|Approximately 150 days before expected breeding time, 12 female goats (3 months of age) were actively immunized against ovine leptin.
Booster injections were given throughout the following year.
Control animals (n = 6) were sham-immunized. After the first observed oestrus, a buck was introduced and goats were mated.
Blood samples were collected twice weekly and frequent blood sampling series were performed on days −15, 76, 153 and 286 relative to the first immunization.
Nine of the immunized goats developed titres within 3 months and had elevated serum concentrations of leptin compared with controls (p < 0.0001).
Hematological parameters and blood chemistry were not affected by the immunization.
No differences were detectable in all reproductive parameters recorded. Serum insulin was higher in immunized goats during the frequent blood sampling series of day 287 after the first immunization.
Glucose metabolism was investigated during pregnancy using hyperglycaemic and euglycaemic/hyperinsulinaemic clamps.
None of the parameters derived from the clamp studies was different (p > 0.05) between the two groups. During the hyperglycaemic clamp there was a trend (p < 0.15) towards increased insulin concentrations in immunized animals whereas glucose infusion rates were not different between the groups.
This indicates decreased insulin sensitivity in immunized goats.
Our study describes the ontogenesis of serum concentrations of leptin during growth, puberty and first pregnancy and parturition for the caprine species.
The effects of the immunization were not detectable or only marginal and the approach aimed at therefore not effective to investigate leptin action in detail.
Source: Sauerwein, H., Heintges, U., Bruhns, S. C., Hennies, M. & Gertler, A. (2006): Active immunization against leptin fails to affect reproduction and exerts only marginal effects on glucose metabolism in young female goats. In: Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition 90 (7-8), 278-288.
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