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Normal function of the hypothalamic-pituitary growth axis in three dwarf Friesian foals
  1. E. de Graaf-Roelfsema, DVM, PhD1,
  2. W. Back, DVM, PhD1,
  3. T. A. E. Stout, DVM, PhD1,
  4. J. H. van der Kolk, DVM, PhD1 and
  5. H. A. Keizer, MD, PhD2
  1. 1 Department of Equine Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 114, 3584 CM Utrecht, The Netherlands
  2. 2 Department of Human Physiology and Sports Medicine, Free University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium
  1. E-mail for correspondence:


Serial blood samples were collected from three dwarfFriesian foals to examine their endogenous growthhormone (GH) profiles, and the integrity of theGH-insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) axis wastested in one of them by examining its responses tothe administration of GH-releasing hormone (GHRH)and to 10 days of treatment with recombinant equineGH. The basal serum concentrations of IGF-1 inthe three dwarf foals were compared with those innine age-matched normal foals. All the dwarf foalssecreted endogenous GH. Stimulation with 7·0 μg/kgGHRH led to a 1400 per cent increase in plasma GHconcentration in the dwarf foal tested, and 10 dailysubcutaneous treatments with 20 μg/kg recombinantequine GH led to a 100 per cent increase in its serumIGF-1 concentration. The basal serum concentrationsof IGF-1 in the dwarf foals were not significantlydifferent from those of the normal foals.

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