Document Type


Report Number


Publication Date



plasma ghrelin concentrations, nutrient restiction, beef cattle


Four steers (BW 1281±28.2 kg) were used in a crossover design to determine the effects of prolonged, moderate energy and protein restriction on plasma ghrelin and GH concentrations. A common high-energy diet was offered at 240% of the intake necessary for BW maintenance (2.4xM) or 80% of the intake necessary for BW maintenance (0.8xM). As a common starting point, all steers were adjusted to 2.4xM during a 23-d pre-trial adaptation period. At initiation of period 1, 2 steers remained at 2.4xM, whereas intake for the remaining 2 steers was restricted to 0.8xM. Feed allotments were offered twice daily in equal aliquots at 0800 and at 2000 h. On 7, 14, and 21 d following initiation of restriction, serial blood samples were collected via indwelling jugular catheter at 15-min intervals throughout a 12-h feeding interval. Following period 1, steers were weighed and intake amounts were recalculated. Dietary treatments were switched between steer groups, 2.4xM intake was established, and sampling period II was initiated as described for period I. Plasma samples were assayed for ghrelin, GH, insulin (INS), and NEFA concentrations. Subsequent to analyses, hormone data were pooled by hour for statistical analyses. The energy and protein restriction resulted in decreased BW for 0.8xM (-108.9 lb) steers compared with 2.4xM (127.9 lb) steers. Body weight loss along with decreased plasma INS concentrations and elevated plasma NEFA and GH concentrations indicate that these steers were in a catabolic state and mobilizing body tissue stores to meet nutrient requirements not met by dietary intake. Plasma ghrelin concentrations also were elevated for the 0.8xM steers compared with those of 2.4xM steers throughout the 21-d treatment period. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that plasma ghrelin concentrations are elevated in cattle throughout a prolonged, moderate energy and protein restriction that result in a catabolic state.

Number of Pages







South Dakota State University


Copyright © 2007 South Dakota State University