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Summary: Physiology and Endocrinology Symposium

By: Anne Zinn

As the ASAS Annual Meeting headed into full swing, the Monday morning session featured a discussion on Physiology and Endocrinology. The symposium entitled “An Update on the Brain,” focused on new insights into the inner workings of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. 

Highlights from the morning included a presentation by Dr. Rodolfo Cardoso (Texas A&M), who presented on previous and current research regarding the effects of gestational and postweaning nutrition on brain development and puberty in beef heifers, suggesting that potential genotype-specific differences may exist amongst Bos indicus-influenced cattle and Bos taurus females; as well as a presentation by Dr. Nathan Long (Clemson University), who shared research on the role of leptin and its regulation in the development of the hypothalamus of perinatal calves and voluntary feed intake as yearling. Long concluded that these data support that exogenous cortisol administered to perinatal calves affects leptin production and the appetite center of the hypothalamus when administered during the neonatal period.

Session speakers also included Clay Lents (USDA), discussing a new model for dissecting the mechanisms controlling reproduction, and Allison Renwick (The University of Tennessee), who presented on the effects of disease-induced inflammation on reproductive neuroendocrinology in sheep. Additional presenters can be found in the ASAS Annual Meeting agenda.