Effect of growth hormone administration to mature miniature Brahman cattle treated with or without insulin on circulating concentrations of insulin-like growth factor-I and other metabolic hormones and metabolites Academic Article uri icon


  • Previously, we determined that a primary cause of proportional stunted growth in a line of Brahman cattle was related to an apparent refractoriness in metabolic response to GH in young animals. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of administration of GH, insulin (INS), and GH plus INS to mature miniature Brahman cows (n = 6; 9.7 ± 2.06 y; 391 ± 48.6 kg) and bulls (n = 8; 9.4 ± 2.00 y; 441 ± 54.0 kg) on circulating concentrations of metabolic hormones and metabolites, primarily IGF-I and IGF-I binding proteins. We hypothesized that IGF-I secretion could be enhanced by concomitant administration of exogenous GH and INS, and neither alone would be effective. Animals were allotted to a modified crossover design that included four treatments: control (CON), GH, INS, and GH + INS. At the start of the study, one-half of the cattle were administered GH (Posilac; 14-d slow release) and the other one-half served as CON for 7 d. Beginning on day 8, and for 7 d, INS (Novolin L) was administered (0.125 IU/kg BW) twice daily (7:00 AM and 7:00 PM) to all animals; hence, the INS and GH + INS treatments. Cattle were rested for 14 d and then were switched to the reciprocal crossover treatments. Blood samples were collected at 12-hour intervals during the study. Compared with CON, GH treatment increased (P < 0.01) mean plasma concentrations of GH (11.1 vs 15.7 ± 0.94 ng/mL), INS (0.48 vs 1.00 ± 0.081 ng/mL), IGF-I (191.3 vs 319.3 ± 29.59 ng/mL), and glucose (73.9 vs 83.4 ± 2.12 mg/dL) but decreased (P < 0.05) plasma urea nitrogen (14.2 vs 11.5 ± 0.75 mg/dL). Compared with INS, GH + INS treatment increased (P < 0.05) mean plasma concentration of INS (0.71 vs 0.96 ± 0.081 ng/mL), IGF-I (228.7 vs 392.3 ± 29.74 ng/mL), and glucose (48.1 vs 66.7 ± 2.12 mg/dL), decreased (P < 0.01) plasma urea nitrogen (13.6 vs 10.4 ± 0.76 mg/dL), and did not affect GH (13.5 vs 12.7 ± 0.95 ng/mL). In the miniature Brahman model, both the GH and GH + INS treatments dramatically increased circulating concentrations of IGF-I in mature cattle, suggesting that this line of Brahman cattle is capable of responding to bioactive GH.

author list (cited authors)

  • Chase, C. C., Elsasser, T. H., Spicer, L. J., Riley, D. G., Lucy, M. C., Hammond, A. C., Olson, T. A., & Coleman, S. W.

complete list of authors

  • Chase, CC||Elsasser, TH||Spicer, LJ||Riley, DG||Lucy, MC||Hammond, AC||Olson, TA||Coleman, SW

publication date

  • January 1, 2011 11:11 AM