Dietary restriction reduces the rate of estradiol clearance in sheep (Ovis aries)

B. J. Renquist, T. E. Adams, B. M. Adams, C. C. Calvert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Three experiments were designed to test the effect of dietary restriction on clearance of 17β-estradiol (E2) in sheep. A preliminary experiment examined the effect of a 4-d fast on the rate of E2 clearance in wethers. The second experiment tested the hypothesis that either long-term restriction (7 wk) or a 5-d fast would increase steroid-binding capacity of serum by increasing the concentration of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) in the blood of ovariectomized ewes. In Exp. 3, we hypothesized that nutrition-dependent regulation of E2 clearance by the liver would result in divergence in biliary extraction of E2 in fed and fasted wethers receiving comparable levels of exogenous E2. A marked difference in E2 clearance between fed and fasted wethers was noted in the preliminary study. Relative to ad libitum-fed wethers, a 4-d fast decreased E2 clearance by 52%. Serum concentrations of SHBG were increased in long-term energy-restricted and fasted ewes, relative to the concentration in maintenance-fed ewes (P = 0.015). Furthermore, a 5-d fast nearly doubled serum steroid-binding capacity in wethers. The E2 concentration in bile was 2 times greater in fasted than in fed wethers. This fasting-dependent increase in biliary E2 may be reflective of the increased serum E2 in fasted animals, because each 1 pg/mL increase in serum E2 increased bile E2 by 0.86 ± 0.12 pg/mL, independent of nutrition (P = 0.002). Our results demonstrate that the rate of clearance of E2 is decreased during nutritional restriction. Additionally, these data indicate that altered SHBG expression, enterohepatic recirculation, or both are involved in the decreased E2 clearance during dietary restriction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1124-1131
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Clearance
  • Enterohepatic recirculation
  • Estradiol
  • Restriction
  • Sex hormone-binding globulin
  • Sheep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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