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Effect of food intake on energy and protein metabolism in the skin of Romney sheep


, : Effect of food intake on energy and protein metabolism in the skin of Romney sheep. British Journal of Nutrition 71(5): 647-660

Sheep fed on either a low (500 g lucerne (Medicago sativa) chaff/d; L) or high (1100 g lucerne chaff/d; H) intake had measurements made, using arterio-venous techniques, of blood flow and energy metabolite and cysteine utilization in the skin. Sheep on the H intake had significantly increased skin blood flow (P = 0.014) and oxygen uptake (P = 0.05). Although the H sheep had higher skin blood flow they showed no difference in skin uptake of either glucose or acetate compared with the L sheep, but the H sheep had a significantly lower output of lactate (P = 0.014). Animals in each group had either (14C)glucose or (14C)acetate infused into the skin which showed that acetate was the predominant precursor of skin sterol and fatty acid synthesis in the H sheep while L sheep skin used both glucose and acetate. The H sheep showed an increase in the net uptake of cysteine by the skin (P = 0.053), and in the uptake of cysteine for protein synthesis (P = 0.078), relative to the L sheep and this increase was of a comparable magnitude to the increase in blood flow to the skin. Although blood flow, protein synthesis and energy supply increased in the skin of the H sheep by 200-300%, wool production would only have increased by 10-20%, suggesting that nutrient flux changes are not the sole level of regulation of wool production.

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Accession: 002355955

PMID: 8054321

DOI: 10.1079/bjn19940173

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