Effects of frequency of treatment with recombinant equine somatotropin on selected biological responses in geldings

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Two experiments compared the efficacies of different treatment frequencies for recombinant equine somatotropin (eST). In Experiment 1, five geldings received daily injections of eST at 20 μg/kg of body weight, and five received every-other-day injections at 40 μg/kg of body weight, for a total of 30 days. Plasma glucose (P = 0.0001), insulin (P = 0.0135), and non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA, P = 0.0001) concentrations increased, and plasma urea nitrogen (PUN) concentrations decreased (P = 0.0001), in both groups, and only minor differences (P < 0.05) occurred between the two groups. Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) concentrations increased (P = 0.0001) in both groups over time, and were higher (P < 0.05) after day 2 in geldings treated daily. Endogenous somatotropin (ST) response to secretagogue was inhibited (P < 0.05) in geldings receiving daily injections relative to those receiving every-other-day injections. In Experiment 2, 16 geldings were allotted to four groups of four. A control group received daily saline injections, and the other three groups received eST at 20 μg/kg of body weight daily as a single injection, two injections (every 12 h), or four injections (every 6 h), for a total of 14 days. Plasma IGF-I and insulin concentrations increased (P < 0.05) in all groups receiving eST, with the responses being proportional to injection frequency. In contrast, PUN concentrations decreased (P < 0.05) in all groups equally. In conclusion, the efficacy of daily versus every-other-day injections of eST depends upon the response to be measured, and for IGF-I concentrations, the every-other-day regimen was not acceptable. Injection frequencies greater than once daily were more efficacious for IGF-I and insulin concentrations, but not for PUN concentrations. Thus, the optimum injection regimen for any new application for eST cannot simply be inferred from other biological responses, and will need to be determined empirically. © 2002 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.

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Domestic Animal Endocrinology

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