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Effects of Photoperiod Change on Melatonin Secretion, Immune Function and Antioxidant Status of Cashmere Goats

College of Animal Science, Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, Hohhot 010018, China
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Animals 2019, 9(10), 766; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9100766
Received: 11 September 2019 / Revised: 30 September 2019 / Accepted: 3 October 2019 / Published: 6 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Small Ruminants)
Considering that the photoperiod can affect melatonin (MLT) secretion and MLT can be used as reactive oxygen species scavenger and immunomodulator in animals, the present experiment was designed and conducted to study the effects of photoperiod change on MLT secretion, immune function and antioxidant status of cashmere goats. The results showed that the photoperiod of 8 h light and 16 h dark per day resulted in goats having a higher concentration of MLT and could effectively enhance the immune function and antioxidant enzyme activity of goats.
The photoperiod affects animals’ secretion of hormones, especially melatonin (MLT), which is involved in the regulation of the immune function and antioxidant status. The present experiment was conducted to study the effects of the photoperiod on MLT secretion, immune function, antioxidant status and related gene expression in goats. Eighteen adult female cashmere goats were randomly divided into three photoperiod groups: the control group (CG: natural photoperiod); the short-day photoperiod group (SDPP group: 8 h light; 16 h dark) and the shortening-day photoperiod group (SIPP group: lighting time shortened gradually from 16 h/d to 8 h/d). The experiment lasted for 60 days. The results showed that SDPP increased MLT concentration in serum at day 30 of the experiment (p < 0.05), but SIPP increased it at day 60 (p < 0.05). The activity of total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and catalase (CAT) increased (p < 0.05), and malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration decreased (p < 0.05) at day 30 in SDPP; no significant effects of SIPP were observed at day 30. Both SDPP and SIPP goats had higher activities of T-SOD, GPx and CAT (p < 0.05) at day 60. The concentration of immunoglobulin G (IgG), interleukin 1β (IL-1β) and interleukin 2 (IL-2) increased in SDPP (p < 0.05) at day 30. Both SDPP and SIPP raised the concentration of IgG, IL-1β and IL-2 at day 60 (p < 0.05). For the relative gene expression, the SDPP improved the gene expression of SOD1, CAT, GPx4, nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2(Nrf2), IL-1β, IL-2 and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) (p < 0.05) in blood leukocytes at day 30. In addition, at day 60, goats in the SDPP group had a higher gene expression of CAT, GPx4, IL-1β and IL-2 (p < 0.05). Goats in SIPP had significantly higher gene expression of SOD1, CAT, GPx4, Nrf2, TNFα, IL-1β and IL-2 (p < 0.05) than those in CG. These results indicated that SDPP and SIPP could secrete more MLT and then improve the immune function and antioxidant status of the goats. View Full-Text
Keywords: photoperiod change; melatonin secretion; immune function; antioxidant status; gene expression; goat photoperiod change; melatonin secretion; immune function; antioxidant status; gene expression; goat
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Mao, C.; Xu, Y.; Shi, L.; Guo, S.; Jin, X.; Yan, S.; Shi, B. Effects of Photoperiod Change on Melatonin Secretion, Immune Function and Antioxidant Status of Cashmere Goats. Animals 2019, 9, 766.

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