Effects of genetic selection for milk yield on somatotropin, insulin-like growth factor-I, and placental lactogen in Holstein cows

Wanda J Weber, C. R. Wallaces, Leslie B Hansen, Hugh Chester-Jones, Brian A Crooker

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32 Scopus citations


Cows from static, low-merit control (CL) and contemporary, high-merit select (SL) lines that differed in milk yield by more than 4,000 kg/305-d lactation (SL > CL) were used to determine effects of selection for milk yield on blood serum concentrations of somatotropin (ST), insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I), and placental lactogen (PL). Cows were exposed to the same environment and management conditions and fed the same diets. Serum and milk samples were collected from primiparous (18 CL, 18 SL) and multiparous (12 CL, 18 SL) cows relative to day of lactation (from -28 to 280 d for nonpregnant cows and to subsequent calving for cows that conceived). Data were analyzed as repeated measures using mixed model procedures. Serum ST increased at calving, remained elevated for a longer interval in SL than in CL cows, and was greater in SL than in CL cows. Serum IGF-I decreased at calving, remained low through 14 DIM, and gradually returned to precalving concentrations as lactation progressed. Postpartum concentrations of IGF-I were less in SL than CL through 84 DIM and were similar through the remainder of lactation, resulting in a line by day interaction. Serum IGF-I and PL were not affected by merit during gestation. There was an interaction of merit and postconception interval on IGF-I, with the difference in IGF-I concentration between lines decreasing as gestation progressed. Change in serum IGF-I and PL appeared to be synchronous. Results indicate that selection for milk yield increased serum ST, prolonged the postpartum reduction in serum IGF-I, and did not alter serum PL. Results also indicate a positive relationship between PL and IGF-I and support the concept that PL plays a role in the regulation of serum IGF-I during gestation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3314-3325
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Insulin-like growth factor-I
  • Milk yield
  • Placental lactogen
  • Somatotropin


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