We examined the effects of prolonged undernutrition on plasma leptin and insulin levels and some serum protein metabolites in reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus L.) during winter and spring. The reindeer (male < 1 year) were fed their preferred winter feed, low-protein lichen ad libitum for 5 weeks, followed by 40% restriction of energy for 8 weeks and refeeding with high-protein pellets for 6 weeks. The control group received high-protein reindeer pellets ad libitum throughout the experiment. Plasma leptin decreased by 46% and insulin by 54% in the lichen group already during the ad libitum period between January and February, with parallel decreases in body weight, serum total proteins, albumin and urea. Leptin remained low during most of the energy restriction period in March and April, but increased at the end of April while body weight decreased. During the refeeding period in May and June, the body weight and insulin of the lichen group increased in parallel with total proteins and urea, but leptin remained unchanged. Similar significant reductions in plasma leptin (40%) as in the lichen group also took place in the control group fed high-protein pellets ad libitum in January and February, although their feed intake, serum total proteins and body weight remained unchanged. The results show that leptin decreases in reindeer during mid-winter, independent of food or protein intake, and suggest that the decrease may be cued by seasonal factors such as the short photoperiod.
|Journal||Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - B Biochemistry and Molecular Biology|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Apr 2008|
|MoEC publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
- Body weight
- Feed intake
Field of science
- Genetics, developmental biology, physiology