Summary. Angus and Angus crossbred heifers were ovariectomized, treated with oestradiol implants and randomly assigned to (1) the natural photoperiod of fall to spring for 43°N latitude or (2) extra light simulating the photoperiod of spring to fall. Weekly blood samples were taken for 6 months (fall to spring equinox). All heifers were cannulated every 4 weeks and blood samples were taken for 4 h at 15-min intervals. Sera were assayed for LH, FSH, prolactin and oestradiol. In samples taken weekly, serum LH and FSH concentrations were higher while serum prolactin was lower in heifers exposed to natural photoperiod. There was a photoperiod × time interaction for both FSH and prolactin with concentrations diverging as photoperiod diverged. Circulating concentrations of oestradiol were not different between groups. In samples taken every 4 weeks at 15-min intervals, baseline concentrations of LH and FSH and LH pulse amplitude were higher while prolactin pulse frequency was lower in heifers exposed to natural photoperiod. There was a photoperiod × time interaction for each of these pulsatile characteristics. The correlation between LH and prolactin concentrations estimated from the 15-min samples differed between the two photoperiod treatment groups. The pooled correlation coefficient (r) was −0·12 under natural photoperiod and +0·50 under extra light. There was also a photoperiod × time interaction with negative correlations occurring when photoperiod was decreasing and positive correlations occurring when photoperiod was increasing. These results support the hypothesis that photoperiod alters serum concentrations of LH, FSH and prolactin in cattle.
J. K. Critser, M. J. Lindstrom, M. M. Hinshelwood and E. R Hauser
J. K. Critser, T. M. Block, S. Folkman and E. R. Hauser
Summary. Angus and Angus crossbred prepubertal heifers were ovariectomized and randomly assigned to either increasing light simulating the photoperiod of the vernal equinox to the summer solstice (I) or decreasing light simulating the photoperiod of the autumnal equinox to the winter solstice (D) for 43°N latitude. Three blood samples were taken each week for 14 weeks, the first at 11:00 h and two others 2 days later, 1 h before lights on (dark), 1 h before lights off (light). At the end of 14 weeks 4 heifers from each treatment group were cannulated and samples were taken for 12 h at 15-min intervals, 6 h in the light and 6 h in the dark. All sera were assayed for LH, FSH and prolactin. In addition, the samples taken at 15-min intervals were assayed for melatonin. In samples taken weekly at 11:00 h circulating concentrations of LH and prolactin were higher among animals in Group I, while FSH concentrations were not different between Groups D and I. In samples collected weekly in the light or the dark, LH and prolactin concentrations were higher in Group I animals. However, prolactin concentrations were higher and LH concentrations tended to be higher in samples taken in the dark. FSH concentrations were not different between either D or I or dark and light. In samples taken at 15-min intervals the prolactin baseline was higher and pulse amplitude tended to be higher for Group I animals. Neither LH nor FSH pulse characteristics differed between I and D; however, LH baseline and LH pulse amplitude were higher in the dark. Melatonin pulse amplitude was higher among animals in Group D and higher in serum collected in the dark. These results suggest that photoperiod alters circulating concentrations of LH and prolactin and alters pulsatile release of LH, prolactin and melatonin in the prepubertal heifer.