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Growth hormone pulsatility in ram lambs of genotypes selected for fatness or leanness

  • J. M. Suttie (a1), B. A. Veenvliet (a1), R. P. Littlejohn (a1), P. D. Gluckman (a2), I. D. Corson (a1) and P. F. Fennessy (a1)...


Although it is known that growth hormone (GH) influences body composition in ruminants, the precise role of the pattern of GH secretion is not known. We have studied the pulsatile release of GH and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF 1) secretion in the male progeny of rams from lines selected either for {fat genotype) or against (lean genotype) fatness. Seventy-two lambs (36 each of the fat and lean genotype) were kept on high-quality pasture and randomly allocated within genotype to treatment at 2, 3, 3·5, 4,5 or 6 months of age. The procedure, which was identical for each sampling period, was to sample each lamb through a jugular cannula every 10 min for 6 h, and then, following an overnight fast, to slaughter and analyse the carcass for fat. All blood samples were analysed for GH and samples taken each hour for total plasma IGF 1. The GH data were further analysed with the pulse detection routine PULSAR. Carcass fatness, adjusted for cold carcass weight, was greater for fat genotype animals than for the lean genotype. GH was pulsatile in all profiles but the pattern differed with time and genotype. Mean GH and pulse amplitude decreased with time but did not differ between genotype, although the lean genotype had higher mean GH at five of the six sampling periods. In contrast, GH pulse frequency and IGF 1 were significantly higher for the fat compared with the lean genotype lambs. GH mean and amplitude correlated negatively with carcass fatness in both genotypes and GH pulse frequency and total IGF 1 correlated positively with fatness for the lean genotype only. When carcass weight and genotype were fitted to these relationships, GH mean and total IGF 1 were found to have independent negative and positive effects, respectively, on carcass fatness. Because GH mean had a separate effect on fatness independent of genotype or cold carcass weight, it is likely that GH secretion influences composition by the same basic mechanism in both genotypes. However, although the slopes of these relationships did not differ significantly between the genotypes, the intercepts were significantly different indicating that over and above the basic mechanism, at any level of GH, the lean genotype lambs were leaner than the fat genotype lambs. This may indicate a measure ofGH resistance in the fat genotype lambs.



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Growth hormone pulsatility in ram lambs of genotypes selected for fatness or leanness

  • J. M. Suttie (a1), B. A. Veenvliet (a1), R. P. Littlejohn (a1), P. D. Gluckman (a2), I. D. Corson (a1) and P. F. Fennessy (a1)...


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