Article

Growth hormone at breeding modifies conceptus development and postnatal growth in sheep.

Division of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown 26506, USA.
Journal of Animal Science (Impact Factor: 1.92). 05/2005; 83(4):810-5.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Experiments were performed to determine the effects of components of the GH-IGF axis on conceptus development and postnatal growth in sheep. In Exp. 1, ewes received one of the following treatments: 1) sustained release GH at breeding, 2) sustained release GH at breeding and estradiol-17beta at d 5 and 6, 3) only estradiol-17beta at d 5 and 6, or 4) no treatment. Uteri were flushed on d 7, and flushings were analyzed for content of IGF-I. A single injection of sustained-release bovine GH at breeding increased IGF-I content in uterine luminal flushings compared with control ewes (P < 0.05). Treatment with estradiol-17beta on d 5 and 6 after breeding did not alter IGF-I content compared with control ewes, and it blocked the effect of GH on uterine luminal IGF-I content. In Exp. 2, sustained release GH or no treatment was administered at breeding, and gravid uteri were collected at d 25, 80, or 140 of gestation. On d 80, GH-treated ewes had smaller chorioallantoic weights (P < 0.05) and tended to have more efficient placentae (fetal weight/total placental weight; P = 0.052), with a higher percentage of placental weight as cotyledons (P = 0.068) compared with control ewes. In Exp. 3, ewes were treated with or without sustained release GH at progesterone withdrawal. Lambs from GH-treated ewes were heavier at birth (P < 0.05). Lambs from GH-treated ewes reared as singles, but not lambs reared as multiples, were heavier at 30, 60 (P < 0.05), and 75 d (P = 0.075) of age than lambs from control ewes. In conclusion, ewes treated with sustained-release GH at breeding developed smaller, more efficient placentas, and had larger lambs at birth.

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