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Growth-related hormones in plasma of bulls, steers and heifers given food with two different energy levels

  • R. Röpke (a1), D. Schams (a1), F. J. Schwarz (a2) and M. Kirchgessner (a2)


Concentrations of growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), insulin and glucagon were determined in the plasma of growing bulls, steers and heifers (no. = 138 in total, German Simmental breed). The animals were offered either a high level or a low level of energy resulting in relatively high and low average daily gain. Trials were subdivided into two experimental series and started at approximately 3 months of age at an average live weight of 110 kg. The animals were slaughtered at different body weights from 200 to 510 kg (heifers) or 660 kg (bulls, steers). Blood samples (needle puncture) were collected at biweekly intervals. Frequent samples time-course analysis of GH were taken by catheter from nine animals in total. Concentrations of GH declined during growth in steers and heifers as well as in bulls in blood samples collected by means of a catheter. IGF-1 and insulin concentrations increased from the start of the trial onwards up to different ages among the groups. Concentrations of glucagon constantly decreased from the start of the trial until slaughter. Significant differences (P < 0·05) in concentrations ofGH, IGF-1 and insulin could be observed between sexes and levels of nutrition, with the highest GH and IGF-1 levels in bulls followed by steers and heifers. In contrast insulin values were highest in heifers followed by steers and bulls. A high level of nutrition increased concentrations of IGF-1 and insulin in all sexes.



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Growth-related hormones in plasma of bulls, steers and heifers given food with two different energy levels

  • R. Röpke (a1), D. Schams (a1), F. J. Schwarz (a2) and M. Kirchgessner (a2)


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