Nitrogen metabolism and somatotropin secretion in lambs receiving arginine and ornithine via abomasal infusion.

G. M. Davenport, J. A. Boling, K. K. Schillo, D. K. Aaron

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25 Scopus citations


Sixteen wether lambs (25 kg) were fitted with abomasal infusion cannulas and used to study N and endocrine responses to abomasal infusions of arginine (ARG) or ornithine (ORN). Lambs were randomly allotted to four treatment groups and abomasally infused with solutions of water (CON), ARG, ORN or UREA. The ARG solution provided .50 g ARG.HCl/kg BW and was equimolar with ORN.HCl (.40 g/kg). UREA (.28 g/kg) was isonitrogenous with ARG and served as a positive N control. Lambs were housed in metabolism crates for excreta collection and received 729 g DM/d of a 13.7% CP diet in equal portions four times daily. Following a 7-d dietary adjustment period, lambs were infused continuously (2 liters/d) with water for a 5-d preliminary collection period (Period 1), which immediately preceded a 7-d infusion and collection period (Period 2). Sequential blood samples were taken at 15-min intervals for 8 h between 1200 and 2000 on d 4 of both periods. Single samples were obtained at 1500 on remaining days. Nonrepeated measurements were analyzed as a completely randomized design, whereas repeated measurements were analyzed as a split-plot over time. Period 2 measurements were adjusted using covariance techniques if differences among treatment groups were observed for Period 1. Contrasts used in determining treatment effects were: CON vs UREA, CON vs ARG + ORN, and ARG vs ORN. Nitrogen retention was similar for all treatment, suggesting that dietary N was not limiting. Arginine and ORN increased serum ornithine (P less than .05), blood urea N (BUN; P less than .10) and urinary urea N excretion (P less than .01), whereas ARG increased (P less than .05) serum arginine and UREA increased (P less than .01) BUN and urinary urea N. Serum insulin and glucose were not affected by treatment. Compared with CON, ARG and ORN increased (P less than .05) mean somatotropin (STH) concentration (13.8 vs 16.9 and 18.4 ng/ml) and amplitude of STH pulses (9.8 vs 15.1 and 17.8 ng/ml), whereas CON and UREA were similar. Abomasal infusions of ARG and ORN were equally efficacious in stimulating ovine STH secretion when dietary N intake was not limiting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-232
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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