Place, Ned J., Crosier, Adrienne E., Comizzoli, Pierre, Nagashima, Jennifer B., Haefele, Holly, Schmidt-Küntzel, Anne, and Marker, Laurie L. 2017. "Age-associated and deslorelin-induced declines in serum anti-Müllerian hormone concentrations in female cheetahs, Acinonyx jubatus." General and comparative endocrinology 250:54-57. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2017.06.003
Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) is widely used in human medicine to non-invasively estimate the size of the ovarian follicle reserve and to predict the ovarian response to gonadotropin stimulation in the context of assisted reproductive technologies (e.g., IVF). These applications of AMH testing have recently expanded to non-human mammals, with production animals, such as cows, goats and sheep being the primary focus of AMH research. However, few investigations have involved exotic species, and in particular carnivores. In this study, we measured AMH concentrations (0.078-3.078 ng/mL) in archived serum samples that had been collected from 36 adult female cheetahs across their reproductive lifespan (2-15 years of age). Similar to other mammals, AMH concentration in cheetahs declined with age, and its variability among females of the same age was considerable. The rates at which AMH declined over time in individual cheetahs were also highly variable. Five cheetahs had been contracepted with the long-acting GnRH agonist deslorelin for 6-18 months prior to sample collection, and their AMH concentrations were relatively low compared to untreated females. In this first study of AMH in an exotic carnivore, the findings demonstrate that the age-associated decline in AMH is highly variable and that deslorelin appears to suppress AMH concentration in serum. Owing to the increased use of assisted reproductive technologies in ex situ populations of threatened and endangered species, such as cheetahs, the present study's findings will need to be taken into consideration if AMH is to be used successfully to optimize breeding management decisions in exotic species.