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427 Alterations of somatotropic function in prion disease in sheep

By C Viguié, Y Chilliard, V Gayrard, N Picard-hagen, P Monget, A Dutour and P-l Toutain


This study aimed at investigating the possible linkage between natural scrapie and alterations of the somatotropic axis. Scrapie-affected ewes exhibited 2-fold higher mean GH concentrations during both autumn and spring. GH pulse frequencies were higher in scrapie-affected ewes than in control animals (mean�S.E.M. number of pulses/ 24 h: 10·4�0·9 and 7·6�0·9 for scrapie-affected and control ewes respectively) suggesting the involvement of central mechanisms. GH secretion induced by administration of an α 2-adrenergic agonist, which acts centrally to stimulate GH secretion, was similar between healthy and scrapie-affected ewes (ratios of the area under the curve (AUC) of GH concentration after to the GH AUC before the agonist administration were 3·6�1·6 and 4·9�1·0 for scrapie-affected and control ewes respectively). Finally, humoral markers and parameters of the metabolic status were determined to test the hypothesis that scrapieassociated alterations of GH secretion could be related to disruption of metabolic homeostasis. Glucose, insulin and urea plasma concentrations were higher in scrapie-affected than in healthy ewes. Neither leptin nor IGF-I levels were affected by scrapie. Total thyroxine (T4) was decreased in scrapie-affected ewes but free T4 and total and free tri-iodothyronine were not modified. In conclusion, our results showed the existence in scrapie-affected ewes of endocrine and metabolic alterations typical of acute illness proceeding, at least in part, from central mechanisms. Journal of Endocrinology (2004) 183, 427–43

Year: 2013
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