Two experiments were conducted to determine the effects of immunoneutralization of growth hormone-releasing factor [GRF(1–29)-NH2] on concentrations of somatotropin (ST) and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) in lactating beef cows. In Experiment 1, multiparous Hereford cows were immunized against 2 mg GRF(1–29)-(Gly)4-Cys-NH2 conjugated to human serum albumin (GRFi, n=3) or 2 mg human serum albumin (HSAi, n=3) at 52 ± 1 d prior to parturition. Boosters (1 mg) were administered on days 12, 40 and 114 postpartum (pp). Serum samples were collected at 15-min intervals for 5 hr on days 18, 46 and 120 pp, followed by administration (IV) of an opioid agonist (FK33-824; 10 μg/kg) and an antagonist (naloxone; .5 mg/kg) at hours 5 and 7, respectively. A GRF-analog ([desamino-Tyr1, D-Ala2, Ala15] GRF (1–29)-NH2; 3.5 μg/kg) and arginine (.5 g/kg) were administered at hour 10 on days 47 and 121, respectively. Percentage binding of [125I]GRF (1:100 dilution of serum) 28 d after primary immunization was greater in GRFi (14.3 ± 4.9) than in HSAi (.7 ± .3) cows. Binding increased to 29.3 ± 6.5% after first booster in GRFi cows. Episodic release of ST was abolished by immunization against GRF; concentration and frequency of release of ST were lower (P125I]GRF, absence of pulsatile release of ST, low concentrations of ST and IGF-I and failure of ST to increase after IV opioid agonist or arginine.



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