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Reproductive activity in sheep is seasonal, being activated by short-day photoperiods and inhibited by long days. During the nonbreeding season, GnRH secretion is reduced by both steroid-independent and steroid-dependent (increased response to estradiol negative feedback) effects of photoperiod. Kisspeptin (also known as metastin) and(More)
Leptin can act as a satiety factor and exert neuroendocrine effects, but most studies have been performed in fasted animals. We aimed to determine the effect of chronic under-nutrition on the response to a 3-day intracerebroventricular infusion of leptin with regard to food intake and the secretion of pituitary hormones. Ovariectomised ewes (n=6) had a mean(More)
Two experiments were conducted to test the hypothesis that cortisol interferes with the positive feedback action of estradiol that induces the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge. Ovariectomized sheep were treated sequentially with progesterone and estradiol to create artificial estrous cycles. Cortisol or vehicle (saline) was infused from 2 h before the(More)
Recently, much attention has focused on the role of the melanocortin system in the regulation of energy homeostasis, especially the satiety effects of the pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC)-derived peptide alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH). We have found that POMC mRNA levels are similar in fat and thin sheep and the current study sought to further(More)
We have used in situ hybridization to compare the distributions of estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) and ERbeta messenger RNA (mRNA)-containing cells in the preoptic area and hypothalamus of ewes and rams. Perfusion-fixed brain tissue was collected from luteal phase ewes and intact rams (n = 4) during the breeding season. Matched pairs of sections were(More)
We have developed a ruminant model to study long-term alterations in adiposity on the expression of appetite-regulating peptides in the hypothalamus. In this model endocrine and metabolic status are fully defined as well as body composition. The current study sought to define the effects of altered adiposity on the expression of genes for neuropeptide Y(More)
Studies in rats suggest that neuropeptide Y (NPY) plays a stimulatory role in the generation of the preovulatory luteinizing hormone (LH) surge, via the Y1 receptor. We have investigated this issue using the oestradiol benzoate (EB)-treated ovariectomized (OVX) ewe which is a model for the preovulatory LH surge. A Y1 receptor antagonist (BIBO3304) was(More)
Despite extensive research, the mechanisms by which stress affects reproduction are unknown. Activation of stress systems could potentially influence reproduction at any level of the hypothalamo-pituitary gonadal axis. Nonetheless, the predominant impact is on the secretion of gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) from the brain and the secretion of the(More)
Neuroendocrine responses to stress vary between sexes and reproductive states and are influenced by the type of stressor. Stress responses are attenuated in some physiological states, such as lactation and conditions of low visceral adipose tissue. Moreover, some individuals within a species characteristically display reduced stress responses. The(More)
The neonatal nutritional environment is critical for programming the systems regulating body weight, and an inappropriate nutritional environment in early life can lead to overweight or obesity later on. In this study we demonstrate that changes to the neonatal nutritional environment, induced by changing the litter size in which the animal is raised, can(More)