In order to assess the biological significance of weaning and water deprivation on the control of plasma concentrations of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), cortisol, growth hormone (GH) and metabolites in response to stimulation with arginine-vasopressin (AVP) and corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), we carried out three experiments in which male goats before and after weaning were intravenously injected with AVP or CRH alone, or in combination with each other. In experiment 1, 17-week-old (post-weaning) goats were intravenously injected with AVP or CRH alone at the doses of 0.1, 0.3 and 1.0 nmol/kg body weight (BW). The AVP injection significantly and dose dependently increased plasma levels of ACTH, cortisol, GH and metabolites, whereas the injection with CRH did not cause significant increases in the levels of these parameters. In experiment 2, 4-week-old (pre-weaning) and 13-week-old (post-weaning) goats were injected with either AVP or CRH alone, followed by a combined injection of both secretagogues at a dose of 0.3 nmol/kg BW. Although the basal levels of the hormones and metabolites, with the exception of glucose, were greater in the 4-week-old goats, the hormone responses induced by stimulation with AVP were weaker than those induced in 13-week-old goats. Additionally, there were no responses in any hormone patterns to CRH stimulation in 4-week-old goats. In experiment 3, 13-week-old goats were injected with CRH alone followed by injection with AVP for two consecutive days of water deprivation. The animals were subjected to withdrawal of up to 20% of the total blood volume and water deprivation for up to 28 h. However, no significant differences in plasma ACTH, cortisol or GH levels were observed between days 1 and 2. Based on these results, we concluded that: (1) AVP is a more potent stimulant than CRH in terms of its ability to induce increases in plasma levels of ACTH, cortisol and GH; (2) the role of AVP as a secretagogue of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal hormones is strengthened, whereas the ineffective role of CRH remains unaltered, by weaning; (3) acute stress such as massive withdrawal of blood volume and subjection to water deprivation may not be sufficient burdens to alter stress-related hormone levels in young goats.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism