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Oral thiazolidinediones increase feed intake and growth in sheep

Fahri, F.T., Clarke, I.J. and Pethick, D.W.ORCID: 0000-0002-3255-7677 (2010) Oral thiazolidinediones increase feed intake and growth in sheep. In: 61st European Association for Animal Production (EAAP) Annual Meeting, 23 - 27 August, Heraklion, Greece.


Feed efficiency, growth and body composition are all key drivers of productivity and profitability in livestock production systems. Thiazolidinediones (TZD) are synthetic compounds currently used clinically as oral antidiabetic drugs. Although the mode of action is still not well defined, research suggests that TZD interacts with specific genes that regulate fat cell development, energy balance, and lipid metabolism in fat tissue and skeletal muscle. Thirty Poll Dorset x Merino x Border Leicester 5 month old lambs of mixed sex (15 ewes and 15 wethers) were blocked on live weight and body fat (as evaluated by Dual X-Ray absorptiometry (DXA)) and allocated to a 2x3 factorial design with the respective factors being sex (ewe or wether) and dose of TZD (0, 8 or 24 mg/d of rosiglitazone maleate). Placebo or TZD tablets were administered via gavage daily for the duration of the study. Lambs were fed commercial pellets (Rumevite TM) ad libitum, and 100 g of lucerne chaff daily for 8 weeks. Lambs were DXA scanned live at Day 0, 26, and as carcase at day 55 where meat quality measurements were carried out. Lambs treated with TZD gained more than control (215 vs. 266 g/d, P=0.024) and had higher FCE (0.136 vs. 0.158, P=O.OI7). Treated animals had greater back fat at the 8th rib (9.4 vs. 12.3 mm, P=0.015) and carcase fat (27.5 vs. 29.7%, P=0.027). These data suggest that TZD promotes weight gain but that some of the weight gain is as fat.

Item Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
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