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Nocturnal variation of prolactin secretion in the Mouflon (Ovis gmelini musimon) and domestic sheep (Ovis aries): seasonal changes

Nocturnal variation of prolactin secretion in the Mouflon (Ovis gmelini musimon) and domestic sheep (Ovis aries): seasonal changes

Animal Reproduction Science 64(3-4): 211-219

ISSN/ISBN: 0378-4320

PMID: 11121897

DOI: 10.1016/s0378-4320(00)00213-x

Seasonal changes in nocturnal prolactin secretion and their relationship with melatonin secretion were monitored in wild (Mouflon, Ovis gmelini musimon) and domesticated sheep (breed Manchega, Ovis aries). Two groups of eleven adult females each, were maintained outdoors under natural photoperiod. Plasma concentrations of prolactin and melatonin were determined during the summer and winter solstices and the autumn and spring equinoxes. Blood samples were collected every 3h during the night hours, and 1h before and after the onset of darkness and sunrise. Maximum mean plasma concentrations of prolactin during the dark-phase in Mouflons were observed in the summer solstice, (P<0.001) and in the summer solstice and spring equinox in Manchega ewes (P<0.001). Mean plasma concentrations of prolactin were higher in the wild species (P<0.001) during the summer solstice. In contrast, during the spring equinox, mean levels of prolactin were higher in Manchega ewes than in Mouflons (P<0.05). Plasma prolactin concentrations showed a nocturnal rhythm in both breeds, with seasonal variations (P<0.001). The increase in plasma melatonin levels during the first hour after sunset was accompanied to increasing concentrations of PRL 1h after the onset of darkness, only in the autumn and spring equinox for the Mouflon, and in the summer solstice and spring equinox for the Manchega ewes. In Mouflons, the fall of plasma PRL concentrations about the middle dark-phase in all the periods studied, coincided with high levels of melatonin. A similar relation was observed in Manchega ewes only in the winter solstice and spring equinox. The current study shows that the nocturnal rhythm of prolactin secretion exhibits seasonal variation; differences in the patterns of prolactin secretion between Mouflon and Manchega sheep are taken to represent the effects of genotype.

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Accession: 003510101

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