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Domest Anim Endocrinol. 1998 Sep;15(5):423-9.

Endocrine modulation of physiological responses to catabolic disease.

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Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, AL 36849-5518, USA.


Disease or endotoxemia alters the plasma concentrations of anabolic hormones, particularly growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth-factor I (IGF-I). In general, these hormones are inhibited during the catabolic disease state. A hypothesis has evolved that anabolic hormones might be useful in patients' recovery under these and other catabolic circumstances. The treatment of cattle with GH has provided significant improvement in the physiological response of the animals to the subsequent injection of bacterial lypopolysaccharide (LPS), perhaps via inhibition of tumor necrisis factor (TNF) release. However, this improved response to disease was not observed with animals treated with GH and infected with one of two parasitic organisms, Sarcocystis cruzi or Eimeria bovis. Recent attempts with other anabolic hormones, estradiol and progesterone, have proven remarkably effective in improving the adaptive physiological responses of calves to either E. bovis infection or to the injection of LPS. All animals displayed signs of infection, but the intensity and duration of symptoms were reduced. Although a mechanism is not yet known, there were no effects on TNF; cortisol; the percentages of lymphocytes expressing CD2, 4, or 8 antigens; or the production of antibodies.

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