Skip to main content Accessibility help

Hormone variations in serum and milk of buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) as potential indicators of treatment with recombinant bovine somatotropin

  • Lorenzo Castigliego (a1), Xiao Ning Li (a2), Andrea Armani (a1), Goffredo Grifoni (a3), Carlo Boselli (a3), Remo Rosati (a3), Daniela Gianfaldoni (a1) and Alessandra Guidi (a1)...


Recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST) is used to increase milk yield in cows, but it has been forbidden in some countries and in the EU. However, rbST misuse represents a concern in both bovine and buffalo dairy production. A number of studies on rbST treatment have been performed on bovines, but there are few data on buffaloes. In this study, we treated eight lactating buffaloes with biweekly injections of a slow-release formulation of rbST, for five cycles of administration, and analysed total ST and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) variations in serum and IGF-1 in milk. The aim was to assess their power as potential indicators of rbST-treatment. Blood was collected on days 2, 5, 9 and 14 of each cycle, and milk on days 2, 9 and 14 of cycles 2 and 5. Results showed an extraordinary increase in ST levels on day 2 in treated animals, followed by a rapid decrease over the following days, while a significant increase in IGF-1 was observed both in serum and in milk throughout most of each cycle. These results suggest that serum ST levels are a good indicator of treatment. However, the rapid decrease after the peak limits the useful period of sample collection.


Corresponding author

*For correspondence:


