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Circadian variation in ghrelin and certain stress hormones in crib-biting horses

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Title: Circadian variation in ghrelin and certain stress hormones in crib-biting horses
Author: Hemmann, Karin; Raekallio, Marja; Kanerva, Kira; Hänninen, Laura; Pastell, Matti; Palviainen, Mari; Vainio, Outi
Citation: Hemmann , K , Raekallio , M , Kanerva , K , Hänninen , L , Pastell , M , Palviainen , M & Vainio , O 2012 , ' Circadian variation in ghrelin and certain stress hormones in crib-biting horses ' The Veterinary Journal , vol 193 , no. 1 , pp. 97-102 . , 10.1016/j.tvjl.2011.09.027
Belongs to series: The Veterinary Journal
ISSN: 1090-0233
Abstract: Crib-biting is classified as an oral stereotypy, which may be initiated by stress susceptibility, management factors, genetic factors and gastrointestinal irritation. Ghrelin has been identified in the gastric mucosa and is involved in the control of food intake and reward, but its relationship to crib-biting is not yet known. The aim of this study was to examine the concentration and circadian variation of plasma ghrelin, cortisol, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and β-endorphin in crib-biting horses and non-crib-biting controls. Plasma samples were collected every second hour for 24 h in the daily environment of eight horses with stereotypic crib-biting and eight non-crib-biting controls. The crib-biting horses had significantly higher mean plasma ghrelin concentrations than the control horses. The circadian rhythm of cortisol was evident, indicating that the sampling protocol did not inhibit the circadian regulation in these horses. Crib-biting had no statistically significant effect on cortisol, ACTH or β-endorphin concentrations. The inter-individual variations in β-endorphin and ACTH were higher than the intra-individual differences, which made inter-individual comparisons difficult and complicated the interpretation of results. Further research is therefore needed to determine the relationship between crib-biting and ghrelin concentration.
Peer review status: Peer reviewed
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/35768
Date: 2012

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