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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Animal Physiology

Impact of visual, olfactory, and auditory cues on circulating concentrations of ghrelin in wethers1


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 93 No. 8, p. 3886-3890
    Received: Feb 18, 2015
    Accepted: June 03, 2015
    Published: July 24, 2015

    2 Corresponding author(s):

  1. M. G. Stockwell-Goering*,
  2. E. A. Benavides,
  3. D. H. Keisler and
  4. J. A. Daniel 2*
  1. * Department of Animal Science, Berry College, Mount Berry, GA 30149
     Division of Animal Sciences, University of Missouri–Columbia, Columbia 65211


Ghrelin is a hormone that stimulates feed intake and regulates energy homeostasis. A link has been observed in sheep, in which simulated feedings at scheduled meal times resulted in an increase in ghrelin concentrations. The present study sought to characterize the effect of feeding cues outside of scheduled meal times on circulating ghrelin concentrations in sheep. Katahdin wethers (age 201 ± 4.9 d; weight 35 ± 1.2 kg) were not offered feed (CONT; n = 5), offered 275 g of feed (FED; n = 5), or fitted with a muzzle and offered 275 g of feed (SHAM; n = 5) during the sampling period, which began 2.5 h after normally scheduled daily feeding time. Blood samples were collected via jugular catheter every 15 min for 2.5 h. Feed was offered for 15 min 0.5 h after the start of blood sampling. The CONT samples were collected on d 1, and FED and SHAM samples were collected on d 2. The active ghrelin present in the plasma was then analyzed by RIA. After the Shapiro-Wilk W goodness of fit test demonstrated that 1 SHAM wether was an outlier and it was removed, data were tested for effect of treatment (FED, SHAM, or CONT), time, and treatment × time interaction using procedures for repeated measures with JMP Software (SAS Inst. Inc., Cary, NC). There was no treatment or time effect (P > 0.05); however, there was a treatment × time interaction on plasma ghrelin concentrations (P = 0.0028) such that ghrelin concentrations in SHAM wethers were greater than in CONT wethers 15, 60, and 90 min after feeding, whereas ghrelin concentrations in SHAM wethers were greater than those in FED wethers 30, 60, 90, and 120 min after feeding (P < 0.05). Within the SHAM treatment, ghrelin concentrations were greater at 15 min than at −30 min. Moreover, ghrelin concentrations within the FED treatment were greater at −30 min than at 30, 45, 60, 90, 105, and 120 min and at −15 min than at 15 through 120 min. The area under the curve representing circulating concentrations of ghrelin in CONT, FED, and SHAM treatments, determined using the trapezoidal method, yielded a treatment effect with a tendency toward significance (P = 0.0866). These results indicate plasma ghrelin concentrations in scheduled meal-fed wethers are elevated following visual, olfactory, and auditory feeding cues outside of scheduled feeding times.

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