Changes in the Somatotrophic Axis in Genetically Identical Dogs
Because cloned dogs are genetically identical, variations among these animals can be a useful tool to elucidate mechanisms underlying phenotypic differences. To estimate the influence of genetic factors on phenotypic variation, changes in concentration patterns of growth hormone (GH), insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), and IGF binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) were compared among cloned and age-matched control dogs. In addition, the concentrations of GH and IGF-1 following administration of growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) and somatostatin (SRIF) were measured in both groups. In comparing hormone profiles, the control dogs had larger standard deviations from the means for GH, IGF-1, and IGFBP-3 than the clones. Also, the mean concentration of IGFBP-3 in clones was significantly lower than in the controls between 7 to 12 months of age, whereas the IGFBP-3 changes in clones and controls followed the same pattern. GHRH induced increased serum growth hormone concentration both in clones and controls. However, the concentration of IGF-1 was lower in clones than in controls, and larger standard variations were noted in the control group. In conclusion, the measured traits were more homogeneous in cloned animals than in controls, so cloned animals could be valuable for assessing effects of genotype and environment interactions.