have sufficient food? Are they too crowded? Is housing adequate? Are the animals being stressed? Scientists feel justified in making this correlation between well-being and successful reproduction, because reproduction is one of the most basic drives for all animals. When an animal fails to reproduce, not only is its genetic potential lost, but survival of an entire group may be jeopardized. To prevent such a consequence, an animal will make considerable physiological sacrifices to ensure reproductive success; only the most severe threats to its well-being will prevent the animal from reproducing.


Sexual Behavior Luteinizing Hormone Estrous Cycle Social Stress Adrenal Axis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Abbott, D. H., A. S. McNeilly, S. F. Lunn, M. J. Hulme, and F. J. Burden. Inhibition of ovarian function in subordinate female marmoset monkeys (Callithrix jacchus jacchus). J. Reprod. Fertil. 63: 335–345, 1981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Baldwin, D. M., and C. H. Sawyer. Effects of dexamethasone on LH release and ovulation in the cyclic rat. Endocrinology 94: 1397–1403, 1974.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bambino, T. H., and A. J. W. Hsueh. Direct inhibitory effect of glucocorticoids upon testicular luteinizing hormone receptor and steroidogenesis in vivo and in vitro. Endocrinology 108: 2142–2147, 1981.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Barb, C. R., R. R. Kraeling, G. B. Rampacek, E. S. Fonda, and T. E. Kiser. Inhibition of ovulation and LH secretion in the gilt after treatment with ACTH or hydrocortisone. J. Reprod. Fertil. 64: 85–92, 1982.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bernstein, I. S., T. P. Gordon, and R. M. Rose. The interaction of hormones, behavior, and social context in nonhuman primates. In: Hormones and Aggressive Behavior, edited by B. B. Svare. New York: Plenum, 1983, p. 535–561.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bond, J., and R. E. McDowell. Reproductive performance and physiological responses Stress and Reproduction 265 of beef females as affected by prolonged high environmental temperature. J. Anim. Sci. 35: 820–829, 1972.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bowman, L. A., S. R. Dilley, and E. B. Keverne. Suppression of oestrogen-induced LH surges by social subordination in talapoin monkeys. Nature London 275: 56–58, 1978.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Braden, A. W. H., and G. R. Moule. Effects of stress on ovarian morphology and oestrus cycles in ewes. Aust. J. Agric. Res. 15: 937–949, 1964.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bronson, F. H. Establishment of social rank among grouped male mice: relative effects on circulating FSH, LH and corticosterone. Physiol. Behay. 10: 947–951, 1973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Câceres, A., and S. Taleisnik. Pathways by which stimuli originating in the cingulate cortex inhibiting LH secretion reach the hypothalamus. Neuroendocrinology 32: 317–324, 1981.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Chantaraprateep, P., and M. Thibier. Effects of dexamethasone on the response of luteinizing hormone and testosterone on two injections of luteinizing hormone releasing hormone in young postpubertal bulls. J. Endocrinol. 77: 389–395, 1978.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Christian, J. J., J. A. Loyd, and D. E. Davis. The role of endocrines in self-regulation of mammalian populations. Recent Prog. Horm. Res. 21: 501–578, 1965.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cox, J. E., and J. H. Williams. Some aspects of the reproductive endocrinology of the stallion and cryptorchid. J. Reprod. Fertil. 23: 75–79, 1975.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    DeCantazaro, D., and B. B. Gorzalka. Effects of dexamethasone, corticosterone, and ACTH in lordosis in ovariectomized and adrenalectomized-ovariectomized rats. Pharamacol. Biochem. Behay. 12: 201–206, 1980.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Doney, J. M., R. G. Gunn, and J. G. Griffiths. The effect of premating stress on the onset of oestrus and on ovulating rates in Scottish Blackface ewes. J. Reprod. Fertil. 35: 381–384, 1973.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Doney, J. M., R. G. Gunn, W. F. Smith, and W. R. Carr. Effects of pre-mating environmental stress, ACTH, cortisone acetate or metyrapone on oestrus and ovulation in sheep. J. Agric. Sci. 87: 127–132, 1976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Du Ruisseau, P., Y. Taché, P. Brazeau, and R. Collu. Pattern of adrenohypophyseal hormone changes induced by various stressors in female and male rats. Neuroendocrinology 27: 257–271, 1978.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Du Ruisseau, P., Y. Taché, P. Brazeau, and R. Collu. Effects of chronic immobilization stress on pituitary hormone secretion, on hypothalamic factor levels, and on pituitary responsiveness to LHRH and TRH in female rats. Neuroendocrinology 29: 90–99, 1979.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Dutt, R. H. Critical period for early embryo mortality: ewes exposed to high ambient temperature. J. Anim. Sci. 22: 713–725, 1963.