Concentrations of hormones, glucose, triglycerides and free fatty acids in the plasma of broiler chickens selected for weight gain or food conversion.
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1. The concentrations of growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), reverse-triiodothyronine (rT3), triglycerides (Tri), free fatty acids (FFA) and glucose (Glu) were determined at 2, 4 and 6 weeks of age in blood plasma of male and female chickens of broiler lines selected for body weight (GL) or food conversion (FC). 2. Plasma concentrations measured in the same animal over a 24 h or a 2 week interval were not significantly correlated with each other. For different traits measured in the same plasma sample only the correlation between T4 and rT3 differed significantly from zero. 3. All traits were dependent on age. Line and sex effects were significant (P less than 0.05) for GH, T4, Tri, FFA and Glu. Additionally, line significantly influenced the plasma T3/T4 ratio and sex influenced plasma rT3. Interactions between line, sex and/or age were seldom significant. 4. Within line and sex, GH (at 6 weeks of age) and T3 (at 4 weeks of age) were negatively, and IGF-I and Tri (both at 6 weeks of age) positively correlated with the amount of abdominal fat at 6 weeks of age. No significant correlation between body weight at 2, 4 or 6 weeks of age and any of the plasma traits was found.