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Anim Sci J. 2010 Dec;81(6):722-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-0929.2010.00786.x. Epub 2010 Sep 3.

Preliminary study on metabolic profile of pregnant and non-pregnant ewes with high or low degree of behavioral lateralization.

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Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche Veterinarie, Università di Padova, Legnaro, Italy.


To evaluate the metabolic profile of pregnant and non-pregnant ewes with high or low degree of behavioral lateralization, we used 57 clinically healthy Sardinian ewes. They were divided into three groups: Group A (nonpregnant ewes), Group B (pregnant ewes with one fetus) and Group C (pregnant ewes with twin fetuses). Using behavioral tests, in all groups lateralization was established and ewes were distinguished into ewes with high and low level of lateralization. Every 30 days for 4 months (at 35, 76, 103 and 145 days of gestation), blood samples were collected and total cholesterol, triglycerides, nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA), glucose, insulin, creatinine, urea, uric acid, total protein, total bilirubin, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), γ-glutamine transferase (γ-GT), β-hydroxybutyrate (β-OHB), chloride (Cl), potassium (K), sodium (Na) and calcium (Ca) were assessed. The repeated measures multifactor analysis of variance (MANOVA) showed statistical differences of time, pregnancy and degree of lateralization on some studied parameters. These results confirm that pregnancy represents a very important metabolic moment and show the effect of the degree of behavioral lateralization on the assessment of metabolic parameters in non-pregnant and pregnant ewes. Further studies are necessary to value the influence of these factors on other parameters such as hematological parameters and hormones.

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