Effect of photoperiod on LH, FSH, prolactin and melatonin patterns in ovariectomized prepubertal heifers.
Angus and Angus crossbred prepubertal heifers were ovariectomized and randomly assigned to either increasing light simulating the photoperiod of the vernal equinox to the summer solstice (I) or decreasing light simulating the photoperiod of the autumnal equinox to the winter solstice (D) for 43 degrees N latitude. Three blood samples were taken each week for 14 weeks, the first at 11:00 h and two others 2 days later, 1 h before lights on (dark), 1 h before lights off (light). At the end of 14 weeks 4 heifers from each treatment group were cannulated and samples were taken for 12 h at 15-min intervals, 6 h in the light and 6 h in the dark. All sera were assayed for LH, FSH and prolactin. In addition, the samples taken at 15-min intervals were assayed for melatonin. In samples taken weekly at 11:00 h circulating concentrations of LH and prolactin were higher among animals in Group I, while FSH concentrations were not different between Groups D and I. In samples collected weekly in the light or the dark, LH and prolactin concentrations were higher in Group I animals. However, prolactin concentrations were higher and LH concentrations tended to be higher in samples taken in the dark. FSH concentrations were not different between either D or I or dark and light. In samples taken at 15-min intervals the prolactin baseline was higher and pulse amplitude tended to be higher for Group I animals. Neither LH nor FSH pulse characteristics differed between I and D; however, LH baseline and LH pulse amplitude were higher in the dark. Melatonin pulse amplitude was higher among animals in Group D and higher in serum collected in the dark. These results suggest that photoperiod alters circulating concentrations of LH and prolactin and alters pulsatile release of LH, prolactin and melatonin in the prepubertal heifer.
Critser, JK; Block, TM; Folkman, S; Hauser, ER
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