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Euker, J. S., and G. D. Riegle. Effects of stress on pregnancy in the rat. J. Reprod. Fertil. 34: 343–346, 1973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Everitt, B. J., and J. Herbert. The effects of dexamethasone and androgens on sexual receptivity of female rhesus monkeys. J. Endocrinol. 51: 575–588, 1971.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Ford, J. J., and R. K. Christenson. Glucocorticoid inhibition of estrus in ovariectomized pigs: relationship to progesterone action. Horm. Behay. 15: 427–435, 1981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Fuquay, J. W., and G. P. Moberg. Influence of the pituitary-adrenal axis on the induced release of luteinizing hormone in rams. J. Endocrinol. 99: 151–155, 1983.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Gangwar, P. C., C. Branton, and D. L. Evans. Reproductive and physiological responses of Holstein heifers to controlled and natural climatic conditions. J. Dairy Sci. 48: 222–227, 1965.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Gray, D. S., and B. B. Gorzalka. Adrenal steroid interactions in female sexual behavior: a review. Psychoneuroendocrinology 5: 157–175, 1980.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Gray, G. D., E. R. Smith, D. A. Damassa, J. R. L. Ehrenkranz, and J. M. Davidson. Neuroendocrine mechanisms mediating the supression of circulating testosterone levels associated with chronic stress in male rats. Neuroendocrinology 25: 247–256, 1978.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Howarth, B., and H. W. Hawk. Effect of hydrocortisone on embryonic survival in sheep. J. Anim. Sci. 27: 117–121, 1968.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Hsueh, A. J. W., and G. F. Erickson. Glucocorticoid inhibition of FSH-induced estrogen production in cultured rat granulosa cells. Steroids 32: 639–648, 1978.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Ingraham, R. H., D. D. Gillette, and W. D. Wagner. Relationship of temperature and humidity to conception rate of Holstein cows in subtropical climate. J. Dairy Sci. 57: 476–481, 1974.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Johnson, B. H., T. H. Welsh, and P. E. Juniewicz. Suppression of luteinizing hormone and testosterone secretion in bulls following adrenocorticotropin hormone treatment. Biol. Reprod. 26: 305–310, 1982.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Juniewicz, P. E., and B. H. Johnson. Influence of adrenal steroids upon testosterone secretion by boar testis. Biol. Reprod. 25: 725–733, 1981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Kawakami, M., and T. Higuchi. Effects of partial deafferentation of the hypothalamus on stress-induced LH suppression and prolactin release. Neuroendocrinology 32: 278–284, 1981.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Kawakami, M., F. Kimua, and N. Konda. Role of forebrain structures in the regulation of gonadotropin secretion. In: Neuroendocrine Regulation of Fertility, edited by A. Kumar. Basel: Karger, 1976, p. 103–113.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Keverne, E. B. Sexual and aggressive behaviour in social groups of talapoin monkeys. In: Sex, Hormones and Behavior,edited by R. Porter and J. Whelan. 1979, p. 271286. (Ciba Found. Symp. 62.)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Krulich, L., E. Hefco, P. Illner, and C. B. Read. The effects of acute stress on the secretion of LH, FSH, prolactin and GH in the normal male rat, with comments on their statistical evaluation. Neuroendocrinology 16: 293–311, 1974.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Lamond, D. R. Synchronization of oestrus and ovulation in beef heifers. Proc. Aust. Soc. Anim. Prod. 4: 72–78, 1962.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Li, P. S., and W. C. Wagner. Effects of hyperadrenal states on luteinizing hormone in cattle. Biol. Reprod. 29: 11–24, 1983.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Li, P. S., and W. C. Wagner. In vivo and in vitro studies on the effect of adrenocorticotropic hormone or cortisol on the pituitary response to gonadotropin releasing hormone. Biol. Reprod. 29: 25–37, 1983.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Liptrap, R. M., and J. I. Raeside. Increase in plasma testosterone concentrations after injection of adrenocorticotrophin into the boar. Endocrinology 66: 123–131, 1975.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    MacMillan, K. L., and J. D. Watson. Short estrous cycle in New Zealand dairy cattle. J. Dairy Sci. 54: 1526–1529, 1971.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Matteri, R. L., and G. P. Moberg. Effect of cortisol and adrenocorticotrophin on release of luteinizing hormone induced by luteinizing hormone releasing hormone in the dairy heifer. J. Endocrinol. 92: 141–146, 1982.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. a.Matteri, R. L., J. G. Watson, and G. P. Moberg. Stress or acute adrenocorticotrophin treatment suppresses LHRH-induced LH release in the ram. J. Reprod. Fertil. 72: 385–393, 1984.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 42.
