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J Anim Sci. 2005 Oct;83(10):2365-71.

Diurnal variation of ghrelin, leptin, and adiponectin in Standardbred mares.

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Equine Science Center, Department of Animal Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, 08901, USA.


Twelve Standardbred mares underwent blood sampling for 24 h to test the hypothesis that there is diurnal variation of humoral mediators of peripheral energy balance including active ghrelin, adiponectin, leptin, glucose, insulin, and cortisol. The experiment was conducted under acclimated conditions. Grass hay and pelleted grain were provided at 0730 and 1530. Plasma concentrations of active ghrelin and leptin concentrations both peaked (47.3 +/- 6.5 pg/ mL and 5.9 +/- 1.1 ng/mL, respectively; P < 0.05) at 1550, 20 min after feeding. Active ghrelin decreased (P < 0.05) to 28.9 +/- 4.5 pg/mL overnight. The nadir of leptin (4.6 +/- 0.9 ng/mL) occurred at 0650. Neither hormone showed variation (P > 0.05) after the morning feeding. Plasma glucose and insulin concentrations increased (P < 0.05) in response to feeding; however, the morning responses (glucose = 96.9 +/- 2.6 mg/dL; insulin = 40.6 +/- 7.3 uIU/mL) were greater (P < 0.05) than the afternoon responses (glucose = 89.9 +/- 1.8 mg/dL; insulin = 23.2 +/- 4.3 uIU/mL at 180 and 60 min after feeding, respectively). Cortisol concentrations increased (P < 0.05) during the morning hours, but did not respond to feeding, whereas adiponectin concentrations remained stable throughout the study. Hence, active ghrelin and leptin may be entrained to meal feeding in horses, whereas adiponectin seems unaffected. We concluded that there seems to be a diurnal variation in glucose and insulin response to a meal in horses. Furthermore, elevated glucose and insulin concentrations resulting from the morning feeding may be responsible for the increase in leptin concentration in the afternoon.

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