Acta Vet. Brno 2015, 84: 141-151

Hormonal profile and body condition scoring in dairy cows during pre partum and post partum periods

Mária Vargová, Vladimír Petrovič, Jana Konvičná, Marián Kadaši, Peter Zaleha, Gabriel Kováč

University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy, Clinic of Ruminants, Košice, Slovak Republic

Received September 3, 2014
Accepted November 26, 2014

The aim of this study was to evaluate the dynamics of selected indicators of energy, hormonal profile, body condition score (BCS) and their relationships in dairy cows of the Slovak Pied Cattle from 3 weeks before parturition to 9 weeks after. Significant differences were found in the mean values of non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) (P < 0.001) and β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) (P < 0.05). According to BCS results, the dry cows were overweight (4.42 ± 0.75 points). After calving the cows lost weight significantly, as the BCS was 3.25 ± 0.30 points at 9 weeks post partum (P < 0.001). The highest concentration of leptin was recorded before calving (26.80 ± 11.47 ng/ml). The concentrations of insulin and ghrelin did not change significantly (an increase in insulin concentrations from 580.8 ± 66.30 IU/ml to 625.50 ± 174.90 IU/ml and a decrease in ghrelin concentrations from 29.25 ± 4.82 pg/ml to 26.57 ± 5.35 pg/ml were found comparing 3 weeks to 1 week before parturition, respectively). Relationships between the hormones showed positive correlation between insulin and leptin (r = 0.220, P < 0.05), BCS and leptin (r = 0.360, P < 0.001), BCS and insulin (r = 0.232, P < 0.05) and negative correlation between leptin and ghrelin (r = -0.235, P < 0.05), BCS and ghrelin (r = -0.257, P < 0.05). These data provide evidence that the variations in the concentrations of leptin, ghrelin, and insulin are related to variations in the BCS. Negative correlation between leptin and ghrelin contributes to the argument that leptin negatively regulates ghrelin.


This work was supported by Slovak Research and Development Agency under contract No. APVV-0475-10 and by VEGA Scientific Grant No.1/0592/12 from the Ministry of Education.


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