We aimed to determine the effects of nutritional status on concentrations of somatotropic axis hormones (growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1)), insulin and metabolites (glucose, total protein and nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA)) in the plasma and colostrum in late antepartum cows. Eight pregnant Japanese Black cows were randomly assigned to two experimental groups (n = 4 per group). Control cows (CON) received 100% of their nutritional requirements until parturition, whereas restricted group cows (RES) received 60% of their nutritional requirements. Blood samples were taken during the antepartum period, and blood and colostrum samples were collected on days 0, 1, and 3 after calving. Compared to the CON group, the RES group had higher concentrations of GH and NEFA in plasma, but significantly lower concentrations of glucose and insulin in plasma. The concentrations of GH in plasma after calving were significantly higher, but total plasma protein was significantly lower in RES than in CON cows. Compared to the CON group, the RES group had significantly higher concentrations of GH in colostrum, but significantly lower total concentrations of protein in colostrum. Concentrations of IGF-1 were not different between the two groups. These findings suggest that maternal nutritional status during late gestation influences concentrations of GH and total protein in the blood and colostrum of Japanese Black cows.
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