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Serum leptin concentration is a poor predictor of body fat content in lactating dairy cows

  • A.R.G. Wylie (a1) (a2), D.J. Devlin (a1), C.S. Mayne (a1) (a2) (a3), R.E. Agnew (a1) (a2) (a3), D.C. Patterson (a1) (a2) (a3), R.W.J. Steen (a1) (a2) (a3) and F.J. Gordon (a1) (a2) (a3)...


Blood concentrations of leptin have been associated, to varying degrees, with assorted measures of fat in mammalian species. In ruminants, 0.30, 0.35 and 0.37 of the variation in leptin levels in lambs (Blache et al., 2000), older (2-7 yr) multiparous ewes (Delavaud et al., 2000) and mature, late-lactation, dairy cows (Ehrhardt et al., 2000) was attributed to variation in fat as % of liveweight (LW), backfat thickness and body condition score (BCS) respectively while a strong correlation (R_a2=0.83) between leptin and fat as % of empty body weight (EBW) was found for growing Holstein bull calves by Ehrhardt et al. (2000). The objective of the current study was to determine if leptin could be usefully related to fat in multiparous dairy cows differing widely across stages of lactation.



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Agnew, R.A., McCaughey, W.J., McEvoy, J.D., Patterson, D.C., Porter, M.G., Steen, R.W.J. and Yan, T. 2001. In vivo estimation of body composition of lactating dairy cattle from urea space measurements. Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science, abstract no 206.
Blache, D., Tellam, R.L., Chagas, L.M., Blackberry, M.A., Vercoe, P.E. and Martin, G.B. 2000. Level of nutrition affects leptin concentrations in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid in sheep. Journal of Endocrinology, 165: 625637.
Delavaud, C., Bocquier, F., Chilliard, Y., Keisler, D.H., Gertler, A. and Kann, G. 2000. Plasma leptin determination in ruminants: effect of nutritional status and body fatness on plasma leptin concentration assessed by a specific RIA in sheep. Journal of Endocrinology, 165: 519526.
Ehrhardt, R.A., Slepetis, R.M., Siegal-Willott, J., Van Amburgh, M.E., Bell, A.W. and Boisclair, Y.R. 2000. Development of a specific radioimmunoassay to measure physiological changes of circulating leptin in cattle and sheep. Journal of Endocrinology, 166: 519528.
Wylie, A.R.G., Devlin, D.J. and Bjourson, A.J. 2002. Leptin interrelationships to energy-related metabolites and hormones in fed and fasted sheep. Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science (this issue)


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