A comparison between the equine and bovine hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenocortical axis

van der Kolk, Johannes Hermanus; Fouché, Nathalie Elisa; Gross, Josef Johann; Gerber, Vinzenz; Bruckmaier, Rupert (2016). A comparison between the equine and bovine hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenocortical axis. Domestic animal endocrinology, 56 Suppl, S101-S111. Elsevier 10.1016/j.domaniend.2016.02.008

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In this review, we address the function of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis with special emphasis on the comparison between the bovine and equine species. The pars intermedia of the pituitary gland is particularly well developed in horses and cattle. However, its function is not well appreciated in cattle yet. The Wulzen's cone of the adenohypophysis is a special feature of ruminants. Total basal cortisol concentration is much higher in horses than that in cows with similar free cortisol fractions. Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) concentrations in equine pituitary venous blood are lower compared with other species, whereas plasma ACTH concentrations in cows are higher than those in horses. A CRF challenge test induced a more pronounced cortisol response in horses compared with cattle, whereas regarding ACTH challenge testing, the opposite seems true. Based on data from literature, the bovine species is characterized by relatively high basal blood CRF and ACTH and low cortisol and glucose concentrations. Obviously, further lowering of blood cortisol in cattle is easily prevented by the high sensitivity to ACTH, and as a consequence, subsequent increased gluconeogenesis prevents imminent hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is less likely in horses given their high muscle glycogen content and their relatively high cortisol concentration. When assessing HPA axis reactivity, response patterns to exogenous ACTH or CRH might be used as a reliable indicator of animal welfare status in cows and horses, respectively, although it is emphasized that considerable caution should be exercised in using measures of HPA activity solely to assess animal welfare.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Equine Clinic
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Physiology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

UniBE Contributor:

van der Kolk, Johannes Hermanus; Fouché, Nathalie Elisa; Gross, Josef Johann; Gerber, Vinzenz and Bruckmaier, Rupert

Subjects:

600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

0739-7240

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Andrea Gassmann-Suter

Date Deposited:

06 Jul 2017 15:33

Last Modified:

15 Sep 2017 17:01

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.domaniend.2016.02.008

PubMed ID:

27345307

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.94021

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/94021

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