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Domest Anim Endocrinol. 2012 Jul;43(1):67-73. doi: 10.1016/j.domaniend.2012.02.004. Epub 2012 Mar 20.

The effect of combination treatment with trenbolone acetate and estradiol-17β on skeletal muscle expression and plasma concentrations of oxytocin in sheep.

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Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Livestock Industries, Queensland Bioscience Precinct, St Lucia QLD 4067, Australia.


Implantation of trenbolone acetate (TBA) in conjunction with estradiol-17β (E(2)) increases growth, feed conversion efficiency, and carcass leanness in cattle. Our previous study in Brahman steers suggested that the neuropeptide hormone oxytocin (OXT) may be involved in increasing muscle growth after TBA-E(2) treatment. The present study aimed to determine whether OXT mRNA expression in the longissimus muscle (LM) is also up-regulated in TBA-E(2-)implanted wethers as has been found in steers. Real-time quantitative PCR was used to measure the expression of the gene encoding the OXT precursor, three genes with increased expression in the LM muscle of TBA-E(2)-treated steers, MYOD1 (muscle transcription factor), GREB1 (growth regulation by estrogen in breast cancer 1), and WISP2 (Wnt-1 inducible signaling pathway protein 2), and two genes encoding IGF pathway proteins, IGF1, IGFR, in the LM of both untreated and TBA-E(2)-treated wethers. The expression of OXT mRNA in wethers that received the TBA-E(2) treatment was increased ~4.4-fold (P = 0.01). TBA-E(2) treatment also induced a 2.3-fold increase in circulating OXT (P = 0.001). These data, together with the observation that untreated wethers had much higher baseline concentrations of circulating OXT than previously observed in steers, suggest that wethers and steers have quite different OXT hormone systems. TBA-E(2) treatment had no effect on the expression of IGF1, IGFR, and the muscle regulatory gene MYOD1 mRNA levels in wethers (P ≥ 0.15), but there was an increase in the expression of the two growth-related genes, GREB1 (P = 0.001) and WISP2 (P = 0.04). Both genes are common gene targets for both the estrogen and androgen signaling pathways. Consequently, their actions may contribute to the positive interaction between TBA and E(2) on additive improvements on muscle growth.

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