    Moberg, G. P. Effects of environment and management stress on reproduction in the dairy cow. J. Dairy Sci. 59: 1618–1624, 1976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 43.
    Moberg, G. P. Adrenal-pituitary interactions: effects on reproduction. In: Proc. Int. Congr. Anim. Reprod. and Artificial Insemination, 10th, 1984, vol. 3, p. 29–36.Google Scholar
  45. 44.
    Moberg, G. P., R. Matteri, B. Maiti, and J. Watson. Effects of behavioral stressors on pituitary responsiveness to GnRH administration in rams. J. Anim. Sci. 57, Suppl. 1: 360, 1983.Google Scholar
  46. 45.
    Moberg, G. P., J. G. Watson, and K. Hayashi. Effects of adrenocorticotropin treatment on estrogen, luteinizing hormone, and progesterone secretion in the female rhesus monkey. J. Med. Primatol. 11: 235–241, 1982.Google Scholar
  47. 46.
    Nalbandov, A. N. Reproductive Physiology. San Francisco, CA: Freeman, 1964, p. 135.Google Scholar
  48. 47.
    Padmanabhan, V., C. Keech, and E. M. Convey. Cortisol inhibits and adrenocorticotrophin has no effect on luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone-induced release of luteinizing hormone from bovine pituitary cells in vitro. Endocrinology 112: 1782 1787, 1983.Google Scholar
  49. 48.
    Pennycuik, P. R. Oestrous frequency and incidence of pregnancy in mice housed singly and in groups at 4, 21 and 33°C. Aust. J. Biol. Sci. 25: 801–806, 1972.Google Scholar
  50. 49.
    Raab, A., and G. Haedenkamp. Impact of social conflict between mice on testosterone binding in the central nervous system. Neuroendocrinology 32: 272–277, 1981.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 50.
    Rose, R. M., I. S. Bernstein, T. P. Gordon, and G. Lindsley. Changes in testosterone and behavior during adolescence in the male rhesus monkey. Psychosom. Med. 40: 60–70, 1978.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. 51.
    Schoonmaker, J. N., and G. F. Erickson. Glucocorticoid modulations of follicle-stimulating hormone-mediated granulosa cell differentiation. Endocrinology 113: 1356–1363, 1983.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 52.
    Stoebel, D. P., and G. P. Moberg. Repeated acute stress during the follicular phase and luteinizing hormone surge of dairy heifers. J. Dairy Sci. 65: 92–96, 1982.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 53.
    Stoebel, D. P., and G. P. Moberg. Effects of adrenocorticotropin and cortisol on luteinizing hormone surge and estrous behavior of cows. J. Dairy Sci. 65: 1016–1024, 1982.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 54.
    Stott, G. H. and R. J. Williams. Causes of low breeding efficiency in dairy cattle associated with seasonal high temperatures. J. Dairy Sci. 45: 1369–1375, 1962.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 55.
    Taleisnik, S. Sites concerned with inhibition of gonadotropin secretion. Neuroendocr. Regal. Fertil. Int. Symp., Basel, 1976, p. 92–100.Google Scholar
  57. 56.
    Thibier, M., and O. Rolland. The effects of dexamethasone on circulating testosterone and luteinizing hormone in young postpubertal bulls. Theriogenology 5: 53–59, 1976.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 57.
    Ulberg, L. C. Effect of macro-and microenvironment on the biology of mammalian reproduction. In: Ground Level Climatology, edited by R. O. H. Shaw. Washington, DC: Am. Assoc. Adv. Sci., 1967, p. 265–276.Google Scholar
  59. 58.
    Velardo, J. T. Action of adrenocorticotropin on pregnancy and litter size in rats. Am. J. Physiol. 191: 319–322, 1957.Google Scholar
  60. 59.
    Wagon, K. A., W. C. Rollins, P. T. Cupps, and F. D. Carroll. Effects of stress factors on the estrous cycles of beef heifers. J. An im. Sci. 34: 1003–1010, 1972.Google Scholar
  61. 60.
    Welsh, T. H., T. H. Bambino, and A. J. W. Hsueh. Mechanism of glucocorticoidinduced suppression of testicular androgen biosynthesis in vitro. Biol. Reprod. 27: 1138–1146, 1982.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© American Physiological Society 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary P. Moberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Animal Science and California Primate Research CenterUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

Personalised recommendations