Nutritional Articles

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Development of insulin and proinsulin secretion in newborn pony foals.

Published: 2004-10-18

Brief content of the article
Backround of this study was that at birth, the endocrine pancrease must assume a glucoregulatory role if the neonate is to survive the transition from parenteral to enteral nutrition. In species like the horse, neonatal hypoglycaemia is common, which suggests that the glucoregulatory mechanisms are not always fully competent at birth. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the insulin and proinsulin responses of newborn foals to endogenous and exogenous stimuli during the critical period of glucoregulatory adaptation in the first 10 days after birth. Responses to suckling and intravenous administration of glucose, arginine and saline were measured. The main conclusion of this study was that equine ß cells are responsive to glucose and arginine and release both insulin and proinsulin during the immediate postnatal period. They also suggest that newborn foals may be insulin resistant on the first day after birth. For those interested in this field of research we also we also refer to the article “Postnatal insulin secretion and sensitivity after manipulation of fetal growth by embryo transfer in the horse.” by Forhead et al. (2004) in the same issue of this journal.
Keywords: foals; pancreas; insulin; nutritional adaptation.

Holdstock, N.B., Allen, V.L., Bloomfield, M.R. Hales, C.N. and Fowden, A.L. 2004. Development of insulin and proinsulin secretion in newborn pony foals. J. Endocrinology 181: 469-476.

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