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Alterations of somatotropic function in prion disease in sheep

Abstract : This study aimed at investigating the possible linkage between natural scrapie and alterations of the somatotropic axis. Scrapie-affected ewes exhibited 2-fold higher mean GH concentrations during both autumn and spring. GH pulse frequencies were higher in scrapie-affected ewes than in control animals (mean +/- S.E.M. number of pulses/ 24 h: 10.4 +/- 0.9 and 7.6 +/- 0.9 for scrapie-affected and control ewes respectively) suggesting the involvement of central mechanisms. GH secretion induced by administration of an alpha(2)-adrenergic agonist, which acts centrally to stimulate GH secretion, was similar between healthy and scrapie-affected ewes (ratios of the area under the curve (AUC) of GH concentration after to the GH AUC before the agonist administration were 3.6 +/- 1.6 and 4.9 +/- 1.0 for scrapie-affected and control ewes respectively). Finally, humoral markets and parameters of the metabolic status were determined to test the hypothesis that scrapie-associated alterations of GH secretion could be related to disruption of metabolic homeostasis. Glucose, insulin and urea plasma concentrations were higher in scrapie-affected than in healthy ewes. Neither leptin nor IGF-I levels were affected by scrapie. Total thyroxine (T4) was decreased in scrapie-affected ewes but free T4 and total and free tri-iodothyronine were not modified. In conclusion, our results showed the existence in scrapie-affected ewes of endocrine and metabolic alterations typical of acute illness proceeding, at least in part, front central mechanisms.
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Catherine Viguié, Yves Chilliard, Véronique Gayrard-Troy, Nicole Picard-Hagen, Philippe Monget, et al.. Alterations of somatotropic function in prion disease in sheep. Journal of Endocrinology, BioScientifica, 2004, 183 (2), pp.427-435. ⟨10.1677/joe.1.05683⟩. ⟨hal-02678945⟩



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