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The response of luteinizing hormone secretion to photoperiod is modified by the level of nutrition in female Mediterranean goats

Zarazaga, L.A., Celi, I., Guzmán, J.L., Malpaux, B.
Animal reproduction science 2011 v.126 no.1-2 pp. 83-90
body condition, body weight, food supply, hormone secretion, luteinizing hormone, melatonin, nannygoats, nutrition, photoperiod, Mediterranean region
This paper reports the influence of nutrition on the photoperiodic control of luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion in female Mediterranean goats (i.e., goats from the Mediterranean area in general). Ovariectomized, oestradiol-treated goats were subjected to two consecutive intervals of 3 months of long days followed by 3 months of short days (group LDSD, N=20), or vice versa (group SDLD, N=20). The LDSD and SDLD does were also randomly assigned to one of two nutrition groups that received either 1.1 (H group, N=10) or 0.7 (L group, N=10) times their maintenance requirements. Live weight and body condition score were determined weekly and LH concentrations twice per week. To establish the pulsatility of secretion of LH, three periods of intensive sampling were undertaken. Melatonin was determined after a period of 45 short or long days. All photoperiod/nutrition groups showed large variations in LH concentrations according to photoperiod, with nutrition having a significant effect (P<0.001). The mean time between the shift from long to short days and the stimulation of LH secretion, and between the shift from short to long days and the inhibition of LH secretion, was different in each nutrition group (at least P<0.05). No differences were seen in the frequency of LH pulses between the nutrition groups, but differences between sampling periods were observed (P<0.001). Melatonin secretion was not affected by food supply. These results confirm: (1) that Mediterranean female goats are sensitive to photoperiod, (2) that this environmental cue may control the timing of pituitary activity under natural conditions, and (3) suggest that nutrition plays an important role in the effect of photoperiod on LH secretion.