Effects of various doses of bovine somatotropin (bST) on plasma concentrations of nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA) were studied in a 14-d Latin square with six Holstein heifers. Animals were given daily injections of excipient or bST at 12:00 p.m. and fed twice daily at 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. On Day 14, plasma NEFA remained low through the day except around the 7:00 p.m. feeding when they were substantially elevated. The elevation was significantly greater in bST-treated animals and corresponded to the excitement of the animals in anticipation of the evening feeding. To further investigate this phenomenon, a second experiment was conducted in which nine growing Holstein steers were fed hourly and received either daily intramuscular (i.m.) injection of excipient or bST (120 mg/kg BW) for 15 d in a crossover design. Daily profiles of NEFA were obtained under undisturbed conditions or concurrently with intensive handling. Although no elevations could be detected in any case in control animals, bST caused a substantial rise in NEFA concentration only when animals were subjected to intensive handling. This suggested that NEFA peaks noted in bST-treated heifers in the first experiment resulted from increased ability of adipose tissue to respond to adrenergic stimulation associated with the anticipation of feeding. Consistent with this hypothesis, plasma NEFA concentrations in bST-treated steers were increased to a greater extent during a challenge involving i.v. injection of epinephrine. This amplification of adipose tissue response by bST must be considered when conducting intensive studies. Even the minimal excitment associated with blood sampling can confound the results regarding lipid mobilization, and this may have contributed to the notion that ST is a lipolytic hormone.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
1 This work was supported in part by Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, USDA/National Research Initative Competitive Grant 93-37206-9025, and The Upjohn Company. 2 Authors appreciate the technical assistance of Marie Harkins, Bill English, Mark McGuire, Ramona Slepetis, Dottie Ceurter, and Debbie Dwyer. 3 Present address: 49 Commonwealth Drive, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920. 4 Reprint requests. 5 Present address: Depamnent of Animal Science, 130 Haecker Hall, University of Minnesota, 1364 Eckles Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108. 6 Present address: Animal Research Institute, Werribee, Victoria 3030, Australia.