Skin Deiodinase Profiles after Melatonin Manipulated in Chinese Inner Mongolia Cashmere Goats

Yue, Chunwang;Du, Lixin;Zhu, Xiaoping;Kong, Xianghao;Zhang, Wei;Jia, Zhihai

  • Received : 2007.01.10
  • Accepted : 2007.04.23
  • Published : 2007.10.01


The roles of melatonin in the control of deiodinase (MD) activity in cashmere goat skin and associated cashmere fibre growth were investigated. Eighteen half-sib Chinese Inner Mongolia cashmere wethers were allocated randomly to two groups (n = 9/group). One group was implanted subcutaneously with melatonin (2 mg/kg BW) at three 2-monthly intervals while the other group served as a control. All goats were maintained under natural photoperiodic conditions and were grazed on natural pasture. The plasma melatonin concentration showed a significant difference (p<0.01) between the implant group (M) and the control group (C) but plasma $T_4$ (or $T_3$) showed no significant difference (p>0.05). The monodeiodinase type II (MDII) activity in skin tended to increase gradually from the summer solstice to November. During July and August, the activity of MDII for the M group was higher (p<0.05) than that of the C group; also during this period, there was a significant positive correlation between MDII activity of skin and cashmere fibre growth rate. The monodeiodinase type III (MDIII) activity and the ratio of MDIII and MDII tended to decrease from the summer solstice to November. The ratio of MDIII and MDII for the M group was lower (p<0.05) than that of the C group in July and August. The cashmere fibre growth rate of the M group was significantly greater than that of the C group in July (p<0.01), August (p<0.001) and September (p<0.05). The cashmere fibre diameter and guard hair and body weight were not influenced (p>0.05) by melatonin implantation. The results demonstrate that melatonin plays an important role in the regulation of skin MD activity. Simultaneously, the cashmere fibre elongation stimulated by melatonin may result from enhanced MDII activity during a period of two months after melatonin treatment.


Deiodinase;Melatonin;Goats;Cashmere Fibre;Thyroid Hormone


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