Biology of Somatotropin in Growth and Lactation of Domestic Animals

Terry D. Etherton

Impressive progress has been made during the past 15 years in our understanding of the biology of somatotropin (ST) in domestic animals.  In part, this progress was sparked by advances in biotechnology that made feasible the production of large quantities of recombinant bovine ST (bST) and porcine ST (pST). The availability of recombinant bST and pST resulted in an exponential increase in investigations that explored their role in growth and lactation biology, as well as evaluated their potential for commercial use. Collectively, these studies established that administration of bST to lactating dairy cows increased milk yield, and treatment of growing pigs with pST markedly stimulated muscle growth and reduced fat deposition. In addition to these ‘‘efficacy’’ studies, a substantial number of investigations examined the mechanisms by which ST affects lactation and growth of domestic animals.  This review summarizes the diverse physiological effects ST has on growth and lactation and discusses the underlying mechanisms that mediate these effects in domestic animals. Read the rest of this publication…

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