Department of Clinical Veterinary Sciences, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido, 080-8555, Japan; United Graduate School of Veterinary Sciences, Gifu University, Gifu, 501-1193, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]
The peripheral blood concentrations of insulin-like peptide 3 (INSL3) have been detected in many mammalian species, but the level of INSL3 in horse remains unknown. The objectives were to develop a time-resolved fluorescence immunoassay (TRFIA) to detect INSL3 concentrations from horse blood as well as to determine the age-related and seasonal changes of plasma concentrations of INSL3 and testosterone from birth to early-puberty in Thoroughbred male horse (n = 11). Monthly blood sample and measurement of body weight, height, chest and cannon bone size were done from birth until 16 mo. The TRFIA and EIA were used to measure plasma concentrations of INSL3 and testosterone, respectively. An increase in mean body weight, height, chest and cannon bone size was observed throughout the study. The monthly blood sampling revealed an increase in mean plasma INSL3 concentrations up to 2 mo, followed by a decreasing and increasing pattern until the end of experiment at 16 mo. A high testosterone level was detected at birth followed by a sharp decrease to basal level within 1 mo, maintained low level up to10 mo before a gradual rise until 16 mo. In case of seasonality, there was no difference in mean plasma INSL3 concentrations between breeding (March to September) and non-breeding (October to February) seasons, whereas a higher (P < 0.001) mean plasma testosterone concentrations in the second breeding season compared to non-breeding season was observed. In age categorized group, an increase (P < 0.01) in mean plasma INSL3 concentrations was noticed at pre-puberty (1-12 mo) and early-puberty (13-16 mo) compared to birth, but a lower (P < 0.001) mean plasma testosterone concentrations was observed at pre-puberty compared to birth and early-puberty. In conclusion, a TRFIA was developed to measure INSL3 levels in horse. An increase in plasma concentrations of INSL3 and testosterone were observed with the advancement of age, whereas for testosterone a very lower level was detected at the non-breeding season than in the second breeding season after birth in Thoroughbred male horse. The INSL3 secretions seemed independent of seasonal influence, at least before puberty.