Alan J. Tilbrook

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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)
The means by which stress influences reproduction is not clearly understood, but may involve a number of endocrine, paracrine and neural systems. Stress impacts on the reproductive axis at the hypothalamus (to affect GnRH secretion) and the pituitary gland (to affect gonadotrophin secretion), with direct effects on the gonads being of less importance.(More)
We identified a gene in the ovine hypothalamus encoding for RFamide-related peptide-3 (RFRP-3), and tested the hypothesis that this system produces a hypophysiotropic hormone that inhibits the function of pituitary gonadotropes. The RFRP-3 gene encodes for a peptide that appears identical to human RFRP-3 homolog. Using an antiserum raised against RFRP-3,(More)
We have studied the effect of leptin on food intake and neuroendocrine function in ovariectomized ewes. Groups (n = 5) received intracerebroventricular infusions of either vehicle or leptin (20 microg/h) for 3 days and were blood sampled over 6 h on days -1, 2, and for 3 h on day 3 relative to the onset of the infusion. The animals were then killed to(More)
GnRH provides the primary stimulus for the reproductive axis, but original work also revealed the existence of a gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH) in birds. In mammals, GnIH properties are displayed by a hypothalamic dodecapeptide, which is a member of the RF-amide family, namely RF-amide-related peptide (RFRP)-3. This peptide inhibits GnRH-stimulated(More)
Our laboratory has developed a paradigm of psychosocial stress (sequential layering of isolation, blindfold, and predator cues) that robustly elevates cortisol secretion and decreases LH pulse amplitude in ovariectomized ewes. This decrease in LH pulse amplitude is due, at least in part, to a reduction in pituitary responsiveness to GnRH, caused by cortisol(More)
We investigated the effect of the presence and absence of lambs and suckling by lambs to attenuate activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to isolation and restraint stress in lactating sheep. In experiment 1, blood samples were collected every 10 min from nonlactating (n = 5) and lactating (n = 5) ewes for 4 h before and during stress.(More)
In this study we used an isolation/restraint stress to test the hypothesis that stress will affect the secretion of LH differently in gonadectomised rams and ewes treated with different combinations of sex steroids. Romney Marsh sheep were gonadectomised two weeks prior to these experiments. In the first experiment male and female sheep were treated with(More)
Ghrelin is a growth hormone-releasing peptide secreted by the stomach with potent effects on appetite. Experimental and clinical studies indicate that ghrelin also influences cardiovascular regulation and metabolic function and mediates behavioral responses to stress. We investigated the effects of ghrelin on blood pressure (BP), sympathetic nervous system(More)
There is a sex difference in the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis of many species, although there are sparse data on the sheep. In the present study we have compared the HPA axes of intact and gonadectomised adult male and female sheep at the level of the median eminence, pituitary and adrenal glands using a variety of in vitro approaches. The(More)