Effect of photoperiod on hepatic growth hormone receptor 1A expression in steer calves 1

P. E. Kendall, T. L. Auchtung, K. S. Swanson, R. P. Radcliff, M. C. Lucy, J. K. Drackley, G. E. Dahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Photoperiod manipulation, specifically a long-day photoperiod (LDPP), increases milk production in lactating cattle. We have previously reported that the galactopoietic effect of LDPP is associated with an increase in circulating IGF-I, which seems to occur independently of changes in concentrations of GH, IGFBP-2, and IGFBP-3. This study tested the hypothesis that LDPP increases the expression of GH receptor (GHR) 1A messenger RNA (mRNA) in the liver. Two groups of Holstein steer calves (98 ± 4 d old) were maintained indoors and exposed to LDPP (16-h light:8-h dark; n = 6) or short-day photoperiod (SDPP; 8-h light:16-h dark; n = 6) for 60 d. Calves were individually fed a grain- and alfalfa-based diet. Jugular blood samples were collected weekly and via cannula at 15-min intervals for a 4-h period on d 1, 26, and 55 of the study to monitor pulsatile hormone secretion. Serum was harvested and assayed for IGF-I, prolactin (PRL), and GH using RIA. Liver biopsies were obtained at 3-wk intervals to quantify changes in hepatic IGF-I and GHR 1A mRNA using real-time PCR. Steer BW increased during the study but did not differ between treatments. No differences in ADG or total DMI were observed. Relative to SDPP, calves on LDPP had higher (P < 0.05) serum IGF-I concentrations. Concentrations of PRL increased (P < 0.01) in calves exposed to LDPP compared with calves exposed to SDPP. Differences (P < 0.05) in pulsatile GH secretion were also detected. Hepatic IGF-I and GHR 1A mRNA were positively correlated with circulating IGF-I concentrations, and although both increased with time, they were not affected by photoperiod treatment. These results confirm that LDPP increases circulating concentrations of IGF-I, but this occurs independently of changes in IGF-I synthesis and GHR 1A mRNA expression in the liver. Therefore, our hypothesis that LDPP increases the expression of GHR 1A mRNA in the bovine liver is rejected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1440-1446
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2003


  • Cattle
  • Insulin-like growth factor
  • Photoperiod
  • Receptors
  • Somatotropin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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