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Inhibition of milk ejection in cows by oxytocin receptor blockade, α-adrenergic receptor stimulation and in unfamiliar surroundings

  • RUPERT M. BRUCKMAIER (a1), OLGA WELLNITZ (a1) and JÜRG W. BLUM (a1)

Abstract

Inhibition of milk ejection in cows by oxytocin receptor blockade (Atosiban) and α-adrenergic receptor stimulation (phenylephrine) prior to prestimulation was compared with inhibition of milk ejection in unfamiliar surroundings. In addition, Atosiban and phenylephrine were administered after a 1 min prestimulation or 1 min after the start of milking. Oxytocin concentrations increased during milking in all treatments. The spontaneously removed milk fraction (before oxytocin was injected) was similar for Atosiban and phenylephrine treatments and in unfamiliar surroundings, but lower than in controls. Peak flow rates were similar in all treatments, but reduced as compared with controls when phenylephrine and Atosiban were administered before prestimulation. Peripheral (Atosiban, phenylephrine) and central (unfamiliar surroundings) inhibition of milk ejection reduced the amount of available milk similarly. Drug treatments resulted in similar peak flow rates; however, teats were contracted after phenylephrine administration but not after Atosiban. The inhibition induced by Atosiban could be abolished by oxytocin injection, but not that induced by phenylephrine, which was antagonized by α-adrenergic receptor blockade. These results indicate that inhibition of milk ejection through activation of α-adrenergic receptors is based on blockade of milk flow into the cistern, but not through the teats.

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