Changes in plasma concentrations of GH and insulin in response to feeding and stimulation with GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) or GH-releasing peptide (GHRP-6, a ligand for endogenous GH secretagogue receptors) were compared between 3-week-old (milk-fed) and 12-week-old (concentrate and hay-fed) calves. Feeding of a milk-replacer diet in 3-week-old animals significantly increased the basal (prefeeding) concentrations of GH, insulin and glucose in plasma, whereas feeding of concentrate and hay in 12-week-old animals did not cause a significant change in these traits. However, in the animals maintained on a milk-replacer diet until 12 weeks of age, postprandial plasma GH concentrations and AUC (area under the curve) were not different from those in the age-matched weaned group. The venous injection of either GHRH (0.25 μg/kg) or GHRP-6 (2.5 μg/kg) significantly increased plasma GH concentrations in both 3- and 12-week-old animals, but GH AUC was significantly greater in 3-week-old than in 12-week-old animals. Insulin concentration was transiently but significantly increased by the injection of GHRP-6 only in 12-week-old animals, the AUC being greater in 12-week-old than 3-week-old animals. From these results, we conclude that postprandial levels of plasma GH and insulin concentrations are altered after weaning and by aging, and that the quality of diets or development of the neuroendocrine functions in the digestive-pituitary system may be involved in this alteration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism