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Biological Research

Print version ISSN 0716-9760

Abstract

RECABARREN, SERGIO E et al. Secretory Patterns of Leptin and Luteinizing Hormone in Food-Restricted Young Female Sheep. Biol. Res. [online]. 2004, vol.37, n.3, pp.371-384. ISSN 0716-9760.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0716-97602004000300003.

Leptin, the product of the ob gene, has been proposed as a metabolic signal that regulates the secretion of GnRH/LH. This may be critical during prepubertal development to synchronize information about energy stores and the secretion of GnRH/LH. This study aimed to assess the effect of food restriction on the episodic secretion of leptin and LH in young female sheep. Five 20-week-old prepubertal females were fed a low-level diet for 10 weeks to maintain the body weight. Control females of the same age received food ad libitum. Blood samples were collected at 10-min intervals for six hours at 20, 26, and 30 weeks of age, and plasma leptin, LH, insulin and cortisol concentrations were measured. In the control group, no changes were found in pulsatile LH secretion characteristics. Mean LH concentrations and LH amplitude were lower in the food-restricted group than in the control group at 26 and 30 weeks of age. In the control group, pulsatile leptin secretion did not change. When compared to control lambs of the same age, the food-restricted group showed lower mean plasma leptin concentrations, pulse amplitude and plasma insulin levels, after 6 weeks of restriction (week 26), although by week 30, plasma leptin concentrations and plasma insulin rose to those of the control group. Leptin pulse frequency did not change, nor did mean plasma levels of insulin in the control group at any age studied. Mean plasma concentration of cortisol did not change within or between groups. These data suggest that plasma leptin concentrations may not be associated with the onset of puberty under regular feeding and natural photoperiod in lambs. Prolonged food restriction, however, induces metabolic adaptations that allow an increase of leptin during the final period, probably related to the development of some degree of insulin resistance

Keywords : female sheep; food restriction; leptin; LH; puberty.

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