Reproductive function is influenced by metabolic status and is compromised in conditions of negative energy balance. In the recent past, significant advances have been madein our understanding of how the brain regulates appetite and energy expenditure, largely due to the identification of blood borne factors that act on the neurons in the hypothalamus that produce the so-called ‘appetite regulating peptides’. This review provides an overview of the control of energy balance and the interface between ‘appetite regulating’ systems and gonadotropin releasing hormone secretion and action. This is placed in the context of the lactating dairy cow in an effort to understand what might cause poor reproductive performance. It is apparent that we know significantly more about the relationship between energy balance and reproduction in non-bovine species. This review indicates areas which deserve further attention in the dairy cow.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 73, Hamilton, 189-198, 2013
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