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The somatotropic axis of the dairy cow revisited

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The greater understanding of the somatotropic axis in the lactating dairy cow that has been achieved in recent years is briefly reviewed in this article. Specifically discussed are: the significance of multiple forms of insulin-like growth factor messenger RNA (ribonucleic acid) caused by alternative splicing, and the possible functions of the various translated extension proteins; the possible roles of multiple sites of growth hormone secretion other than in the pituitary, and the implications for possible autocrine or paracrine growth hormone secretion; the consequences for increased circulating growth hormone half-life, and possibly biological effectiveness, caused by growth hormone binding proteins; and the increasing evidence for the presence of growth hormone receptors in the bovine mammary gland. The need for further research is highlighted in the present review; published information regarding the bovine, in many of these areas, is still largely insufficient.
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Keywords: GHBP; IGF-1 mRNA splicing; bovine; lactation; mammary growth hormone receptors

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2002

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