We measured and compared plasma levels of GH and ghrelin in response to feeding in 4-week-old (milk replacer-fed) and 13-week-old (alfalfa hay cube-fed) goats, in order to elucidate whether or not the postprandial regulation of these hormone levels changes around weaning. Furthermore, we examined the effects of suckling from the dam or intravenous glucose administration on both hormone and insulin levels in kids. In 4-week-old goats, feeding of a milk replacer diet significantly increased plasma GH levels without changing level of ghrelin. In contrast, in 13-week-old goats, feeding of hay cubes did not change the levels of either ghrelin or GH. Suckling of milk directly from the dams significantly increased the levels of GH and insulin, but not ghrelin, in kids. Finally, intravenous injection of glucose (0.625 mmol/kg BW) did not cause any significant increase in the levels of GH or ghrelin, despite a significant increase in the levels of insulin and glucose. From these results, we conclude that the regulatory system of the somatotropic axis is altered by weaning or weaning-associated processes, and that ghrelin levels may not be involved in this alteration in young goats.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology