Luteinizing hormone, growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-I, insulin and metabolites before puberty in heifers fed to gain at two rates.Domest Anim Endocrinol 1996; 13(4):325-38DA
Fall born Angus x Hereford heifers were allotted to treatments at 9 mo of age to achieve the following growth rates: 1) fed to gain 1.36 kg/d (n = 10; HGAIN); and 2) fed to gain 0.23 kg/d for 16 wk, then fed to gain 1.36 kg/d (n = 9; LHGAIN). Growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I0, insulin, glucose, nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA), and progesterone were quantified in twice weekly blood samples until onset of puberty. Body weight, hip height, and pelvic area were recorded every 28 d. Frequent blood samples (n = 8 heifers/treatment) were collected every 14 d, commencing on day 29 of treatment until onset of puberty to evaluate secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH) and GH. The HGAIN heifers were younger (369 d; P < 0.001), were shorter at the hip (115 cm; P < 0.05) and had smaller pelvic area (140 cm2; P < 0.10), but body weight (321 kg) did not differ at puberty compared with LHGAIN heifers (460 d; 119 cm; 155 cm2; 347 kg, respectively). The HGAIN heifers had greater (P < 0.05) concentrations of LH, IGF-I, and insulin in serum and glucose in plasma during the first 84 d of treatment than LHGAIN heifers, whereas LHGAIN heifers had greater (P < 0.05) concentrations of GH in serum and NEFA in plasma than HGAIN heifers. On day 68 of treatment, HGAIN heifers had less mean GH (P < 0.01) and greater (P < 0.05) LH pulse frequency than LHGAIN heifers, whereas LH pulse amplitude and mean LH did not differ (P < 0.10) between treatments. Treatment did not influence secretion of LH and GH at 1 and 3 wk before puberty. Mean GH concentrations in serum and GH pulse amplitude in all heifers were greater (P < 0.05) 2 to 9 d (12.9 and 40.7 ng/ml, respectively) than 16 to 23 d (10.4 and 20.0 ng/ml, respectively) before puberty. Nutrient restriction decreased LH pulse frequency and delayed puberty in beef heifers. Furthermore, dramatic changes in mean concentration and amplitude of GH pulses just before puberty in beef heifers may have a role in pubertal development.