The measurement of immunoreactive urinary corticosteroids was validated as a method of monitoring adrenocortical activity in lactating dairy cows. The physiological relevance of the technique was validated by demonstrating that (i) injection of ACTH led to a significant increase in plasma and urinary corticosteroid concentrations, and (ii) the translocation of cows from pasture to a barn facility resulted in a 1.1- to 2.5-fold increase in urinary cortisol concentrations. Plasma cortisol concentrations exhibited a 15- to 33-fold increase above basal concentrations 30 mins after ACTH administration (2.98±0.35 vs 63.7±3.9 ng/ml plasma; mean±SEM; P<0.01). Monitoring urinary corticosteroid concentrations is a valid tool for studying and evaluating adrenal activity and acute stress in cattle.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 60, Hamilton, 218-221, 2000
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