Daily rhythm of salivary and serum urea concentration in sheep
1 Dipartimento di Morfologia, Biochimica, Fisiologia e Produzione Animale, Laboratorio di Cronofisiologia Veterinaria, Facoltà di Medicina Veterinaria, Università di Messina, 98168 Messina, Italy
2 Dipartimento di Biologia ed Evoluzione, Università di Ferrara, via L. Borsari 46, 44100 Ferrara, Italy
Journal of Circadian Rhythms 2006, 4:16 doi:10.1186/1740-3391-4-16Published: 23 November 2006
In domestic animals many biochemical and physiological processes exhibit daily rhythmicity. The aim of the present study was to investigate the rhythmic pattern of salivary and serum urea concentrations in sheep.
Six 3-year-old female sheep kept in the same environmental conditions were used. Sheep were sampled at 4 hour intervals for 48 consecutive hours starting at 08:00 of the first day and finishing at 04:00 of the second day. Blood samples were collected via intravenous cannulae inserted into the jugular vein; saliva samples were collected through a specific tube, the "Salivette". Salivary and serum urea concentrations were assayed by means of UV spectrophotometer. ANOVA was used to determine significant differences. The single Cosinor procedure was applied to the results showing significant differences over time.
ANOVA showed a significant effect of time on salivary and serum urea concentrations. Serum and salivary urea peaked during the light phase. In the dark phase serum and salivary urea concentrations decreased, and the diurnal trough occurred at midnight. Cosinor analysis showed diurnal acrophases for salivary and serum urea concentrations. Daily mean levels were significantly higher in the serum than in the saliva.
In sheep both salivary and serum urea concentrations showed daily fluctuations. Urea is synthesized in the liver and its production is strongly influenced by food intake. Future investigation should clarify whether daily urea rhythms in sheep are endogenous or are simply the result of the temporal administration of food.