Hide All
Bauman, DE 1992 Bovine somatotropin: Review of an emerging animal technology. Journal of Dairy Science 75 34323451
Bilby, CR, Bader, JF, Salfen, BE, Youngquist, RS, Murphy, CN, Garverick, HA, Crooker, BA & Lucy, MC 1999 Plasma GH, IGF-I and conception rate in cattle treated with low doses of recombinant bovine GH. Theriogenology 51 12851296
Borghese, A 2005 Buffalo cheese and milk industry. Buffalo Production and Research, FAO X 185196
Borghese, A & Mazzi, M 2005 Buffalo population and strategies in the world. Buffalo Production and Research, FAO I 139
Castigliego, L, Iannone, G, Grifoni, G, Rosati, R, Gianfaldoni, D & Guidi, A 2007 Natural and recombinant bovine somatotropin: immunodetection with a sandwich ELISA. Journal of Dairy Research 74 7985
Castigliego, L, Grifoni, G, Rosati, R, Iannone, G, Armani, A, Gianfaldoni, D & Guidi, A 2009 On the alterations in serum concentration of somatotropin and insulin-like growth factor 1 in lactating cows after the treatment with a little studied recombinant bovine somatotropin. Research in Veterinary Science 87 2935
Castigliego, L, Li, X, Armani, A, Mazzi, M & Guidi, A 2011 An immunoenzymatic assay to measure insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in buffalo milk with an IGF binding protein blocking pre-treatment of the sample. International Dairy Journal 21 421426
Cisse, M, Chillard, Y, Coxam, V, Davicco, MJ & Remond, B 1991 Slow release somatotropin in dairy heifers and cows fed two levels of energy concentrate. 2. Plasma hormones and metabolites. Journal of Dairy Science 74 13821394
Collier, RJ, Miller, MA, McLaughlin, CL, Johnson, HD & Baile, CA 2008 Effects of recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST) and season on plasma and milk insulin-like growth factors I (IGF-I) and II (IGF-II) in lactating dairy cows. Domestic Animal Endocrinology 35 1623
Council Decision of 17 December 1999 concerning the placing on the market and administration of bovine somatotropin (BST). Official Journal of European Communities, 1999/879/EC
Cushman, RA, Desouza, JC, Hedgpeth, VS & Britt, JH 2001 Effect of long-term treatment with recombinant bovine somatotropin and estradiol on hormone concentrations and ovulatory response of superovulated cattle. Theriogenology 55 15331547
Daxenberger, A, Breier, BH & Sauerwein, H 1998 Increased milk levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) for the identification of bovine somatotropin (bST) treated cows. Analyst 123 24292435
Gallo, GF & Block, E 1990 Effects of recombinant bovine somatotropin on nutritional status and liver function of lactating dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science 73 32763286
Helal, FIS & Lasheen, MA 2008 The productive performance of Egyptian dairy buffaloes receiving biosynthetic bovine somatotropin (rbST) with or without monensin. American-Eurasian Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Science 3 771777
Hodate, K, Ozawa, A & Johke, T 1991 Effect of a prolonged release formulation of recombinant bovine somatotropin on plasma concentrations of hormones and metabolites, and milk production in dairy cows. Endocrinology Japan 38 527532
Holzer, Z, Aharoni, Y, Brosh, A, Orlov, A, Veenhuizen, JJ & Kasser, TR 1999 The effects of long-term administration of recombinant bovine somatotropin (Posilac) and Synovex on performance, plasma hormone and amino acid concentration, and muscle and subcutaneous fat fatty acid composition in Holstein-Friesian bull calves. Journal of Animal Science 77 14221430
Le Breton, MH, Rochereau-Roulet, S, Pinel, G, Cesbron, N & Le Bizec, B 2009 Elimination kinetic of recombinant somatotropin in bovine. Analytica Chimica Acta 637 121127
Ludri, RS, Upadhyay, RC & Singh, M 1989 Milk production in lactating buffalo receiving recombinantly produced bovine somatotropin. Journal of Dairy Science 72 22832287
McGuire, MA, Bauman, DE, Miller, MA & Hartnell, GF 1992 Response of somatomedins (IGF-I and IGF-II) in lactating cows to variations in dietary energy and protein and treatment with recombinant n-methionyl bovine somatotropin. Journal of Nutrition 122 128136
Mielke, H, Lochmann, G, Simon, I, Bier, H, Jahreis, G, Hesse, V & Gallowitsch, F 1990 bSTH and IGF-I levels in blood and milk of black and white dairy cows before and after application of recombinantly derived bovine somatotropin. Zentralblatt für Veterinärmedizin Reihe A 37 554557
Peel, CJ, Fronk, TJ, Bauman, DE & Gorewit, RC 1983 Effect of exogenous growth hormone in early and late lactation on lactational performance of dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science 66 776782
Polidori, F, Sgoifo Rossi, CA, Senatore, EM, Savoini, G & Dell'Orto, V 1997 Effect of recombinant somatotropin and calcium salts of long chain fatty acids on milk from Italian buffalo. Journal of Dairy Science 80 21372142
Prosser, CG, Fleet, IR & Corps, AN 1989 Increased secretion of insulin-like growth factor I into milk of cows treated with recombinantly derived bovine growth hormone. Journal of Dairy Research 56 1726
Putnam, DE, Varga, GA & Dann, HM 1999 Metabolic and production responses to dietary protein and exogenous somatotropin in late gestation dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science 82 982995
Schams, D, Graf, F, Meyer, J, Graule, B, Mauthner, M & Wollny, C 1991 Changes in hormones, metabolites, and milk after treatment with sometribove (recombinant methionyl bST) in Deutsches Fleckvieh and German black and white cows. Journal of Animal Science 69 15831592
Schwarz, FJ, Schams, D, Ropke, R, Kirchgessner, M, Kogel, J & Matzke, P 1993 Effects of somatotropin treatment on growth performance, carcass traits, and the endocrine system in finishing beef heifers. Journal of Animal Science 71 27212731
Slaba, J, Krejci, P, Skarda, J, Huybrechts, LM, Decuypere, E & Herrmann, H 1994 Plasma profiles of somatotropin and IGF-I in diary cows following application of two preparations of recombinant bovine somatotropin in a sustained release vehicle. Physiological Research 43 3743
Spitsberg, VL 1987 A selective extraction of growth hormone from bovine pituitary gland and its further purification and crystallization. Analytical Biochemistry 160 489495
Zhao, X, McBride, BW, Trouten-Radford, LM, Golfman, L & Burton, JH 1994 Somatotropin and insulin-like growth factor-I concentrations in plasma and milk after daily or sustained-release exogenous somatotropin administrations. Domestic Animal Endocrinology 11 209216


Hormone variations in serum and milk of buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) as potential indicators of treatment with recombinant bovine somatotropin

  • Lorenzo Castigliego (a1), Xiao Ning Li (a2), Andrea Armani (a1), Goffredo Grifoni (a3), Carlo Boselli (a3), Remo Rosati (a3), Daniela Gianfaldoni (a1) and Alessandra Guidi (a1)...


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed