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Anim Sci J. 2014 Jan;85(1):53-7. doi: 10.1111/asj.12082. Epub 2013 Aug 22.

Individual difference in serum oxytocin concentrations of calves and the correlation with those in dams.

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Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan.


We examined individual differences in serum oxytocin concentrations (OT) of calves, and assessed whether these differences were correlated with their dams' milk and serum OT. Eight Holstein (H), nine Japanese Shorthorn (JS), and six Japanese Black (JB) calves were examined. Blood was collected three times during the first month in H calves, while their dams' blood was collected three times prior to parturition. Milk was collected twice after parturition from H cows. Blood from JS and JB calves were collected at 1 and 4 months old, while of their dams only once before parturition. Serum OT in H calves at 7 days old was significantly correlated with that at 30 days. Serum OT of JS calves at 1 month old was significantly correlated to that at 4 months, while of JB calves was also positively correlated (r = 0.70). Serum OT of calves showed significant individual differences in each breed. Serum OT of calves was not correlated with the milk OT of dams, except for 3-day-old calves that fed on their dams' milk. We concluded that although serum OT differed among individuals, this difference was stable within each individual and not affected by the serum OT of the dams.


breed difference; cattle; individual difference; oxytocin

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