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Steroids. 2004 Feb;69(2):121-7.

The increase in plasma C19Delta5 steroids in subcutaneous abdominal and jugular veins of dairy cattle during pregnancy is unrelated to estrogenic activity.

Author information

1
Facoltà di Medicina Veterinaria, Università di Padova, Dipartimento di Scienze Sperimentali Veterinarie viale dell'Università, 16-Agripolis, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy. gianfranco.gabai@unipd.it

Abstract

Plasma concentrations of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), 5-androstene-3beta,17beta-diol (AED), and 17beta-estradiol (E2) in dairy cows and heifers and AED binding to uterine cytosolic estrogen receptor (ER) were studied. Plasma samples were collected from the subcutaneous abdominal (SA) and jugular (J) veins of heifers and cows in the non-pregnant state and at 15-45, 90-120, 180-210, and 250-280 days of pregnancy (N = 5-12). Plasma DHEA, AED, and E2 were determined by RIA. DHEA and AED significantly increased (P < 0.001) in heifers and cows throughout pregnancy. The stage of pregnancy significantly (P < 0.001) affected the three steroids in heifers and cows. Plasma DHEA increased throughout pregnancy in both heifers and cows, and in heifers it was significantly greater in SA than in J veins at 90-120 days (P < 0.01). Plasma AED was greater in heifers than in cows in J veins at 90-120 days (P < 0.01) and 180-210 days (P < 0.05), and in SA veins, at 15-45 days (P < 0.01) and 90-120 days (P < 0.05). In heifers, circulating AED showed concentration values significantly greater than those in non-pregnant animals from 90 to 120 days (P < 0.05) and was significantly greater in SA than in J veins at 90-120 days (P < 0.05). In cows, plasma AED was significantly greater than in non-pregnant animals at 250-280 days (P < 0.01). In heifers, plasma E2 was significantly greater in the SA than in the J veins from 180-210 to 250-280 days (P < 0.01). In cows, differences between E2 plasma concentrations in J and SA veins were observed only at 250-280 days of pregnancy. At 250-280 days, in both animal types plasma E2 was significantly greater than in non-pregnant animals (P < 0.001). We suggest that AED originates primarily from the feto-placental unit, while mammary E2 synthesis near term can affect plasma concentrations. Binding data showed that AED is a weak competitor for cytosolic ER (IC50 range: 1.44 x 10(-5) to 3.71 x 10(-5) M). These results suggest that a direct estrogenic activity for AED is unlikely in dairy cattle, and the physiological role of AED needs to be elucidated.

PMID:
15013690
DOI:
10.1016/j.steroids.2003.12.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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