Effects of zeranol and trenbolone acetate on testis function, live weight gain and carcass traits of bulls

J Anim Sci. 1986 Aug;63(2):358-68. doi: 10.2527/jas1986.632358x.


The ability of zeranol and trenbolone acetate (trenbolone) to alter testis function, weight gain and carcass traits of young bulls was studied. In Exp. 1, the effects of age at initial zeranol implantation was determined. After a 235-d experimental period, sequential implantation (56-d intervals) beginning at 100 or 150 d of age had reduced testis growth (P less than .01), sperm production (P less than .01) and serum testosterone concentration in response to gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH; P less than .01). The 200-d age group was partially suppressed, while the 250-d age group was not affected. Body weights were similar to controls in all groups. In Exp. 2, bulls previously implanted with zeranol at 175 and 231 d of age received single implants of zeranol, trenbolone or trenbolone plus zeranol at approximately 300 d of age. At slaughter (135 d later), body weight and carcass characteristics in all treatments were similar to controls. However, trenbolone reduced sperm production (P less than .05), zeranol reduced sperm production and testes weight (P less than .05), but trenbolone plus zeranol was similar to controls. Mean testosterone response to GnRH was suppressed in all implant groups on d 65 (P less than .01), but only in trenbolone or trenbolone plus zeranol groups on d 112 (P less than .05). Results indicate that zeranol suppresses spermatogenesis and testosterone production if implanted before approximately 200 d of age. Reduction of endogenous testosterone without alteration of weight gain or carcass characteristics may be of benefit if behavioral or masculinity traits of bulls are altered. Also, it appears that no benefit is derived from implanting bulls with both trenbolone and zeranol.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Composition / drug effects
  • Body Weight / drug effects*
  • Cattle / physiology*
  • Epididymis / drug effects
  • Estrenes / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Resorcinols / pharmacology*
  • Seminiferous Tubules / drug effects
  • Testis / drug effects*
  • Testis / physiology
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Trenbolone Acetate / pharmacology*
  • Zeranol / pharmacology*


  • Estrenes
  • Resorcinols
  • Testosterone
  • Zeranol
  • Trenbolone Acetate