Late gestational nutrition of the mare and potential effects on endocrine profiles and adrenal function of the offspring Academic Article uri icon


  • 2012 American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists. The health of a mother and offspring may be dictated by nutritional status, which in turn can influence reproductive capability in multiple species. To evaluate endocrine status and effect of maternal nutrition on the mare and her offspring, 28 pregnant mares were divided into 2 groups and fed either 100 or 120% NRC requirements for late gestation. Hormonal concentrations of IGF-1 and leptin were evaluated in each mare and IGF-1, leptin, and cortisol were evaluated in the neonate. Results indicated that plasma concentrations of leptin were greater for mares fed 120% as compared with mares fed 100% NRC requirements (4.13 0.30 vs. 1.92 0.27, respectively; P < 0.0001), but IGF-1 concentrations were not different. Leptin concentrations of foals from mothers fed 100% NRC requirements were greater as compared with foals from mothers fed 120% (1.36 0.12 vs. 0.80 0.12, respectively; P = 0.005). Plasma concentrations of IGF-1 and cortisol from the foals were not different for the 2 groups. An ACTH challenge was administered to offspring at approximately 1 yr of age (n = 9). Results revealed no significant difference in the strength or duration of the cortisol response in yearlings regardless of maternal influence. It can be concluded that even slight alterations in maternal plane of nutrition can have some control in the regulation and secretion of certain hormones in both the mother and neonate but do not seem to affect adrenal function of the offspring as a yearling.

published proceedings

  • The Professional Animal Scientist

author list (cited authors)

  • Cavinder, C. A., Burns, S. A., Coverdale, J. A., Hammer, C. J., Holub, G., & Hinrichs, K.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Cavinder, CA||Burns, SA||Coverdale, JA||Hammer, CJ||Holub, G||Hinrichs, K

publication date

  • June 2012