Endocrine regulation of fetal and postnatal meat animal growth.

T. D. Etherton, R. S. Kensinger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Evidence is discussed which indicates that nutrient partitioning between muscle and adipose tissue can be altered by growth hormone administration in meat animals. In the limited number of studies conducted with meat animals, growth rate, feed efficiency and carcass composition were improved by growth hormone administration. When insulin was administered to normally growing swine no improvement in growth performance was observed. The mechanisms by which growth hormone affects growth performance are not clear but considerable data from rodent studies exist to indicate that many of the growth promoting effects of this hormone are due to somatomedins. However, few data are available for meat animals to indicate whether the growth promoting effects of growth hormone are mediated by somatomedins. Knowledge about the mechanisms that regulate growth hormone synthesis, secretion and biological action is accumulating. It is apparent that growth hormone administration induces an insulin-resistant state in rodents and meat animals. It is not clear whether chronic growth hormone administration in meat animals induces a growth hormone resistant state. Based on the available information, manipulation of systemic hormone concentrations and(or) tissue sensitivity to hormones involved in growth and differentiation may result in means to manipulate fetal and postnatal growth and development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-528
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1984

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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