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Effect of Chronic Leptin Administration on Sexual Maturation of Zebu Heifers (Bos taurus indicus)

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Marina Vieira de Carvalho
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: Pirassununga.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia (FMVZ/SBD)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Luis Felipe Prada e Silva; Francisco Palma Rennó; Marcus Antonio Zanetti
Advisor: Luis Felipe Prada e Silva

This study was carried out to evaluate the effects of chronic administration of recombinant ovine leptin (oLeptin) and the energy level of the diet on age, body weight (BW), body condition score (BCS) and body composition at puberty, as well as to evaluate its effects on dominant follicle (DF) development and dry matter (DM) intake. Thirty six Nellore heifers, 18 to 20 months old, with 276.1 ± 17.9 kg BW and BCS of 4.7 ± 0.46 were randomly distributed into three treatments: H) High energy diet; L) Low energy diet; LL) Low energy diet with subcutaneous administration of oLeptin. Heifers were housed in two collective pens according to the diet offered. Diets were formulated to promote an average daily gain (ADG) of 0.3 kg BW/day and 1.0 kg BW/day. Intake was controlled daily by weighting the orts and keeping it between 5 and 10% of the total offered. Heifers were weighed and had their BCS was evaluated twice weekly, in order to control the ADG. Heifers received 12 g of chromic oxide/animal/day by forced swallowing for 10 days, while feces, diet and orts were sampled in the last 5 days, in order to estimate individual DM and energy intake, which was done by feces determination of chromic oxide, and diet and, feces and orts determination of iNDF. The LL group received 4.8 µg oLeptina/kg BW, subcutaneously, twice a day (at 06:00 and 18:00), for 56 days, while H and L groups received 2 ml of saline solution. Maximum DF diameter and presence of corpus luteum (CL) were evaluated twice weekly by transrectal ultrasound, until heifers achieved puberty. At the time of ultrasound evaluation, blood was sampled by jugular venipuncture for serum progesterone determination. Age at puberty was considered as age at first detection of a CL confirmed to be functional by serum progesterone above 1 ng/ml. After puberty confirmation heifers were slaughtered for body composition estimation, which was done by water determination on 9a-10a-11a rib cuts. High energy intake reduced age and enhanced BCS at puberty (P<0.05). Leptin administration did not affect age, BW or BCS at puberty (P>0.05). The high energy intake as well as leptin administration accelerated the DF growth and determined greater DF diameter (P<0.05), however the rate of growth on the LL group decreased after around 30 days of treatment equaling the rate of growth of the L group, and behaving in a quadratic manner at regression analysis. High energy intake enhanced ether extract and lowered protein and minerals proportion on empty body (P<0.05). It also enhanced carcass subcutaneous fat and the longissimus muscle area (P<0.05). Leptin administration did not alter the body composition of heifers at puberty (P>0.05). There was no difference on DM intake (kg DM/day) between groups, however the H group had higher DM intake in terms of % BW, as well as higher intake of digestible, metabolizable and net energy for gain (P<0.05). Leptin did not reduce DM intake neither in terms of kg BW/day nor % BW (P>0.05). Energy intake accelerates the onset of puberty and alters body composition at puberty of zebu heifers. Leptin administration did not accelerate puberty onset of zebu heifers receiving low energy diet, but temporarily enhanced the follicular growth rate of these animals. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 07/06323-5 - Effect of chronic infusion of leptin and nutrition on sexual maturation of Bos indicus heifers
Grantee:Marina Vieira de Carvalho
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Master