Effect of Somatotropin on Thyroid Hormones and Cytokines in Lactating Dairy Cows During Ad Libitum and Restricted Feed Intake

A. V. Capuco,* D. L. Wood,* T. H. Elsasser,† S. Kahl,† R. A. Erdman,§ C. P. Van Tassell,* A. Lefcourt,‡ and L. S. Piperova§
*Gene Evaluation and Mapping Laboratory, †Growth Biology Laboratory, ‡Nutrient Conservation and Metabolism Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Beltsville, MD 20705 §Department of Animal and Avian Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742

ABSTRACT Twelve Holsteins in first lactation were used to investigate the relationship between energy balance and effects of bovine somatotropin (bST) on thyroid hormone metabolism and cytokine concentrations in serum. Six cows were fed for ad libitum intake and six cows were feed restricted to induce negative energy balance during two treatment periods of 6 d. During treatment periods, cows were administered vehicle or 40 mg of bST/d according to a crossover design. Between treatment periods was a 15-d recovery period, during which all cows were fed ad libitum. Cows that were fed ad libitum remained in positive energy balance during control and bST treatments, whereas cows that were fed for restricted intake were in negative energy balance during control and bST treatment periods. In both dietary groups, bST decreased energy balance. Milk production and the fat percentage of milk increased during bST treatment in both dietary groups. Fat-corrected milk yield was increased 13% by bST treatment. Serum concentrations of IGF-I did not differ between dietary groups but were greater during bST than control periods. Serum thyroxine concentration was decreased by bST treatment. Serum triiodothyronine and reverse-triiodothyronine were not altered by hormone treatment, but circulating concentrations of thyroid hormones were apparently reduced by dietary restriction. Neither hepatic nor mammary thyroxine 5'-deiodinase was affected by bST treatment. Plasma concentration of tumor necrosis factor-α, a potential regulator of thyroxine 5'-deiodinase, was not affected by bST treatment. Short-term treatment with bST did not influence thyroid hormone metabolism in lactating cows in positive or negative energy balance.

(Key words: thyroxine- 5'-deiodinase, energy balance, somatotropin, cytokine)

2001 J. Dairy Sci. 84:2430-2439

© 2001, by the American Dairy Science Association. All rights reserved.